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Explorer01

Tallahassee, FL as domicile?

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I am in my early 50s and my current domicile does not have decent national healthcare options on ACA. In researching Florida options, I have found Tallahassee (Leon County) to be the best option for me for ACA.

The mail service there is called "Traveling Mailbox." As I understand it, the Traveling Mailbox fees are $15/mo (for specific number of mail pieces) plus the postage to forward mail, plus there is a $1 fee to hold pieces of mail for more than 60 days.

Does anybody have experience using Tallahassee as a domicile, or see any immediate "cons" to it? I am guessing it's a bit harder to fly in and out of than some of the eastern state locations.

 

 

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Thanks, but my question is really about whether there are any cons to Tallahassee as a domicile. I'm not really asking for other options for mail forwarding - I've looked at those but Leon County is better for me for healthcare.

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I have had domicile in Leon, Brevard, and Clay county and I didn't see any difference.  I don't know if health insurance would be different in different counties.  If I recall correctly Leon county cost me more to register a car.

 

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58 minutes ago, Explorer01 said:

Does anybody have experience using Tallahassee as a domicile, or see any immediate "cons" to it? I am guessing it's a bit harder to fly in and out of than some of the eastern state locations.

 

Since we are RV travelers, I'd be surprised if we have any members who have any experience with that service location. 

1 hour ago, Explorer01 said:

As I understand it, the Traveling Mailbox fees are $15/mo (for specific number of mail pieces) plus the postage to forward mail,

In looking at their website, Tallahassee is a "premium" address and so has an extra charge of $4.95/month, meaning you would pay $19.95/month and could go as high as $59.95/month. And like most such services, you must then also pay for the postage or shipping of anything they receive for you if it is forwarded. 

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2 hours ago, Explorer01 said:

I am in my early 50s and my current domicile does not have decent national healthcare options on ACA. In researching Florida options, I have found Tallahassee (Leon County) to be the best option for me for ACA.

 

How much of a difference in ACA is Leon to Brevard?  There is/was a mail forwarder in Merrit Island, Fl, which is in Brevard.  And Brevard is MUCH easier to get to via Orlando Int'l Airport.

Edited by remoandiris

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I am so glad I posted the question!

Thanks, Kirk, for finding the price differential for Traveling Mailbox. I had to click multiple times to find that additional amount.

Yes, healthcare with ACA varies a lot by county. 

A cursory check:

The healthcare plan would be $500 - 600 more per year for Brevard County (but this can and will change, I expect. I understand they'll know more about pricing for 2018 in Nov., but my current policy/job runs out at the end of October.) It's interesting - the % difference varies depending on how much income I plug in. Naturally, I don't know how much or if I'll work any next year, so it's a total guess as to what to plug in.

The Mailroom service (quick glance at the one I found quickly for Merritt Island) is 180/yr, 145 for 6 mo and 90 for 3 mo. 

I have more research to do. I don't really plan on hanging out in FL at all, but ease of access would be fairly important.

Edited by Explorer01

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ACA coverage in FL varies by zip code. We found that the more rural the zip code the cheaper the ACA pricing. It is for this reason that we picked Escapees MFS. Sumter County has some of the lowest costs when it comes to ACA. When we were looking it was well below Brevard or Leon.

 

I think you're looking at it wrong. Worry less about what the MFS costs and more at the ACA differences. It wasn't clear from your original post if you were planning to travel full-time. If so, which county you domicile in really doesn't matter. Of course, moot point if you plan to also stay in Tallahassee.

 

Sumter County is also super easy to declare domicile and register vehicles. Think small town. They answer the phone with a real voice when you need it.

 

BTW we have been very happy with our Florida Blue Plan off of the exchange. My wife is currently recuperating from a broken leg while we're in Oregon. She broke it in OR and we stayed to find an orthodox doc who could see her through her care for 6 weeks before we start heading south towards Albuquerque in September. The national coverage component of the plan has really helped.

 

Just a few thoughts for you. Good luck in your search.

 

 

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Thanks, Matt. 

Right now Leon County is less than all of the others I have checked this morning. Yesterday, I was not looking closely enough at comparable policies.  Here are the estimates for one income:

Leon County - BlueOptions 1419 $177
Sumter County - BlueSelect 1452 $207
Brevard County - BlueSelect 1452 $288

https://mbaileygroup.com/blog/difference-between-blue-care-blue-options-blue-select/ The Leon County policy is the better policy and at lower price (for my age, $177 vs $207 right now.) So prices for Sumter County are more in line with line with Leon than I initially thought. 

Right now I guess I'm not a normal full time RVer. I have a very small trailer and am just completing a multi-month job where I opted to rent a room (fantastic housemate!) for most of my stay and just parked my trailer for free on the grounds. However, I don't know if I'll work next year or just volunteer. My trailer is too small for absolute full-timing, but I hesitate to go larger until I have a better idea of what I want to do.

It'll all work out! I'm new to this - recently quit a corporate job. In the meantime, I'm learning a lot.

