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Kiltedpig

Domicile analysis

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I know that SD, TX and FL are the most popular domicile states for full-time RV folks. Has anyone posted an analysis of them side by side? Which is the cheapest concerning taxes, licenses and easiest to deal with as a full-timer? I live in CA and need to get out of this place when I full-time. Fixed income requires the best low cost alternative.

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Too many variables to do this effectively, I think. So much depends on your age, marital status, vehicle type, financial needs, county/city, etc. Then you no sooner get it all figured out than some government entity changes their rules and you have to start all over again. So there is no way to make a definitive chart that would work for everyone.

 

Linda Sand

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Linda has it right, too many possible issues that vary from person to person. We had to do a lot of digging to find a state that worked for us due to some fairly unique circumstances. I'd recommend you do what we did, start with Texas and the Escapees mail service and research the Texas state's laws carefully to see if any will be a problem for you, check prices for taxes and fees and if they aren't unacceptable go with Texas.

 

If Texas won't do for some reason look to SD or FL, which one first is a toss-up, maybe your travel plans would be the best way to pick which to do first. Give it the same checking you did Texas and if it won't work go back and do the same for the last of the three.

 

Doing all three sounds like a good plan but it is going to eat a huge amount of time and if your situation is complicated some legal fees.

 

We were very unhappy TX wouldn't work for us (state law issue) and we had to go to SD. While SD sucked a bit compared to TX due to their driver's license rules and mail service cost the sales tax was lower than TX. With no state law issues so we landed there and were reasonably happy. We'd have hated Florida, both been there in the past and wanted no part of it in our RVing plans.

 

For mail I'd go Escapees as a first choice. If you look at other services pay careful attention to the business continuation plan in case of death or other issues. A mail service is a re-mailing service, not a forwarder, that means all your mail to the service will be returned to sender if they fold unexpectedly. Seen that happen a few times and IT IS UGLY, you do not want to go there. If you look at other mail services/states pay careful attention to the county they are in as rules, fees and such can vary enough to make a difference.

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I know that SD, TX and FL are the most popular domicile states for full-time RV folks. Has anyone posted an analysis of them side by side? Which is the cheapest concerning taxes, licenses and easiest to deal with as a full-timer? I live in CA and need to get out of this place when I full-time. Fixed income requires the best low cost alternative.

 

If you are under 65 and have to purchase your own health insurance, then FL is your only viable alternative if you plan to buy ACA ("Obamacare") health insurance -- which could qualify you for a subsidy.

 

I think it's safe to say that health care costs trump (no pun intended) all other domicile considerations. Mail service, vehicle registration, and even state taxes pale in comparison to medical costs.

 

Out of SD, TX, and FL, in 2017 only FL will offer ACA BCBS health plans that appear to offer an RVer access to a national heath care network. In fact, for Sumter County (Escapee county), the same EPO plan (BlueSelect Essential 1452) is available again in 2017. However, using a SWAG, it looks like monthly premiums went up about $50/month.

 

In SD for 2017, it looks like only Avera will offer ACA PPO plans although these plans don't have national health care networks. Also, it looks like Avera premiums are going up -- a lot. For example, in Lincoln County the base (bronze) Avera plan is going from $574 to $818 (based on a 63-year-old female).

 

In TX for 2017, BCBS did indeed come back to TX (and Polk County), but BCBS is only offering HMOs on the ACA.

 

While there were many states that offered ACA BCBS PPO plans in 2016 (see ACA BCBS PPO Plans (2016)), it looks like BCBS PPO plans are turning into BCBS HMO plans in 2017 (my SWAG).

 

See https://www.healthcare.gov/ for 2017 health plan previews, and https://www.healthsherpa.com/ after November 1st (it's much easier to navigate than the Healthcare.gov site).

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I am in a very similar situation as Kiltedpig: 38 years old, living in CA, and looking to go full time next year. I am considering my options and since CA is a pretty tax aggressive state, I will probably have to buy some kind of real estate in the new domicile state to fully break my CA residency. I was seriously considering TX since rock climbing is serious hobby of mine and some of the best to be done in North America happens to be near El Paso, TX. Zulu's post, however, gets me to reconsider and running my numbers indeed suggests a notable saving for healthcare costs in FL vs TX. How do you know which providers have country-wide coverage? How hard is it to establish domicile in FL vs TX?

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Establishing domicile is pretty easy in any of the three states, owning property is not required. I'd make sure to have an arrangement with the place you use for a physical address to return when you are in the area. Our mail service helped with that.

 

Health care costs are beyond me, folks that thought AZ was good this year are looking at a 100% plus bump next year.

 

If you head up in the Organ Mountains over by White Sands be prepared for a big buck deer to be coming down the crevice you are going up. Still no idea how that critter got past three of us with no damage to anything aside from our underwear. :-)

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I am in a very similar situation as Kiltedpig: 38 years old, living in CA, and looking to go full time next year. I am considering my options and since CA is a pretty tax aggressive state, I will probably have to buy some kind of real estate in the new domicile state to fully break my CA residency. I was seriously considering TX since rock climbing is serious hobby of mine and some of the best to be done in North America happens to be near El Paso, TX. Zulu's post, however, gets me to reconsider and running my numbers indeed suggests a notable saving for healthcare costs in FL vs TX. How do you know which providers have country-wide coverage? How hard is it to establish domicile in FL vs TX?

