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Old 28-07-2012, 10:17   #16
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

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I hope the US will smarten up like the Uk and NZ and stop paying government benefits to those living overseas! These monies are meant not just to support retired folks but put money back into the local economies.
We pay US Federal Taxes on our income. We're as 'entitled' to US government benefits as much or maybe more than US residents, since we don't use most of the services that our taxes are paying to support. We're not using the roads, bridges, Army, Navy, etc. but we're paying the same share as though we were. Uncle Sam definitely collects more from US taxpayers living abroad than he pays out in useful benefits.
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Old 28-07-2012, 11:05   #17
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

I believe some of these other countries require a reasonable 6 month yearly stay to continue to be eligible.

not looking to start a big thing on this. Just to quickly point out no one has a problem with government spending when the check is made out to them!
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Old 28-07-2012, 11:37   #18
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

Well to me it's just a return of the moneys Ive paid into the SS system over 50 + years of paying the ss taxs!! it should make no differnce where I live !! It made no difference to the Gov. where I worked, I still paid the Tax!! If I had put the money in the same place I put my private investments, I would be recieveing about 3 times as much money as I am from SS. so I sure cant see why the Gov should say where I can live !! I can almost live a decent life, In Mexico, Belize, or a couple of other countrys, on the pittance the Gov pays from SS!! I don't know how anyone can live on 800.00 per month!! Maybe folks like the fella who thinks we should stay In the US inorder to recieve the benifits we PAID for, should try to make it on the amount of money this man Is recieveing !! Just my 2 cents
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Old 28-07-2012, 11:49   #19
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

The Federal income taxes don't go to our government anyway. It goes to the Federal Reserve Bank to pay the interest on the money they loan to our government. The 'services' in question are paid for by sales taxes, business tax, property tax, and many other locality specific taxes. So if your not living in the locality you're not paying for the services, but you're also not using them. The government 'benefits' like SS and medicare comes out of our income separately from income taxes, so it was always our money to begin with that we loaned to our government so they can allocate it to the ones in need.

And indeed, it's not possible to survive on the 'returns' of our lifelong governmental investment while living in here. It's all very confusing...
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Old 28-07-2012, 11:52   #20
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

We tried being truly homeless for a couple of years but kept bumping up against the same nonsense the OP referred to. So we gave up and went on a western Canada road tour looking for the absolute cheapest physical property we could abide saying we owned. We put advertisements up on decaying billboards in dying towns all across Saskatchewan and eventually settled on Buchanan. It cost us a small amount of capital and a minimal amount of annual maintenance in the form of taxes, water/power bills and lawn mowing. In return whenever we cross a border we are "from" somewhere real, complete with all the official government forms to prove we have a physical residence. Sometimes you can't beat 'em but it doesn't have to cost a fortune to join 'em.

We could have pretended we lived in somebody's broom closet and maybe made that work but that route is not without risk and some expense as well. The way we have done it we can vote, cross borders, register vehicles and live just the way the pinhead bureaucrats think everybody should while still pursuing our nomadic lifestyle. And when we pull into a dock we are absolutely the only vessel people have ever seen with Saskatchewan on the transom.
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Old 28-07-2012, 11:59   #21
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

Jury duty and voter registration varies from place to place, often at the county rather than state level. Social Security and federal income tax obligation is at the federal level. Just because you have a Social Security number and pay federal income tax does not mean you are eligible to vote. Jury duty is a mixed bag. At the county and state level voter rolls are the first source but driver license rolls are sometimes used. Federal jury duty summons are culled from lots of sources including the census rolls.

While the feds sometimes do go after back taxes there is usually some minimum return expected. If you went ten years not paying taxes on $US20k I doubt the feds would waste the time trying to collect such a small amount, especially if you were still making $US20k a year. But there are exceptions.

Another thing you may want to consider is that Obamacare is enforced by the IRS and requires proof of health insurance. There may be other local govt requirements if you are self employed. Some states/cities also have boat registration requirements even if your boat stays out side the state, assuming the local govt knows about the boat.

The benefits of getting an Social Security number are great, but there are also lots of costs.
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Old 28-07-2012, 14:29   #22
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

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...
Another thing you may want to consider is that Obamacare is enforced by the IRS and requires proof of health insurance. There may be other local govt requirements if you are self employed...
Per what I read in the bill itself, US Citizens living abroad are automatically assumed to be compliant. No proof required (except probably for the "living abroad" part).

