Relocation benefits have dramatically changed over the past few years (as well as many sign-on bonuses).
A survey put together by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) is a useful measure for relocation within the USA:
- 29% of companies surveyed give a lump sum for relocation
- 19% reimburse shipping fees
- 12% offer help with spouse relocation
- 6% reimburse for loss from home sale
- 3% offer mortgage assistance. Looking back, the survey authors report that "the prevalence of a number of housing and relocation benefits declined over the past five years.
What are some of the most basic items open for negotiation?
- Family and spousal assistance
- Travel expenses
- Temporary living arrangements
- Pre-move visit (to check out housing and schools)
- Moving costs
- Housing costs (in the new and old location) which may include the cost of breaking a lease
- For international moves, immigration assistance
Some of the "extras" may be:
- Elder care
- School choice assistance
- Cultural training
- Moving expenses for special items like pianos, artwork... and that horse, of course.
Keep in mind, most companies use third party relocation companies and are limited with making exceptions to their packages. Additionally, most of the companies offer lump sum relocation packages and also utilize third party monitoring for mostly tax purposes.
Make sure you research and get as much information as possible including budgets, local and state taxes, schools, commuting ability, and most importantly cost of living. Research the cost of living (COL) in your new location by checking:
Check out index prices for groceries, utilities, and rent versus buying. There is considerable information on most city and municipal websites where you are considering your move - check them out carefully.