This is a guest post by Jenna

When your company asks you to relocate, can you really refuse? Unless you have something else lined up in this arid job market, then the answer is probably no. With that said, you do not need to accept relocation based solely on the terms being offered by your company. While you want to avoid alienating your employers, asking the right questions about critical aspects of such a move is a normal and above all expected reaction. But what should you be asking? Consider the following questions – some you ought to be asking them, and others you can find the answers to yourself:

What is the tax rate in this new location?

If you’re being asked to move out of the country, then chances are the tax rate is going to be different. On the whole, the difference shouldn’t be staggering, but if you live in state with a particularly low or non-existent income tax, it’s critical that you find out what it will be in the new location, for salary purposes.

Who will be our new insurance provider?

Health and dental insurance companies vary from region to region across the company. Because of the likelihood of changing companies, demand to know what the new plan will be like and and request from-the-source facts immediately. Co-pays and deductibles are sure to vary, which can mean big changes in your cost expectations when medical attention is needed.

Will my moving costs be covered?

If a company is asking that you relocate, then it is ethically their responsibility to cover the costs of your move. It’s not a legal requirement, so it’s important to ensure that they will compensate you before you agree to relocate. There is no way a company can justify refusing to cover the costs of a move, so re-think your loyalty if they do not wish to help you financially.

Will travel back home be covered?

Compared to getting your moving costs taken care of this is a debatable demand to make, but try and have your travel costs compensated if you are leaving friends and relatives behind. Inform them that you will expect to return home at least once a year, and that since your travel is due to being relocated, they should pay for your round-trip travel. They won’t offer this so it’s important to ask.

What is the cost-of-living difference?

Skip asking your employer this directly until you’ve seen for yourself via online cost-of-living calculators, as you don’t want to bring it to their attention that you are moving somewhere you should be paid less. But in the event that your prospective new location is a costlier place to live, then you must ensure that your company is willing to increase your salary accordingly. Even if you are not expecting to own a home, it’s not as though the increase in property value isn’t passed on to renters. Do not budge on this issue – being paid less than is fair in a given geographical location is asking for financial trouble.

Do not agree to any request for relocation without finding the answers to these questions. Whether that means some dedicated Internet research or a no-nonsense approach with your employer, ensuring you aren’t walking into a new place with more hassles than are inherent is a vital aspect of such a work-related situation. Never pass up opportunities to grow with a company, but always validate the practicality of such opportunity before you proceed.

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