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Banking Finances & Money Investing

Reader Question: Quitting your job and emigrating

Seems people like my advice so much I got another question 🙂

Reader “DD” has the following two unrelated questions (I corrected grammar to make it a bit more readable):

1)I have a  job where I’m getting new clients with frequency,but I don’t feel Ok. The environment is not motivating.It is too controlling. Financially I’m doing ok, but the job is really getting too stressful from the moment I get to work in the morning. So, I was thinking of getting another job outside of my country,even when i know is risky, but i’m confused.What do you suggest?

2)Is it true that investing is better than saving?

Wow, #1 is a heavy question, and one that I have also considered, although not too heavily considering we have it pretty good here in the U.S. Now, I don’t know what country DD is in, or even what continent, so it’s hard to say how easy emigrating is from your country to another is. For example, going from the U.S. to Canada is a bit easier that, say, Israel to Syria. Therefore, I’ll try to answer in more general terms and let you do the legwork on the laws of the country(ies) you’re considering immigrating into.

From a risk perspective, of course it’s risky to pack up and leave your country of residence, whether you’re a citizen or not, and especially if you have family involved in the move. But the question I first have to ask is “is the job that bad and the economy that horrible you can’t find something else in your country?”

I’ve thought of moving to someplace like Ireland (when it was the Celtic Tiger) because I had memories there from our honeymoon and another visit, but I know how hard it is to leave my family and familiarity here in the U.S., so the idea dropped off the list.

So, the questions to ask yourself are:

  • Can I find something better where I am? What if I move to a different town? Does it really require that I move to another country?
  • What will I be leaving behind? (family, friends, a good reputation)
  • What problems will I run into? (immigration constraints, language barrier, cost of living changes, problem getting work as an immigrant, too many people in my line of work already, etc.)

It’s easy to jump ship and think the grass is greener on the other side of the border, but look more locally first. If it’s a bad crowd you’re trying to get away from, try a different town. It’s much cheaper and easier to move within a country that between them, right?

Hopefully I helped you with some of the thinking process to help you get to a decision. Sorry I couldn’t help further without more information.

Now, onto your second question: Is it true that investing is better than saving?

In two famous words: It depends. Granted, right now the savings rates are crap, but the market is at a high (although it can always go higher), so buying now means more risk or probability of losing money if/when the market falls. A few questions to ask yourself here are:

  • Do you have an emergency fund? If not, then saving enough to pay for 3-6 months of non-discretionary expenses (housing, utilities (not cable), groceries, etc.) is a necessity right now because you’re at risk of going into deep debt or ruining your credit if something bad happens and you can’t pay your bills. Now, in our situation, we have 2 incomes and no kids, so we’re at less risk because there’s less chance we’ll both lose our jobs at the same time. Plus, we have little debt (relatively) and about 6 months of living expenses. If I (the main money-maker) were to lose my job right now, we could live off my wife’s salary without digging into our emergency fund. It took years to get to this point though.
  • If you do have a decent emergency fund, do you have other goals for which you need to save? For example, if you’re planning on moving out of the country, how will you fund it? Credit cards? I have different ING Direct accounts for Travel, Car, Home Repairs/Renovations and a general Emergency Fund. Those are mostly funded to my satisfaction, so I can move onto the next step…
  • Investing. It depends on if you’re talking about buying shares of a company out on the open market or contributing to a retirement account (401k, 403b, Roth IRA, etc.) or investing in life insurance or lottery tickets. Now that we are funded with our savings goals (almost), we can refocus on investing. For us, that means fully funding our Roth IRAs this year, which we’ve lapsed with in prior years, and fully funding our 401ks. I’m taking advantage of employer matching contributions and tax deferrals as much as possible before even considering investing outside of these accounts.

So again, I can only provide some additional questions to ask yourself, since I don’t know your specific situation, and then provide some insight into our own lives. Generally, you want to be sure you’re secure right now then work on your future security. Don’t get caught up in the fever of buying stocks or gold because it’s “the hot thing” right now, because most often by the time you buy “the hot thing”, it’s cooled off and you bought in the peak market (like we did with our home).

So overall, my advice is to 1) look local first for a new job or career and 2) make sure you have at least an emergency fund before really getting into investing. However, if you can get a company match on your investment contributions, then do the minimum required to get the full match and use the remainder for savings.

Any other advice from my fellow readers and writers?

About the author

Clever Dude

1 Comment

  • Wow I’ve never considered getting a job outside the country. I would definitely recommend DD stay here and find something locally as well because the costs associated with moving, let alone moving internationally, are probably more than she’d like to spend.

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