Wednesday, July 30, 2008

How Do You Make a Big Decision?

So, right before we left on vacation, my husband got offered a job in Bend, Oregon. To give some of you perspective, it's around 4.5 hours from where we live now. We talked about it all last week--I am a completely analytical person, I like to look at every single side of every single issue, and I think he is sick of talking to me about it.

Some things we have to consider:

1. It's about the same distance (tiny bit further) from my parents' house to there as it is to here. His parents and siblings all live here, so it would be a long distance from them, and we'd most likely see them only rarely, whereas now, we see them at least weekly.

2. The benefits are MUCH better. We currently pay a substantial amount each month toward health insurance, this will be a lot less. They have an excellent 401K program with great matching at the new company.

3. It's very significant that my husband has never lived anywhere else. He has huge ties to this community, we both do. We love our church and are both very involved with it. The kids love their small Christian school and we know pretty much everyone there. I volunteer there a lot. We have lots of friends, the kids have lots of friends.

4. It has come down to one factor that we just don't know enough about yet. The money. The cost of living in Bend is higher than here--it's more resort-ish and I imagine (although I don't know for sure) that the type of house we would want to move into would be much more expensive than a similar house here. If the salary increase (and we know there will be one, we just don't know how much) isn't enough to IMPROVE our standard of living, then it doesn't make sense to uproot and move.

5. Washington state has no income tax, and Oregon does. WA does have sales tax and OR doesn't, but pennies here and there don't seem to make a huge difference in what we spend.

It's very complicated. Grace would be happy to move, she's very positive about it. Logan on the other hand, is adamantly opposed and doesn't even want to consider it.

How do you go about making this type of decision? We're going to check out the area in a few weeks. This job would be taking the place of someone who is retiring toward the end of the year, so it's not an immediate decision that has to be made.


Pamela J said...

I cried and cried when my parents told us that we were moving. I was to be going into the 8th grade at the time. It wasn't because I had friends; I had none, it was a comfort zone breech.
Other parents said their children cried because they didn't want to leave their friends at school and church but they adapted very well when they did have to face it.
I think the biggest things to consider are church family support availability and then the dollar expense/income dilemma.
Your comment, "If the salary increase (and we know there will be one, we just don't know how much) isn't enough to IMPROVE our standard of living", is something you will have to decide: why improve the standard?
I'm not suggesting you live in a slum type area (and perhaps you do already is why you want to improve), but we found when our finances were suddenly unexpectedly REAL tight a few years back, we could do with a lot less, appreciate it all a whole lot more, and be just as happy/content or more than we were before the big expense hit.
Of course, number one priority is to pray about it. The Lord may have given you this opportunity for the express purpose to consulting Him for an extended time because He has something He wants to take you through, because of this decision.
Rom 8:28
Guess I didn't give much help, but to sum it up:
1. Pray and listen for direction,
2. Check wisdom in finances: where to cut, where to improve
3. Whatever the decision, God has YOUR best interest in mind as long as you love Him and are called according to His purpose.
Pam Williams

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

It ought to come down to the job. Is he unhappy at the current one? Does the new one hold promises of challenging projects and opportunities for advancement?

As for the money issue, there are websites (that the Tour Manager knows, not me) that compare the standards of living for two areas, telling you what the salary you'd need would be.

As for the community stuff, that's something that, to me, is secondary simply because, with a lot of work, you can build something different -- and usually better in its own way -- wherever you go.

Good luck.

Charlotte said...

That would definitely be a tough decision. I'm with you on the pros and cons list. That's the first thing I would have done. You should also pray about it and see where God leads you. Everything will work out, whether you move or stay where you are.

Audra Marie said...

It is tough. I pray God gives you clear direction. I'm down in Pendleton, OR. :)

Lora said...

What I hear between the lines is stay where you are. Family is so important! Pray for direction & I am SURE that you will know exactly what you should do. Then do it and don't second guess!

She Became A Butterfly said...

there's a book, a memoir, about a woman who was attacked in Bend, Oregon. i'm not writing this to freak you out -- it happened in the 70s, but my mind remembered it when I read this post.

Terri Jentz is the author.