Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Three more days and details, details, and more details......

Three more nights and we are officially fulltimers. I am having to quickly decide our state of domicile, who will handle our mail-forwarding, how we will access our money while on the road, get quotes on auto insurance, and consider health insurance when we retire. It has been crazy!

State of domicile: I certainly see why it is hard to say one shoe fits all....everyone has to consider their own situation. As I posted previously, Tennessee makes it very hard for us to remain a "resident" if we only have a non-residential address such as a mail-forwarding service. However, Texas, Florida and South Dakota are happy for you to call their state "home". We decided that South Dakota will be our new "home". And, our first trip when we leave Tennessee, will be to head out to South Dakota and become legal. We already live in a state that has no income taxes, but Tennessee taxes interest and dividends, and South Dakota does not. And sales tax on our NEW TRUCK and NEW RV will only be 3%. And, the automobile insurance rates are among the lowest in the country. Wow, I have always been a Southerner - now I will be a South Dakotan!

Mail forwarding: I thought I would be able to have the post office hold my mail and that I could just pick it up periodically, while we are still in Tennessee. Oh, no....that would be too easy. Since someone else will inherit our address with their purchase of the condo, their mail would be held, too. So, we can't do that. I think I will open a post office box here, and have my mail forwarded to that box until we leave town. Then, I can do a change of address to the South Dakota mail forwarding service. More details....

Getting money out of and into our bank:  Once we give up a residential address, we will not be able to open a bank account due to the Patriot Act. We have bank accounts, but they are not "nationwide" banks that I will find on the road to go and make a deposit or withdrawal. So, tomorrow, I will open a bank account with Charles Schwab, which will reimburse ATM fees charged by other banks. And, I can transfer money online, between banks. More details....

Auto Insurance: As soon as the NEW TRUCK and NEW RV is delivered, we have to be ready to insure them, with our new South Dakota address. That will be a few weeks, but I thought it best to do the legwork while making the state of domicile decision. More details....

Health Insurance: This won't be needed until after we retire, but I wanted to know my options as a resident of South Dakota. Knowing that we will be traveling, we wanted to make sure that our health insurance is also recognized nationwide. We know we will go for a High-deductible HSA insurance policy, but wanted to make sure that we are not "out of network" if we are not in the state of South Dakota. I learned that the Blue Cross Blue Shield products do not offer good coverage for travelers, because it is made up of several companies....BCBS of Tennessee, BCBS of Alabama, Wellmark, etc. I spoke with United Healthcare, and I can go to any Provider that has a contract with United Healthcare no matter where they are. So, I could keep my current physician here in Tennessee, or establish a new physician in South Dakota, or Arizona, wherever. They would be considered in network if they are contracted with United Healthcare.

Ok, I have had to cram my head with details in a very short period of time. Sure wish that RV Dreams Rally had been last month instead of next month! To the OLD FULLTIMERS out there - please, do I have it totally screwed up, or am I on the right track? Have I forgotten anything?

Oh, we have started planning our first trip in our NEW RV and our NEW TRUCK. We plan to stick to the max of 300 mile / 5 hour limit per day, so our first stop looks like it will be Land of the Lakes in Kentucky. We may spend a couple of weeks there, on our way to our new "home" in South Dakota. The next big decision will be where to spend the Winter.....

Happy Trails,


Judy and Emma said...

Being an 'Old Fulltimer', I can offer a few comments. I use Alternative Resources for my mail delivery out of Sioux Falls, SD.

Second suggestion: take a deep breath! Relax!

300 miles in 5 hours...means you're averaging 60 mph. Good luck with that. I travel solo, so perhaps I stop more often and travel at a slower average speed. 200 miles in the same amount of time may be more realistic unless you're flying down the interstates without stops.

You're on the right track, but be safe rather than sorry. :)

Donna aka Froggi said...

Deb, contact Terri Lund at My Dakota Address []. She can get your address set up now and even do vehicle registrations before you move there.

I had my new legal address, all vehicles titled and tagged, mailing addresses updated with everyone, two months before I hit the road.

I can't recommend them enough! All you will need to do is head there, spend one night (get a campground receipt) in SD and get your drivers license (check online, office only open certain days of the week). In Madison, the DMV office is almost next door to My Dakota Address's office.

Terri Lund
Toll Free: 1-866-202-2163
Other: 1-605-427-5863
PO Box 137
Madison, SD 57042

Oh, and tell Terri that Donna & Stu McNicol referred you. We don't get anything.

Sue and Doug said...

so jealous that you are so close to 'living your dream'!..relax and enjoy..that is once you get organized!!

Merikay said...

I'm following all of his carefully. Your posts about what you do and experience are very valuable for those of us who will come after you.

Keep the details coming!

Deborah said...

Judy, you are probably right. I want to be careful that we are not trying so hard to get from point A to point B that we forget to enjoy the trip.

Donna, Terri is who I have been talking to with My Dakota Address. I also looked at Alternative Resources. I like the email and scan option available with My Dakota Address. I asked Terri if she was the only one that worked there, because she always answers the phone when I call. She is super nice. I am glad to hear good things from an actual existing customer - so thanks for the response.

Sue, I think I will relax Saturday night, after everything is moved out of the condo and we are in our little RV.

At least until I start on Phase II of my task list which is to get ready to hit the road.

Merikay, the blogs that I have followed have helped me tremendously with knowing what needs to be considered in taking the leap to fulltiming. I am happy to pass the info along to help others.

Jessica said...

Wow - you have done a lot in a short period of time!! You are going to collapse when you have a day without stuff to do in it! :)

I believe you could still open up a bank account once you get your SD address. That would act as your official "physical address". This would be easiest when you have your SD driver's license, and opening the bank account in SD. Otherwise, they would probably question why you were opening an account out of your state of residence. I work in a credit union - if someone came in with a NY dl and it had an address on it (meaning not a PO box), I would use it for their physical address when I opened their account.

heyduke50 said...

make sure you dot all the i's and cross all the t's... we left a few undone and paid the small price for doing so... we are two weeks fulltiming now and are still seemingly in a hurry.. .we need to relax more

Joe said...

You are "on track" and it seems like a good plan.

Take a big breath and relax, you will get through this.

Once the "day" arrives, you will experience a sense of freedom like no other time in your life!

Welcome to the lifestyle.

Teri said...

Although the lower sales tax rates in another state sound good, I am planning on keeping an Illinois address for now, so that I don't have to change my health insurance. I probably won't be considered fulltime yet. I will "live part-time" with my sister. Once I figure out what I'm doing and where I am heading, I will pick a state later, and then look into changing my health insurance.

Laurie and George said...

Ditto all the above..thanks for blogging all your steps. Gives us who are behind you a primer to follow :)

Luci & Loree said...

I used Walgren's for all my prescriptions and they are everywhere and were really good about getting refills