 

 

 

Edited by Explorer01

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I've had experience with Traveling Mailbox, and I was VERY pleased with the service.  We were "most-timers" for a little over a year before we went full time.  While we were most-timing, we used TM, with an address in our home state of Georgia.  Then, when we went full time, the ACA insurance coverage and rates were our primary consideration of where we were going to domicile.  We knew that Florida would be our state, but the cost of insurance between the different counties where the various mail services were located was quite a bit.  We chose to go with the Passport America service in Crestview based on the health insurance costs. 

 

For our particular healthcare situation, the cost was less at Crestview than either the TM Tallahassee address, or the Escapees Bushnell address.  As far as the mail service, I like Traveling Mailbox better than what we now have.  We don't get a lot of snail mail, but the cost of scanning is a lot less with Traveling Mailbox than the service we have now.  But the monthly health insurance premiums are much less for us by using the Crestview address.  Next year, everything may change, and we may "move" again.

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I would like to ask someone who either IS in Florida or is domiciled there about "New Rubber" tax when you move there, whether that move is real or on paper. I was going to move to Florida in 2004, before I realized it gets hotter than the surface of the sun there in summer. (I had only been to Florida in spring until then.) At that time it would have cost me $400 JUST to move my car registration to Florida. AND THEN pay for license plates. To do that now with both an RV and a car would mean $800 to move domicile there. Plates here in Ohio are like $55 a year or something very close to that.

Is that up front fee still $400 per vehicle in Florida?

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My domicile has been in Florida for around 17 years now.

Back

Why am I paying a $225 fee for "new wheels?" This is not a new car. The term "initial registration" is confusing.

The term "new wheels" does not appear in the law. Section 320.072, Florida Statutes, requires a fee of $225 to be imposed upon the initial application for registration on certain motor vehicle registration transactions. Whether the vehicle is new or used doesn't matter. Basically, the fee is due on any private-use automobile, any lightweight truck, or any motor home unless the vehicle being registered is a replacement for a vehicle that has been disposed in the same category of vehicles.
Here is a link to more answers. One thing to watch is when your birthday is to your registering. New wheels is a one time thing.
You must have FL. insurance on vehicles before getting plates
I pay for mine at 2 years at a time. MH $119.45 and toad $92.95 plus $2 mail fee. All done online
Drivers license is good for 8 yearsMore registration INFO

 

PS Back when I got mine the Wheel Tax was only $100 :)

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Aha. $225 each, not $400, and I have to move my insurance too. Plates are close in cost between OH and FL. My renewal month is June, and I am just now in August getting new plates for both the RV and the toad (both are new to me). However, I am also not yet close to leaving Ohio (house to sell that is not ready to list yet) so I need to watch timing. Likely be spring the earliest. My other option is that I keep everything in Ohio, and I can get a mailing address down in Columbus (I am in Cleveland) if I even bother with mail. The only first class mail I get is the utilities that will go away when the house does. Everything else is direct deposit, auto pay, and emailed contacts, so unlike folks who still have business dealings I can probably live without mail. My other main concern is my CCW permit. I don't want to have to hang around in Florida while I take another class there, apply for the permit and have to wait around for it to be done (here it takes 6-8 weeks). I have done a fair amount of reading about domiciles and it would seem that there is no real advantage for me to not keep my feet in Ohio. I wanted to hear it first hand from someone who knows what they are talking about though. I am retired and all my income is tax free, so I don't have to worry about state tax and such. So my circumstances may be unique to me, and I'll keep reading. Thanks for the first hand info.

Edited by eddie1261

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19 minutes ago, eddie1261 said:

My other option is that I keep everything in Ohio, and I can get a mailing address down in Columbus (I am in Cleveland) if I even bother with mail.

How could you possibly register & insure your vehicles in OH if you do not have an address that meets the DOT requirements? The same is true for your driving license. I am pretty sure that Ohio is one of the many states that require you to have a physical home address in order to do any of those. 

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Well, Kirk, my answer to that is actually more questions. Full time RV people, and I mean REALLY full time as in "does not own a home somewhere to ever go back to" do this all the time. That's what I will be. I plan to travel until I die in my RV and then my executor can worry about the details. So even if I claimed a domicile in one of the 3 states SKPs mail forward uses I still won't have a physical home address. So how do all those folks do that? I may not have a true grasp of the definition of "domicile". What is the real working definition?

The mail forwarding service I may use gives me an address in Columbus that appears to outsiders as being a physical street address. While it may be winking at the rules when my insurance carrier asks "What is the address and zip code where your vehicles will be parked" and I give them that mailing address, isn't that kind of how all full time nomad vagabonds do it? I mean I am selling my house and everything in it when I move out to the road so there is no longer "home".

Please do inform me what I don't have right so I don't make plans based on something that isn't true. That would be a horrible surprise to find out the week I have to leave my house forever.