Now, of course if you are claiming residency in the US, but actually living somewhere else...then this could get a little cloudy. I assume that the proof-of-insurance must be from a US company, but could not find that in the bill. I carry insurance from a Guatemalan company, but expect that was not the intent of the legislation.

In my case, I'm going to the City to get my finalized Guatemalan Residency papers next week (finally applied...after 6 years of living here!), but I plan to keep all my USA addresses etc. I'm hoping that at least will sufficiently confuse the issue so that some bureaucrat will chose an easier target to harass.
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Old 28-07-2012, 14:43   #23
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

minggat, you will find definitions of "residence" and "domicile" may vary from state to state but there are usually state laws defining them for that state. In some states you become a resident, like it or not, if you stay 30 days. In others, you can become a resident simply by declaring that you intend to return and live there at some point in the future. It varies.

You may be a stateless person with no residence, in which case SS may not be able to serve you. From their point of view, you have to live somewhere, you have to hve a mailing address to open a bank account where they can pay you. But if you really live nowhere? There's no such thing as "federal only" voting, AFAIK. Federal voting is for federal citizens, who are always, you know, citizens of some member state (or the 11 insular possessions) and state citizenship is usually tied to residency.
If you don't want to live anyplace, don't want to put down roots, don't want to join a community...you may have a problem with residency. And your SS and other benefits (i.e. Medicare) may be tied to whatever state your check is mailed to. So, pick your poison.
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Old 30-07-2012, 07:38   #24
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

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So, this St. Brendan's Isle thing is working out for cruisers?
Not just "working out." Working out extremely well, for many people, for many years. And not just for cruisers, either. I know several nomadic RV-dwellers (my sister is into that lifestyle) who also use the service.

Of course, it's your choice, Minggat, but I'm curious why you don't want to just use SBI as your residence? Lots of people do that, without any complications, and it makes their lives far simpler.
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Old 30-07-2012, 08:06   #25
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

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So, this St. Brendan's Isle thing is working out for cruisers? I was just looking at their web site yesterday.
We have been using SBI for about three years and became Florida residents about two years ago after I retired and we started fulltime cruising.

Over the last two years SBI has been a invaluable to our cruising experience!

When required they have always found the most expediate and cheap methods of forwarding our mail/packages.

Their scanning service is great and elliminates most of the need to forward mail. For those of you not familiar, SBI scans youincoming envelopes or mailing labels to a secure server... You log in with your password and determine if youwant the item forwarded, scanned to pdf, held or thrown away. If you request a scan, the item will be openned, scanned nd vailable to view, normally the same day.

Twice now I have had them scan my W-2 forms and then I filled my Federal Taxes sitting on my boat in Mexico with Turbo Tax. No waiting for the W-2 to be forwarded from a relative or friend.

SBI can also act as an agent and sign your Vessel Documention annual renewal card every year, thus avoiding unnecessary delays with forwarding the request card and returning it to the USCG

SBI will help you establish residency in Florida. Initial they helped us file paper work with the County Clerk, that basically made us dual residents of Florida a year before I retired...

The when we retired, we flew down and obtained our Drivers Licenses and Voter Registration Cards in about 20 minutes at the local Green Cove Springs (Clay County) DMV.

The diffrence in cost between SBI and the UPS Store mail box we were using before was about $3 per month... and they provided none of those services.

If you are cruising fulltime, I would highly recommend St Brendan's Isle!
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Old 30-07-2012, 08:16   #26
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

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So, pick your poison.
I didn't realize that this thread had not died a couple of days ago. I also didn't realize my typo in the title of this thread. "buy my boat" should of course be "but my boat"

As far as the government not handing back to it's retired citizens what they have paid into for their retirement, I can't imagine that being one of the things the US government should "get smart about". If they did, I suppose they could justify seizing bank US accounts that non residence have put their earning in.