 

Although the Hueco Tanks is a nice climbing area, its not close to being the best in North America. Outside of Yosemite, Colorado has the overall best and most varied rock climbing areas in the country. Between RMNP, Eldorado Canyon, Garden of the Gods and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, you have enough high grade routes to last a lifetime. Even Colorado's northern neighbor Wy has more rock routes in the Wind Rivers, Tetons & Vedauwoo than Tx. But no need to choose your domicile state based on climbing areas, once you establish your new domicile be it TX, SD or Fl, you can spend your time traveling the west to a different climbing area each year.

As far as buying property, its really not necessary as long as you make a clean & complete break from all your Ca ties. Many of us escaped the grasp of the Ca FTB without issue when we transitioned to fulltime Rv'er.

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I am in a very similar situation as Kiltedpig: 38 years old, living in CA, and looking to go full time next year. I am considering my options and since CA is a pretty tax aggressive state, I will probably have to buy some kind of real estate in the new domicile state to fully break my CA residency. I was seriously considering TX since rock climbing is serious hobby of mine and some of the best to be done in North America happens to be near El Paso, TX. Zulu's post, however, gets me to reconsider and running my numbers indeed suggests a notable saving for healthcare costs in FL vs TX. How do you know which providers have country-wide coverage? How hard is it to establish domicile in FL vs TX?

First, welcome to the Escapee forums! We are pleased to have you join us here and you are very welcome to ask questions and start new threads/subjects as much as you wish.

 

Keep in mind that Escapees have three options for choice of state as domicile, and all three of those states have other choices besides the Escapee service. I pretty much agree with things posted thus far. With your need for healthcare insurance, you probably need to look at those options first, but keep in mind that there are a very wide range of issues which should be considered beyond the issue of taxes and vehicle registrations. There are only a few states that allow the use of a mail service for legal issues like registering cars, voting, driver's licenses, and a host of other things, but there are others besides TX,FL, & SD. The reason that those three are so popular is that they also have no state income taxes or required time of residence to use them as domicile, as many states do. For years the 3 states have been most popular but with the issues of current healthcare laws it has caused some major changes in best choices.

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How do you know which providers have country-wide coverage? How hard is it to establish domicile in FL vs TX?

 

Call the provider. Some woman reported in this forum that she became a Floridian in 24 hours. Forgot her name -- others here may know.

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First, welcome to the Escapee forums! We are pleased to have you join us here and you are very welcome to ask questions and start new threads/subjects as much as you wish.

 

Keep in mind that Escapees have three options for choice of state as domicile, and all three of those states have other choices besides the Escapee service. I pretty much agree with things posted thus far. With your need for healthcare insurance, you probably need to look at those options first, but keep in mind that there are a very wide range of issues which should be considered beyond the issue of taxes and vehicle registrations. There are only a few states that allow the use of a mail service for legal issues like registering cars, voting, driver's licenses, and a host of other things, but there are others besides TX,FL, & SD. The reason that those three are so popular is that they also have no state income taxes or required time of residence to use them as domicile, as many states do. For years the 3 states have been most popular but with the issues of current healthcare laws it has caused some major changes in best choices.

 

Kirk I am in the near future planning on using Texas as my resident state. I now live in Missouri and have retired earlier then expected due to an injury and then complications while having surgery to correct the injury. With that said I am on SSD because I have been labeled as disabled. I am only 56 at this time and am on medicare. I want to start drawling from my pension and 401K and because Tx has no state income tax I want to set myself up in that State before drawling from them making every dollar count. Could you shed some light on the subject of what is involved in and the procedures to become a Texan. Oh and I do have children and family that are now in Texas. Another reason for the choice. you said that property is not required so can I just show up down there and title and register my truck and trailer along with switching over from my Mo drivers License to a Tx license?

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Kirk I am in the near future planning on using Texas as my resident state.

I will offer several thoughts but also share a couple of links that should be helpful to you in this move. Let me add that while I am not disabled, I retired just at 57 via an early retirement and looking back consider it one of my wiser life choices. If you have not done so, I do suggest you read this article published in Escapees Magazine to explain a bit more about domicile. The second link is to a free booklet from Escapees, How To Become A Real Texan and it will give a basic explanation of the steps required.

 

You will need to have an established address in TX before you can move your driver's license and vehicle registrations here and you could use the address of one of your children residing here but I'd suggest that you at least consider joining Escapees RV Club and then using them as your legal address, which is the only mail service address which was tested through the courts and upheld. While using your children as a mail service may be satisfactory, Escapees has a long track record of excellent mail service and I have used them with no complaints since early 2000. It will avoid any issue as to what your children need to do for you or which one you may choose, since you then would have a fully legal address of your own which is also very flexible. In addition, by choosing them you will become a resident of Polk County which is an area that Escapees are very welcomed in and Livingston is probably the only city in the world where no businessman, professional person, or public servant will ever wonder how you live as everyone knows and most support and solicit our business. Public servants in Polk County are very helpful and Escapee friendly. I am attaching a listing of contact information for Polk County which I am sure that you will find very helpful if you choose to call them. Those folks work with arriving Escapees on a frequent basis and know how to help.

