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Old 28-02-2020, 12:31   #46
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Re: St Brendan's Isl mail service

We lived in France from 2007 to 2013, owned a house there and cruised our boat around N. Europe. We used SBI as a formal mailing address for some financial matters, because some investments required a US address. Both USAA and Bank of America accepted our French addresses, and sent stuff to us that required physical delivery. We had FL drivers licenses in Green Cove Springs that were fine for all our airline travel back to the US. US tax address was FL, as well. We got one jury duty request from the county , but they were very understanding when we called and explained that we were an 18 hour plane ride away.

Only real problem was that when I tried to get an Italian passport, none of the Italian consulates would deal with me because I was not officially a permanent resident in either France or the US. No permanent residency card in France, and no electricity bill in the USA. Officially homeless. Had to move back to FL to get the passport.

It can get tricky to declare residency, because there are consequences of such a declaration, and you don't want to have any government decide that you did not tell them the truth about something like that.
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Old 28-02-2020, 13:42   #47
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Re: St Brendan's Isl mail service

I need something like this myself now. So I went to https://travelingmailbox.com/pricing and https://www.sbimailservice.com/pricing/

SBI is $20/mth with extra charges for scanning and even opening envelopes.
Travelingmailbox is $17/mth ("premium" FL address and annual contract) and includes 35 scanned pages. So quite a bit cheaper.

Are there any others?
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Old 28-02-2020, 17:08   #48
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Re: St Brendan's Isl mail service

We are now signing up for SBI. The costs for "Cruisers Home Port" basic service is $13.99. Scan and open service is 7.99. Pretty good deal including the other benefits.
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Old 29-02-2020, 15:47   #49
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Re: St Brendan's Isl mail service

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We are now signing up for SBI. The costs for "Cruisers Home Port" basic service is $13.99. Scan and open service is 7.99. Pretty good deal including the other benefits.
So it's $22 + $0.50 to open an envelope + $0.10 per page -- almost double the price of the other service
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Old 29-02-2020, 18:04   #50
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Re: St Brendan's Isl mail service

Yeah, we pay $15/mo for Traveling Mailboxes and that includes 40 envelope scans per month and 35 page scans per month. Mail forwarding is $2.00 plus postage and they'll send it USPS, UPS, Fed-Ex, any way you want it. International and domestic. Not sure what the "other benefits" are with SBI, but we've been very happy with Traveling Mailboxes for the past 5 years or so.
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Old 01-03-2020, 00:57   #51
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Re: St Brendan's Isl mail service

We left St. Augustine, Florida in January 2017 for our circumnavigation and visited St. Brendan's Isle in Green Cove Springs to set up our mail account. They were most friendly and helpful. When we have had a question about something, a quick email to them always brings a reply by the next day. When we got to the Caribbean, we tried USPS for some mail, but it took forever. By the time we got to Panama, we started having our mail sent by FedEx International Economy. It usually arrives in about a week. When I want my mail, I want it NOW, not 6-8 weeks from now, and I am willing to pay for that service. Admittedly, I order the mail only about 3-4 times a year.

Also, the other great things about SBI are that 1) your box number with them is your bona fide residence address in Florida which is good for voting purposes. We order our absentee ballots from Clay County by email, and we send them back by snail mail. And 2) By having a bona fide Florida address, we do not pay income taxes which makes our tax situation that much easier. We fill out only the US Form 1040.

For banking, I think you should use an international bank. We use UBS which handles our investments as well as giving us credit cards and a checking account. We carry a second credit card from Citi Bank. Both have worked well overseas.

We are currently in Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia, about to start heading north toward Indonesia. We are not quite half way around the world. So far, so good.

Eric
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Old 02-03-2020, 07:01   #52
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Re: St Brendan's Isl mail service

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We have been underway for 13 years and for maybe the past 10-11 years used the folks at St Brendan's Isl mail forwarding service and they were great regardless of where we were. We had mail shipped to a lot of places Tunisia multiple times, Turkey multiple times, Israel, Trinidad I think and I am not sure where else. And our preference is USPS express.

I would send them an email and they would ship the same day. No issues and I would always receive it. No issues.

We are now in St Lucia and requested our mail and a person named Scott, maybe the owner, sent me back a note and asked how. I asked for a recommendation and he suggested UPS or FedEx which is twice the cost of USPS. He came back and said well can not track it and would not recommend it and 3rd world countries you may not get the mail and continued to say UPS or FedEx even after I said USPS.

I spent 40 years in the transportation and a senior manager/director and wrote a lot of contracts worth millions with both UPS and FedEx. I think what St Brendan's Isl is doing is charging customers the non contract rate and pay the carrier the contract and living on the difference. That leads me to believe that perhaps St Brendan's Isl may be having financial problems.

Has anyone experienced the same issue - ie getting pressured to use the higher cost service?

We may change companies so can anyone recommend someone else.

thanks
With absolutely no substantiation "ChuckR" hypothesized that SBI may be in financial trouble. This type of an "I'm just saying" rumor mongering attack, while perhaps not libelous is certainly inappropriate.

So rather than allow ChuckR's innuendo to go unanswered - except by the avalanche of positive testimonials by SBI customers, I asked SBI's owner, Scott Loehr if he'd care to respond. Here's what he said,

"Hi Craig,
When sending shipments internationally we will frequently ask our Clients by what shipping method. If they do not know or need recommendations we are happy to explain the different options. We always recommend talking to the locals to see which method best serves that area. While USPS is the most economical that doesn’t mean you will necessarily get it in a timely manner. We will always ship the way the Client wants, we just want to make sure you get it when you want it. In regards to the financial troubles. We just recently added 2 new employees and expanded our warehouse to accommodate another 3000 mail bins to support our growing customer base so they can continue to live their dream and sail the open seas.
Fair Winds,
Scott Loehr
Owner – St. Brendan’s Isle"

For those not familiar with SBI Mail service, the SBI family has been a friend of the Cruising Community for over 30 years. For example, it's founder, Doug Moody, established a strong supporting relationship with SSCA that the current owner, his son-in-law Scott Loehr continues.

My unsubstantiated hypothesis is that ChuckR's post is just some crabby old curmudgeon getting his pants in a bunch after one too many sundowners. Just sayin' !

Craig Briggs
Past President, SSCA
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Old 02-03-2020, 07:25   #53
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Re: “Real ID”

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Originally Posted by Woodland Hills View Post
Interesting, does your Florida DL have the Real ID badge in the top right corner?
Yes it does, I even asked what it was, I think there was a poster explaining it at the window of the DMV
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Old 02-03-2020, 11:36   #54
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Re: “Real ID”

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Yes it does, I even asked what it was, I think there was a poster explaining it at the window of the DMV
What a nice change from the People's Republic of New York. We can't get that now as our idiotic Politburo allows illegal aliens to get driver's licenses AND refuses to allow the feds to access the DMV records. I will soon be making use of SBI!
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