Since this really is an unanswerable question, I am going to go ahead and utilize my SBI "residence". But I started this because it was just eating at me that residence has to be "residence". Especially if I want some of that "free money" I've been forced to put away for myself.
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Old 30-07-2012, 15:40   #27
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

Aside from the diversions into political opinions about this, that, and everything, the bottom line of this thread is that it is neither difficult nor complicated for a US citizen to establish or maintain a "physical address" in the USA.

Planning ahead before your leave with your boat on your cruise of a lifetime can save so many future hassles and potential problems, that not doing it would be, IMHO, as stupid as starting an ocean crossing without any research into the weather patterns/forecasts.

Florida, being a coastal State and overflowing with boaters and cruisers, along with not having any significant State Taxes that you need to pay attention to, is a logical choice for long-term cruisers to use as a "residence address." I am sure that there are a few other States (as other posters have mentioned) that also have similar benefits for long term cruising folks or folks living outside the USA for extended periods of time.

So many cruising folk use S.B.I. that during my first couple of years of active cruising in the Bahamas and Caribbean I was amazed at the number of cruisers whose boat cards listed "Green Cove Springs" (home town of S.B.I.) as their address. I thought - gee, that is one town that spawns a lot of cruisers. Then it was explained to me that the services of S.B.I. are "second to none" and getting better every year.

Setting up your "pseudo-physical address" at S.B.I. or other similar service gets all your "ducks in a row" and keeps the Fed's and everybody else "off your case" while you are enjoying sun-downers in the islands or hiking to waterfalls in the jungles. With Florida, things like Jury Duty, voting, drivers license renewals, etc. are simple and uncomplicated - with the caveat that they are best handled in "little town offices" versus big city offices. The "little old ladies" who have worked their whole life in these offices have "seen it all" and can help you through whatever boating, etc. problem you are having. They are great - I avoid the big city offices and their hundred person waiting rooms and instead try to find the little town offices.

When you have your "pseudo-physical address" linked to all your USA and State and Banking, etc. links there is little to do but enjoy your cruising lifestyle and log onto the internet whenever you hit a new port and check up on whats come in recently.

Trying to re-establish yourself in the USA after a long period of "ex-pat" living outside is indeed more difficult, but not all that difficult. You just have to slowly rebuild your links carefully so as to not "trigger" any bureaucracy's automatic computer parameters.

But bottom line for anybody planning on extended periods of time living "outside" the asylum - don't abandon or cut your "links" unless you really intend on never coming back or having to come back due to medical or financial disasters. For over a decade I was living "outside" the asylum and because I maintained my linkage to a pseudo-physical address in Florida - when I was med-evac'ed back, if was as if I had never left when it came to bureaucratic and medical affairs. Sure it cost me some money to keep some of the linkages alive, but I sure saved that amount 100 times over when I was dragged back into the "asylum."
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Old 30-07-2012, 15:51   #28
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

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I hope the US will smarten up like the Uk and NZ and stop paying government benefits to those living overseas! These monies are meant not just to support retired folks but put money back into the local economies.
boatguy--mebbe by the time you qualify , they will.......ye think the monies paid into the system as fica taxes are gifts and causing you grief?? folks earned their retirement--some is government given--and not really enough money on which to live in usa. what would you do??????

minggat--there are regulations governing the social security, federal documentation of boats, etc--ye have to have a usa or territorial waters address and live within these places. mine so far is sd, kali.
do you have a relative in usa or territorial waters???
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Old 30-07-2012, 17:36   #29
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

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minggat--there are regulations governing the social security, federal documentation of boats, etc--ye have to have a usa or territorial waters address and live within these places. mine so far is sd, kali.
do you have a relative in usa or territorial waters???
Yeah, I'm good... I hope. I gave them a California "physical address" that I have been using. I'm even hanging around So Cal for another week. We'll see just how OK I am.
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Old 31-07-2012, 21:50   #30
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

How about a shared space (house or commercial) subdivided into little compartments like Korbin Dallas's apartment in The 5th Element either at or near the marina. Half storage space, half bunkhouse. Each one could have compartments and a couple of fold out bunks. It could be decked out just like the cabin of a ship. There would be a common kitchen and bath / shower room. This business could also provide a mailing address as a base service like a Mailboxes Etc (now the UPS Store). The bunk / storage rooms would of course be extra. But something like this could provide a sailor with a place to store things he'd like to keep close but not want to have to keep on the boat all the time.
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