 

 

For Driver's License Information:

Livingston Driver License Office

1735 N. Washington

Livingston, TX. 77351

936-327-6806

Texas Department of Public Safety

1735 N. Washington

Livingston, TX. 77351

936-327-68066

For Voter Registration:

County Clerk's Office

PO Drawer 2119

Livingston, TX. 77351

936-327-6804

For Tax Billing Information and Auto Registration:

Tax Assessor's Office

416 N. Washington

Livingston, TX. 77351

936-327-6801

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I will offer several thoughts but also share a couple of links that should be helpful to you in this move. Let me add that while I am not disabled, I retired just at 57 via an early retirement and looking back consider it one of my wiser life choices. If you have not done so, I do suggest you read this article published in Escapees Magazine to explain a bit more about domicile. The second link is to a free booklet from Escapees, How To Become A Real Texan and it will give a basic explanation of the steps required.

 

You will need to have an established address in TX before you can move your driver's license and vehicle registrations here and you could use the address of one of your children residing here but I'd suggest that you at least consider joining Escapees RV Club and then using them as your legal address, which is the only mail service address which was tested through the courts and upheld. While using your children as a mail service may be satisfactory, Escapees has a long track record of excellent mail service and I have used them with no complaints since early 2000. It will avoid any issue as to what your children need to do for you or which one you may choose, since you then would have a fully legal address of your own which is also very flexible. In addition, by choosing them you will become a resident of Polk County which is an area that Escapees are very welcomed in and Livingston is probably the only city in the world where no businessman, professional person, or public servant will ever wonder how you live as everyone knows and most support and solicit our business. Public servants in Polk County are very helpful and Escapee friendly. I am attaching a listing of contact information for Polk County which I am sure that you will find very helpful if you choose to call them. Those folks work with arriving Escapees on a frequent basis and know how to help.

Thank You very much for your response. That is exactly what I needed to know. And I was/am going to join the escapees I was just waiting for the right time and it sure sounds like this is the time. I have been checking on all the benefits that come with joining and it seems like it never ends I just keep finding more. Maybe we will meet sometime down the road. Thanks again and If you are not opposed I may ask you more questions in the future.

 

Safe Travels to you

 

Norm

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in Texas how long does it take to get the vehicles registered and the driver's license changed over? we would have the Escapees mail service all set up.

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I want to start drawling from my pension and 401K and because Tx has no state income tax I want to set myself up in that State before drawling from them making every dollar count.

You really want to wait until you are 59 1/2 years old before drawing any of that 401 money.

Otherwise their is a 10% penalty on top of the regular taxes due for any withdraw.

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You really want to wait until you are 59 1/2 years old before drawing any of that 401 money.

Otherwise their is a 10% penalty on top of the regular taxes due for any withdraw.

 

Then you want to draw as much as you can without bumping up into the next tax bracket so you won't have to make huge withdrawals when you reach 70 1/2.

 

Linda Sand

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I just want to reiterate what others are saying...take your time and look very close at all the variables before you pick a state. When we went full-time I jumped at SD because my son and granddaughter lived there. I discovered that personal legal issues involving some land could really hurt us if we moved from OR so I had to spend a lot of time undoing what I had already done. Nothing negative about SD. I was just so anxious to be full-time and get all our stuff moved I didn't take the time to discuss it with our tax preparer and attorney.

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Earl, For a vast majority of folks changing domicile is so easy and problem free that a few folks that do have issues never think to look until something bites them. Glad to hear your issue was solvable, too many aren't reversible.

 

Can't say it enough do your research, then consult professionals on any issues you aren't 100% sure on. Look before you leap!

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For us (soon to retire federal workers) it does not appear that Health Insurance will be a issue since we will carry our federal plan into retirement (and the plan is Nation-well actually, world-wide).

 

We understand that when we turn 65, Medicare becomes primary and again as we understand it, that is a nation-wide plan.

 

We have been considering Coach-Net - at least the roadside plan - and possibly the more comprehensive extended warranty as well. We have been told that domicile can really affect premiums and that (for example) FL is one of the worst states for insurance premiums (whereas we have been told SD is among the best.

 

Would appreciate any thoughts or comments on these issues!

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I think insurance rates are much more local than just a state, it has been a long while since we looked though.

 

It might be well worth your time to check a couple geographically distant locations in each state to see how they compare.

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Keep in mind I am no expert. I read somewhere I believe in was on the Escapee site. The publication it brought up an issue I wasn't considering. If you were to get a jury duty notice or heaven forbid an audit from IRS would you want to have to navigate in the deep of winter back to your Domicile. I for one do not care to head into SD in the snow and ice. Just saying...

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We domiciled in Livingston, TX with the Escapees mail forwarding service. Jury duty for a Texas domicile - Livingston, anyway, was absolutely no issue. We just called and said we were traveling.

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