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5 Financial Considerations When Moving to a New State

Written By Editor on 5/5/23 | 5/5/23

Deciding whether to move to a different state comes with many considerations. Top of mind might be factors like the weather, job market conditions, and education systems. Finances likely come into play, as well. Here are five key considerations to take into account as you evaluate your options:

#1 – Recognize cost-of-living factors

Living expenses vary from one place to the next. Moving across state lines means your housing costs are likely to change. Commuting expenses are another consideration, as well as expected monthly payments for services like utilities and internet connections. Health insurance costs may also differ depending on where you live. Make sure you are prepared for your new financial realities – whether they’ll ultimately help or hurt your bottom line.

#2 – Understand your moving expenses

If you’re moving for a new job, some employers will cover moving costs, but if that isn’t the case, it’s important to estimate what your out-of-pocket expenses will be. If you have few personal belongings, costs can be minimal. But, if you are moving a whole household, you’ll need to rent a moving van or hire a professional service. Moving costs can add up quickly, so make sure you include them as you build out your budget.

#3 – Become familiar with tax laws in your new state

State income tax rates vary dramatically across the U.S.. Some states have higher sales taxes, while others offer sales tax exemptions on items like food and clothing. This is another “living cost” consideration as you assess how your bottom line may be affected by a move out of state.

#4 – Consider the impact on your investments

Investment income such as dividends or capital gains may be taxed differently in your new home state versus the state from where you are moving from. Make sure you are aware of the potential impact and determine if it might be beneficial to make changes to your portfolio. In addition, if tax-exempt municipal bonds from your current home state are part of your portfolio, be aware that you will lose the state tax exemption benefit if you change your state of residency. 

#5 – Review your estate plan

Laws affecting estate plans vary by state. You’ll likely need to update your wills, trusts, and any other key estate-related documents such as health care and financial power-of-attorney documents. Consider your decision to move across state boundaries a perfect opportunity to conduct a thorough review of your estate plan.

Work with a professional

If you have a relationship with a financial advisor, it makes sense to discuss the financial ramifications of your move with him or her. Keep in mind that they will need to be licensed in the state where you intend to move if you plan to keep working together. If that’s not feasible, you may need to seek advice from an advisor with the right credentials to serve your needs. Start the process as soon as you can to ensure a smooth transition of your finances as you settle into your new living situation.

Michael D. Lanuto, CRPC®, AWMA® is a Financial Advisor with S.M. Miller & Associates, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. in Albany, NY.  He specializes in fee-based financial planning and asset management strategies and has been in practice for 7 years. To contact him: 518-949-2039; 4 Atrium Drive, Ste 200, Albany, NY, 12205;;

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