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Spouses Relocate Too

A 2013 survey done by LearnVest and Chase Blueprint® tells us that 60 percent of American families believe that a dual income is necessary in order to afford their desired lifestyle. Fifty-nine percent of millennial women believe that living together with their significant other is a legitimate lifestyle and that raising a family in such lifestyle, even without marriage, is perfectly suitable. What does this mean for relocation? It means that companies need to start paying more attention to their spousal assistance benefits.

I recently found out that my boyfriend, Matt, whom I have lived with for the past three years, was offered an amazing job opportunity in Florida through his current employer. We discussed our options for a couple months before we decided to make the move together. While this was incredible in every way for Matt, I feared I would have to leave my job here at XONEX and start from scratch in a new state with no connections.

You can take the girl out of the relocation industry but you can’t take the relocation industry out of the girl. I immediately asked about what spousal assistance his company was offering. “But we aren’t married, I doubt they will offer anything,” was Matt’s response.

Based on the statistics outlined above, and the increasing percentage of Millennials in the workplace, companies who don’t offer assistance to live in partners, regardless of marital status, should really examine and refine their relocation packages.

Trailing spouse no longer translates to only a wife or husband. A couple living together, sharing expenses and a life together should be included in whatever benefits a company offers. That being said, let’s get into the most important forms of spousal assistance and why companies benefit from offering them.

A transferee coming from a dual income family will be concerned about their spouse or significant other’s ability to find a meaningful job in the new location. This concern will impact their capacity to do meaningful work themselves. The stress of a relocation coupled with helping their family to Spouses Relocate Tooadjust to a new city, a new school, and a new job search will take away from their individual productivity. In fact, the majority of failed relocations are due to spousal dissatisfaction.

Spousal assistance benefits should consider skill set and geographic location. Benefits can range from mapping out career options to employer research, resume writing, and creating an online presence. Depending on company budget, other options include interview coaching and on-going career counseling provided by a third party.

When looking over spend and making adjustments to your relocation budget, it may seem easy to cut back or eliminate spousal employment assistance, but this is a bad move. With one of the main reasons for failed relocations being spousal dissatisfaction (especially with international moves), it is not an area that should be taken lightly.

As it turns out, I will continue working with XONEX after the move as a remote employee. Looks like you can’t take the girl out of the relocation industry after all! However, had I not been so fortunate, the relocation package offered to Matt did in fact recognize our living arrangement as valid and acceptable for spousal assistance. In today’s workforce, it’s important to consider the many different living arrangements that are now commonplace. Dual income, non-married couples should receive the same assistance that a married couple would in terms of assistance. Remember, the most important part of a relocation is ensuring the success of your transferee.

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MIKE CANNING
VP, Client Services

RICK CALANNI
VP of Business Development Northeast Region

 

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