Americans are moving for better jobs, lower taxes and happier lives.
Distracted by the demands of establishing themselves in new homes, schools or work environments, however, they sometimes underestimate the impact big moves can have on their financial profiles, especially when they change states.
Although the coronavirus pandemic boosted the rate of migration in 2020, it upheld patterns established in previous years, according to United Van Lines. Mainly, people moved to western and southern states from communities in the Northeast, Midwest, and California.
Based on United Van Lines’ data, the top reasons for moving include:
New job opportunity or company transfer (47.98%);
Closer to family (23.66%);
Retirement (20.15%); and
Lifestyle change (13.08%).
New job opportunities and transfers make sense as the number-one reason to move. According to Bloomberg News, “Americans who move see green” — and some of them could use help on the ground managing the extra income.
Businesses understand that our migration habits are economically impactful. That’s why big enterprises like Walmart and Macy’s, as well as local hospitals, dental practices, and realtors, aim a lot of their marketing at people on the move. They know new residents have immediate needs like shelter, transportation, furniture, and new wardrobes for new climates, as well as a new roster of healthcare providers.
A new service that provides end-client referrals
But an interstate change of residence also calls for financial preparation. At a minimum, financial preparation for a move should entail a review of financial plans and documents, and a strategic reappraisal of aims and expectations, conducted by, or in consultation with, a local expert. Movers with substantial assets may in fact need a new or additional wealth-management team, a contingency we often encounter.
All of this is one reason why Dynasty Financial Partners is preparing Dynasty Connect, now in beta phase, for launch. The new unit can help recent and prospective movers obtain financial advice suited to their needs from wealth managers — drawn from Dynasty’s network of independent, fiduciary financial advisors — who understand the new locale.
After all, there are some 13,000 independent RIAs in the US, and the market is split between client-facing financial planners and wealth managers on one side, and sub-categories of asset managers, hedge funds, and other entities that don’t cater to individual investors. In this milieu, unaided searches can be scattershot affairs.
Moving state to state is an event with financial repercussions
Interstate migrants aren’t just changing scenery. By virtue of crossing state lines, they may also be subject to tax regimes they may not know how to navigate. Beyond taxes, they should review all aspects of their financial lives, to make sure their plans match where they live. Otherwise, they risk preventable financial setbacks as plans formulated for conditions and laws in one place, prove sub-optimal in a new setting.
Besides tax considerations, other pillars of financial wellness we urge movers crossing state lines to consider are:
Investments. Make sure the municipal bonds in a portfolio get the same tax treatment in the new location, otherwise adjustments may be in order. It’s also helpful to know that states tax the proceeds of stock dividends at different rates.
Estate plans. Tax and probate rules can vary from state to state, which may call for updating wills, creating trusts, or adjusting powers-of-attorney. For one thing, out-of-state property may be better housed in a trust or LLC to minimize probate costs.
Cost of living. Moving states can entail a whole new standard of living, especially where home prices are much different, and where private schooling or daycare is in the cards. A new perch can leave one with more or less cash flow, warranting a substantial re-think, especially around household budgeting.
And there are other financial factors that, depending on variables, may require attention.
Moving isn’t the only reason to look for an advisor
But movers aren’t the only ones benefiting from Dynasty Connect.
One person we know received a $5 million offer for his business, and wanted help assessing the offer and formulating a plan for using the proceeds to fund his retirement. We assisted him with finding an advisor that fit his needs.
Another advisor-seeker Dynasty helped came into a chunk of her inheritance years earlier than expected as her father had just completed a comprehensive estate plan. Suddenly much wealthier than before, she wanted help to make the most of her new-found wealth.
Under its new end-client referral program, Dynasty plans to source and distribute end-client referrals to advisors in its network. The referrals will be sourced directly through that network, as well as centers of influence, events, Dynasty's website, and its social media presence. We will also leverage its athlete partnerships to drive referrals.
Joe D’Agostino is Head of Investment Platform and Product Strategy at Dynasty Financial Partners in St. Petersburg, Fla.