My impression at this point in time is that you establish residency by (in essence) buying an address in either SD, TX or FL, and from that moment forward the world thinks you live there but you really live in the wind. It sounds from your reply that I am incorrect in that impression. Please do correct me, either here or in a private message.

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4 minutes ago, eddie1261 said:

So even if I claimed a domicile in one of the 3 states SKPs mail forward uses I still won't have a physical home address. So how do all those folks do that?

One of the main reasons those three states are so popular with RV folks is that all 3 states accept a mail forwarding service as a legal address, while most states do not. There are a few others that will accept mail service addresses, such as Nevada and I believe Tennessee. 

7 minutes ago, eddie1261 said:

Please do inform me what I don't have right so I don't make plans based on something that isn't true. That would be a horrible surprise to find out the week I have to leave my house forever.

I suggest that you go visit the Ohio BMT and ask them as it is their ruling which matters. It may be that they will accept what you have in mind, but I strongly suggest that you verify that with someone in that department. What the rules state is that you must show proof of an "Ohio street address." In most states that excludes mail forwarding service addresses, so I suggest that you check. 

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4 minutes ago, Biker56 said:

Florida CCW permits are accepted in OH.

I'm confused by that reply. My point is that it takes 6-8 weeks to get a CCW. I already have mine in Ohio and I want to keep it here. If I go to Florida I will have to complete a course given by a qualified Florida instructor. Then apply there and wait around for 6-8 weeks until they call me to tell me I can pick it up. I don't want to have to do that because that is about a $125 class fee and an application fee (it's $65 here) that I have already paid for once here in Ohio. As it stands right now I just need to apply for renewal next year and then I am good until 2023, and 37 states have reciprocity. They last 5 years here, so I'd only have to come back here every 5th year, as that license can't be renewed by mail.

This information about domicile as far as vehicle registration has me scurrying for a plan B. I am going to get plates for the toad tomorrow and I can ask them what kind of address Ohio recognizes as valid. If they don't accept a street address without a paid utility bill or something that makes them believe it is actually where I live, I have no idea what I would do next. I'll know tomorrow.

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FL recognizes classes taken in other states for CCW. They do not require a class dedicated to concealed carry like some states. You only need a hunting license or a basic pistol safety course with a certificate with the qualified instructor's credentials. Once you have FL domicile you can do this online or in person. They do require pictures and fingerprints. 

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Florida is Florida for this purpose. No state income tax and medical insurance, per Medicare, is what you need. I find Florida is kind to us seniors. Good Luck

 

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5 hours ago, eddie1261 said:

I'm confused by that reply. My point is that it takes 6-8 weeks to get a CCW. I already have mine in Ohio and I want to keep it here. If I go to Florida I will have to complete a course given by a qualified Florida instructor. Then apply there and wait around for 6-8 weeks until they call me to tell me I can pick it up. I don't want to have to do that because that is about a $125 class fee and an application fee (it's $65 here) that I have already paid for once here in Ohio. As it stands right now I just need to apply for renewal next year and then I am good until 2023, and 37 states have reciprocity. They last 5 years here, so I'd only have to come back here every 5th year, as that license can't be renewed by mail.

This information about domicile as far as vehicle registration has me scurrying for a plan B. I am going to get plates for the toad tomorrow and I can ask them what kind of address Ohio recognizes as valid. If they don't accept a street address without a paid utility bill or something that makes them believe it is actually where I live, I have no idea what I would do next. I'll know tomorrow.

 

Have a look at the Ohio CCW preciosity agreement. Ohio CCW covers most states, including Florida, but does not include the usual lefty states!  But, you still need to be fully aware of the state and local CCW rules where you plan to carry. Also be aware of the local rules on communicating if you are carrying, if stopped by a LEO.

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SOLVED!!!

I just got back from getting plates for the toad and I asked about this. The rulebook says "physical address". I asked for a definition of what qualifies as a "physical address" and the guy said "All they really mean is you can't use a PO Box as an address. Lots of people who travel a lot, like in an RV or something, have mailing addresses, but as long as they are actually valid street addresses they can use them." I hadn't even mentioned the RV when he told me that, so I will be able to do it that way in Ohio. Once I set the date for this to happen I have 30 days to change my DL to show the new address, which is pretty standard. So as far as BMV is concerned, I will be living in Columbus, and it is perfectly legal. Whew! One less thing to worry about.

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FYI - As far as my original post goes (using Traveling Mailbox or UPS for mail forwarding...)

Following an intense discussion with a person at the county tax collection office, I ended up moving my domicile and mail forwarding to Bushnell and joining the Escapees.

When I called the tax collection office to ensure they'd allow the documents that I had in hand (bank statements & phone bill) they said that they would not accept these. They wanted actual utility setup documentation for a place of residence. When I asked how other full-time RV people set up their domicile in Florida, the person said that full-time RV people list a campground as a residence.

The person said (several times) that the goal was to keep me legal with respect to the state regulations. After that, I felt uncomfortable with using a mail-forwarding without more backing like Escapees.

 

 

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