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Old 27-07-2012, 18:14   #1
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Not a Resident of Anywhere Buy My Boat

I have been bumping up against this for years and I hate it.
Check boxes. Not enough choices.

More specifically, Physical residence.

When I work, I work legally outside of the US. I am brought in by whatever company wants me in whatever country. I fly there and work for months at a time, then I return to my boat, which happens to be in Mexico now. I travel on a US passport. I am a US citizen by birth.

I have not had a residence other than my boat for years. I am a nomad as are many of us.

I have a mailing address at St Brendan's. And I understand that can become my "residence" in Florida if I choose. But I don't choose.

I have now filed for Social Security, and had to give a residence address or NO CIGAR. I do use the address of my friends shop in California as both a mailing address and physical address. But I'm tired of doing that.

Did I mention that I am a real nomad? I don't herd goats or yaks, but I truly am a nomad. That admission was like a revelation to me.

Now I want to register to vote. I am still a citizen and I really want to cancel out the votes of as many people who disagree with me as I can, which would be a total of one.

I especially don't want to register as a Californian.

We all have to be someplace. But do we have to permanently reside there?

I feel like I am asking an unanswerable question. But has been bothering me for a long time. I like my life. I don't like check boxes that do not apply to me.

Nomads unite. And if you're not to busy, tell me the answer.
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Old 27-07-2012, 18:25   #2
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

Gov't entities don't like nomads -- much harder to tax them and lay hands on them. That's why I keep a US address, US phone number, US fax number, and often use a VPN so that I even have US IP address.

I think fighting the issue, though not without merit, is probably futile. It is easier just to give them the answer that makes them happy. Answering "wherever I drop the hook" to the permanent residency question does NOT make them happy.
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Old 27-07-2012, 18:28   #3
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

Oh, and if you maintain a permanent address...sooner or later someone is going to send a jury duty summons....not showing up for jury selection does not make them happy either!
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Old 27-07-2012, 19:55   #4
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

Ann and I have used my sister's address in Chicago since 1986. It is on all of our documentation, has appeared on tax forms, clearance papers, boat regos and so on. No one has ever had a problem with this. Neither of us has had a jury summons. We have not physically been there since 1988.

Seems to work for us.

Cheers,

im
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Old 27-07-2012, 20:10   #5
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

Minggat,

Legally speaking you remain a resident of your current state until you establish residency somewhere else. The question turns on a theory called 'domicile.'

Basically you remain a domicilery of the state, county, town, district, ect, you had when you first became a nomad until you establish a new domicile somewhere else. So to establish a new domicile, you have to move to somewhere else, with the intent to remain there permanently.

For a cruiser, you can pretty much just pick a place, and claim that it is your home base, with the intent to live there permanently when you are done cruising. Popular places are the USVI, Floeida, and Texas. Simply because they don't have state income taxes.
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Old 27-07-2012, 23:06   #6
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

Thanks for the comments.

Not clear on the difference between a permanent resident and a domicilery. I know that spell check doesn't like it much.

So I am not allowed to be a nomad until I buy my first goat and start marching it around hinterlands I guess.

SBI is feeling kinda cozy/homie about now.
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Old 27-07-2012, 23:36   #7
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

We use an address in Oregon, have boat doc.there. but keep a Legal In Louisiana addy which is a PO BOX! its on my passport, and dr lic, and the zarpes I get when we leave the USA, I recieve ss payments at a bank electronicly, vote in LA. in person when we are here, or by mail if sailing ! never had a problem as yet !
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Old 28-07-2012, 01:00   #8
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

A Nomad lifestyle may be attractive but as mentioned by previous posters, you can end up digging yourself a bureaucratic "hole" that will both expensive and difficult to get out of later in life.

Assuming (you did not say) that you have been earning money outside the USA and not filing IRS or California State tax returns - you will, when applying for Social Security - be sticking your fiscal neck up out of your nomad "shell." And you just might get it "lopped off" with IRS or California State Tax bureaucrats who want to extract their pound of your flesh for not paying or filing with them over the years.

Getting back into the "system" is not all that difficult and St Brendan's Isle can assist in getting you "visible" again for all the purposes you mentioned. But you might be opening a new can of worms when and if the "Feds" or others notice you again.
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Old 28-07-2012, 01:07   #9
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

sounds like you already have a resident address, you've already applied for SS.

if you're main concern is voting, you can vote from abroad with an absentee ballot.

if you're question is about establishing residency. All you need is a valid address (pretty much any mailing service) and maybe a birth certificate or passport. it's very simple for an american to establish residency in america...
And you are welcome to vote from anywhere.
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Old 28-07-2012, 06:38   #10
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Oh, and if you maintain a permanent address...sooner or later someone is going to send a jury duty summons....not showing up for jury selection does not make them happy either!
We have a St. Brendan's Isle address and Florida resdence...

Last fall they sent me a jury summons while I was in Mexico.

I called Clay Country and the phone was answered by a real person who transferred me to another real person....

I told the Jury Pool Manager I was retired, fulltime cruising and didn't expect to back in the 5 for five years. She dismissed me over the phone, without asking for proof.

You have to love Florida!
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Old 28-07-2012, 07:17   #11
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

So, this St. Brendan's Isle thing is working out for cruisers? I was just looking at their web site yesterday.

We're residents of the Turks and Caicos, and US citizens, and pay fed taxes and vote absentee, but what we don't do is get most of our mail. The US postal service has real problems forwarding mail here. We estimate we might get about 40% of it. The problem, judging by the stamps on the envelopes we do receive is that someone in the USPS sees "Turks" and sends the mail to Frankfurt, Germany, which I guess is the next official US mail stop on the way to Turkey. Then the people in Germany apparently often see the word Islands and forward the mail that was headed for Turkey to Iceland. We've received letters that went from Miami to Frankfurt to Reykjavik several times. we commonly get some of our christmas cards in April and May. And we don't know how much mail we never see at all.

It's pretty challenging to live outside the USA and still function there. We have a travel trailer parked in Colorado, and keeping plates on it is another hassle. I think we're going to form an LLC in Montana for that.
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Old 28-07-2012, 09:19   #12
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

I am anticipating these same problems when we leave the land based life.

In Florida, you can only cast your ballot in the precinct in which you reside. When you register to vote and then every time you get your ballot either at the polls or by mail, you swear that your residence is actually in that precinct. I'll probably use the address of a friend that will accept us as roommates when we move back until we find a new residence. This avoids the perjury issue.

Registering to vote in Florida is also the trigger for jury summons.

Registering for Social Security will put you on the state tax man's radar. Florida does not have an income tax and therefore does not tax Social Security. Some states do tax Social Security benefits, hence Social Security's requirement for a physical residence.

Good luck!
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Old 28-07-2012, 09:43   #13
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
....Neither of us has had a jury summons. We have not physically been there since 1988.

Seems to work for us.

Cheers,

im
Has worked well for me too. I only recently got a jury summons, but then again they still send them to my deceased mother and wife too....maybe I should just write "deceased" on it and send it back!
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Old 28-07-2012, 09:48   #14
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

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.
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Old 28-07-2012, 09:55   #15
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Re: Not a resident of anywhere buy my boat

You're sure to get on the voter lists if you claim you are deceased. Many states, like Florida and Illinois, have programs to resurect the dead every 4 years to vote. Capt Phil
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