How to Move During a Financial Hardship Event
Stress runs high when you’re experiencing a crisis. Even though the general advice is to wait at least six months before making a big decision after a crisis, there are times when you need to make a move before then. Impulsive changes are not advisable, but moving after you’ve been through a crisis is often a wise decision, both financially and emotionally.
Moving After a Divorce
Moving after a divorce can help you get a fresh start on life, but there are some things to consider. Some people want to relocate to be closer to family, or to foster a new relationship or even to create a change of scenery. If kids are involved and you plan to move out of your current town, you’ll want to check with a lawyer first. In an article titled, “Relocation After Divorce,” Brette McWhorter Sember writes, “If your ex has visitation every other weekend and you move 500 miles away, your current plan isn’t going to work. Understandably, your ex is likely to be upset by the idea of the relocation and may take steps to prevent you from going.”
If you want to move to a new city, be prepared to persuade a judge that the move will benefit you and your kids. Put together a list of the positive things you’ll have at the new location and your ideas for a parenting plan where your ex can still see the kids.
Moving Items after a Death
When a loved one dies, some people can’t stand the idea of moving to a new place. Others can’t stand the idea of staying in the home that holds so many wonderful memories.
Moving will require you to go through your loved one’s belongings—a tough step in the process of moving on. If you have the luxury of time, be patient with yourself and sort through things as you feel you’re able. If you’re on a deadline to vacate the home, enlist help from people you love. You can always put those belongings in a climate-controlled storage unit and sort through them on your own timetable.
Once you move, incorporate memories of your loved one into your new home. “Know that ‘moving forward’ does not necessarily mean ‘moving on’ and that it’s possible to honor the life and love of the person who died and still build a meaningful, rich and fulfilling life,” Melissa Christensen advises, in the Huffington Post, after losing her partner.
Moving Due to Illness
If you or a loved one is battling a serious illness, it may be necessary to relocate to be closer to medical care. Before you move, make a file that contains all relevant medical information you’ll need to take to the new medical care team. This file might include
- medications (prescription and over the counter),
- medical supplies,
- a written summary of the medical condition,
- physical copies of important paperwork you might need while traveling, and
- insurance information.
Take advantage of any benefits your employer may offer for your current situation. A frank conversation with your Human Resources coordinator could open up options you didn’t know about before. Depending on which family member is sick, Supplemental Security Income could help relieve the financial burden that an illness can cause.
When choosing a place to live, make “simple” your priority. You don’t want to spend extra time on lawn maintenance and cleaning empty rooms when your time is already occupied in caring for your loved one.
Moving after a Job Loss
“Losing your job through downsizing, corporate restructuring or workforce reduction can be one of the most traumatic events in your life,” recount the writers at Next Avenue. “An unexpected job loss may cause difficult financial and psychological repercussions not only for you, but also for your family and friends.” This is especially true if you have to move soon after you lose your job.
The following recommendations may lessen the financial blow of a job loss:
- Cut back on your expenses. Cancel your cable, stop eating out and quit spending any money that you can.
- Contact your mortgage company if you own your home to see if you can make a forbearance agreement. “A forbearance agreement enables you to pay nothing on your mortgage or to make a partial payment for a set period of time,” advise the writers at Next Avenue. “The difference is made up in the future when you can resume regular mortgage payments.”
- If you are renting your home, consider a less expensive place so you can save your money. Getting a roommate or moving in with a friend are also options.
Even after you get a new job, consider keeping your expenses minimal so you can build or rebuild a savings account in case life requires you to move during a crisis again.
- “Relocating When Your Child Has a Serious Medical Condition,” Military OneSource, https://www.militaryonesource.mil/moving-housing/moving?content_id=266870