The Next Move: Dublin or London?
Hello everyone! Welcome back to The Green Swan. Today is an “ask the reader” day. I need your help and consideration, expert knowledge, and previous experiences to weigh in on a potential decision of ours. To move or not to move…to Europe…specifically either Dublin or London. Let me explain, then let the debate began.
The Job and Logistics
As some of you may know, I am a banker for a large international bank. Like many banks, we have offices throughout Europe. The job itself would be similar, but slightly different from my job today. The similarities consist primarily in terms of my true day to day responsibilities. I would have a book of clients that I would be responsible for in terms of monitoring and approving commercial loans. The size of clients and types of loans I would make would be similar as would the normal bank approval process, etc.
The differences would be that today I have a healthcare industry focus, and the potential job would be more general / broad industry coverage. There are also significant differences in terms of how the debt markets work and operate in the US compared to Europe, so I would have to get up to speed on that quickly. But I don’t expect that to be an issue.
Any potential move would be staying within my bank and would represent a lateral job transfer. While there may be a moderate pay raise, that is TBD and there would be a number of other TBDs in terms of cost of living adjustments, relocation benefits, etc. But for this process, I would prefer to put the money questions aside. I don’t want this decision to be made based on an assumed 10% +/- change in my take home discretionary income (in real purchasing power). As many of you know, I’m about 5 years from FI, and maybe up to 10 from pulling the plug, so a potential change in income would be important but probably wouldn’t move the needle much on these dates.
Regarding timing, that too is TBD. I’ve had discussions (aka initial interviews) with a few hiring managers in Europe and there will be opportunities for me. My background and experience is very transferable to the roles they are seeking to fill (currently or in the near term). While transferring me overseas would be difficult and costly for the business unit, the benefit I offer is my experience and being internal so I could hit the ground running immediately for them. I would expect something to come up for me in the 6 months, perhaps sooner or perhaps up to a year. The location would either be in Dublin or London (because at this point I can only speak English) and it may ultimately be my choice between the two cities.
Regarding my wife, she works for an international hospitality company. We would plan on her finding employment in a similar role. And similar to our situation today, our two year old will be enrolled in daycare. As you know from my post Moving to Move Up, both my wife and I have been lucky and fortunate to move across the country twice with our current employers…and if all things work out again maybe now we jump the pond…
Regarding Visa’s and the logistics of the employment transfer, this will all be taken care of. There is a process in place and my Company has experience navigating it with previous transfers. The costs are significant, but they would not come out of my pocket.
Regarding learning additional languages, the answer is yes. I have limited ability to speak Spanish and for all intents and purposes would need to brush up on a foreign language or two. I took Spanish in high school, but that is mostly gone today. I would serve companies across the EU. I think the primary language I would need to learn is German, but there may be others as well. Or, if the business unit was nice and took it easy on me, maybe they’ll only hire me to manage English speaking clients…
History of Moves
A move like this would be big, but we’ve been there before. Both my wife and I grew up in the Midwest, went to college close to home, but then shortly after college we began moving around. As I outlined in my Moving to Move Up post, our first major move was out to San Francisco and then we moved to Charlotte where we currently reside. We’ve been here for about five years.
We could never have made such big moves without each other to rely on. Living far from home (both our parents and most siblings still live in the Midwest) without a known support structure is tough, but together we’ve done well. We would consider a move to Europe in a similar vein, tough, but we can do it together. Family is important to us, and while we will live far from our parents and siblings, we would plan on traveling home once or twice a year and technology makes it feel not so far too. We are frequent users of Skype with family and I think that has made a big difference for everyone.
Pros and Cons
So with some of the background and history explained, let’s get into the pros and cons! This is particularly where I’m looking for readers’ thoughts. For instance, experience of living near or around Dublin and London (yes, I’m looking at you Mr. and Mrs. Pie, Francesca at From Pennies to Pounds, Amber Tree Leaves, and I know there are others), or experience being an expat or traveling abroad (Stefan at The Millennial Budget or Money Nomad), an expert in analyzing big decision (Vicki at Make Smarter Decisions) or anyone else with an opinion, please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts! We’d love to hear your thoughts.
So, I’ve laid out an initial list of pros and cons below. There are still a number of TBDs, like I mentioned before. The primary decision would be whether we would want to move overseas at all:
And the secondary decision would be choosing between Dublin or London:
Just to be clear, one of the major reasons we’d consider this move is because we both enjoy traveling and this would be a good opportunity to go all around Europe for relatively cheap while still getting paid full salaries and contributing to our retirement accounts (and hopefully not delaying our FIRE timeline). The alternative to this opportunity would be continuing as, status quo, and wait until retirement 10 years from now or so to begin traveling more (although kids would be getting into elementary and middle school, etc.).
I would consider any move to be a minimum 2 to 3 year trip, perhaps longer, but not necessarily permanent. Granted, the way this election is going…j/k. In 2 to 3 years’ time, we will be just another 2 to 3 years away from reaching FI. The thought would be then returning to the US to work a few more years and use the time back in the US to start planning our retirement (location, timing, etc). That would ultimately be our final leg before retirement. This lateral job transfer to Europe would in essence be the first stage of our descent and coasting into retirement life.
I look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts and feedback!
Thanks for taking a look!
The Green Swan
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London Pic Source: Time Out London