Author Topic: Personal Mail Box (PMB) as address for financials?  (Read 3016 times)

The 585

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Personal Mail Box (PMB) as address for financials?
« on: May 12, 2020, 04:29:39 AM »
Hey guys, I'm currently living abroad but considering "moving" to South Dakota next time I go back to the states. Do you guys know if a PMB works as a residential address for financial accounts such as Vanguard and Ally? From what I've seen in my research, PMB is more of a "physical" address rather than P.O. Box, but I wanted to hear experiences from others who may have done the same.

For example, America's Mailbox in South Dakota provides a forwarding address in the following format:

Your Name
514 Americas Way PMB XXXXX
Box Elder SD 57719-7600

And they say that you can substitute for PMB a # sign, as well as Apt#, Ste#, Unit#, etc. But my question is do the financial institutions know this is a forwarding service? My intent is to continue traveling/living abroad, so I need to establish a permanent US address for financials and mail. Thanks in advance!

SailingOnASmallSailboat

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Re: Personal Mail Box (PMB) as address for financials?
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2020, 06:34:38 AM »
You might look at digital nomad sites, or even more specifically RV and cruising (moving around on boats) sites as this is a question that comes up fairly frequently. As far as US banks go, more and more of them are realizing that PMB addresses are not technically residential which violates some recent law or other. I know a few people who had no issue with a long-established bank account at all until a year ago.

LightStache

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Re: Personal Mail Box (PMB) as address for financials?
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2020, 07:22:01 AM »
I used a Michigan-based PMB when I lived overseas a few years ago and it wasn't a problem, but a few things I've read recently make me think banks are becoming even more cautious with US nationals living overseas.

Another option is to use an actual apartment or house somewhere and then setup USPS mail forwarding to your PMB, which you'll have to renew every six months, I think. Have all your non-financial mail go straight to the PMB, but have your banking go to the house and get rerouted to the PMB.

Better yet, find an actual person stateside to receive your banking correspondence and have all the rest sent to the PMB.

The 585

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Re: Personal Mail Box (PMB) as address for financials?
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2020, 10:19:45 AM »
Thanks for the responses, guys. Yeah my biggest concern is that the financial establishments are getting smarter and probably no longer allowing PMB addresses.

Better yet, find an actual person stateside to receive your banking correspondence and have all the rest sent to the PMB.

I've thought about this, my parents would absolutely allow me to do this but they live in New York. Could the dividends and interest then be taxable by New York state?

Alternatively, I have a couple friends in Florida, but would it be awkward to ask them to let me use their address? I'm not sure exactly what the social norms are on that LOL.

LightStache

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Re: Personal Mail Box (PMB) as address for financials?
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2020, 10:51:43 AM »
Thanks for the responses, guys. Yeah my biggest concern is that the financial establishments are getting smarter and probably no longer allowing PMB addresses.

Better yet, find an actual person stateside to receive your banking correspondence and have all the rest sent to the PMB.

I've thought about this, my parents would absolutely allow me to do this but they live in New York. Could the dividends and interest then be taxable by New York state?

Alternatively, I have a couple friends in Florida, but would it be awkward to ask them to let me use their address? I'm not sure exactly what the social norms are on that LOL.

I thought we covered this in another thread that where you have your mail sent does not establish your tax residency. While mailing address is a residency factor in some states, it is never the sole factor AFAIK, otherwise every CA resident would have their mail sent to FL. Given that you moved overseas while a tax resident of VA, a notorious "sticky" state, your tax residency will remain in VA until you establish bona fide residency in another state. So having mail sent to your parents place or to FL does not make you a tax resident there. Of course, I'm not an attorney, just a finance guy who moved a lot, and this isn't legal advice -- do your own due diligence.

My prior comment was based solely the AML/KYC issues with American banks, not tax residency, which are totally different expat challenges.

solon

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Re: Personal Mail Box (PMB) as address for financials?
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2020, 10:52:58 AM »
Get a side chick, put her up in an apartment, have her forward your mail.

LightStache

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Re: Personal Mail Box (PMB) as address for financials?
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2020, 12:18:21 PM »
Get a side chick, put her up in an apartment, have her forward your mail.

^better advice than mine, lol!

SpecialSnowflake

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Re: Personal Mail Box (PMB) as address for financials?
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2020, 03:36:08 PM »
I am a fulltime RVer for the last 3 with a South Dakota residency and a PMB through Dakota Post. I have accounts at both Ally and Vanguard and have had no issues to this point with my address.

The 585

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Re: Personal Mail Box (PMB) as address for financials?
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2020, 09:00:33 AM »
I am a fulltime RVer for the last 3 with a South Dakota residency and a PMB through Dakota Post. I have accounts at both Ally and Vanguard and have had no issues to this point with my address.

Gotcha, thanks for the input. Good to hear there's been no issues!

Get a side chick, put her up in an apartment, have her forward your mail.

LOL! I like it.

ROF Expat

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Re: Personal Mail Box (PMB) as address for financials?
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2020, 10:36:24 AM »
Geographer,

I don't have any experience with PMBs, but be aware that if you bank and invest with the same institution, they may share information that will lead them to conclude that you are not residing in the US, regardless of your mailing address.  For example, if you are using a credit or debit card and the banking side of the house sees a pattern of use that indicates you are living outside of the US, they can (will?) share that information with the investment side of the house which may then decide that they don't want you as a customer. 

This kind of thing never used to be an issue, but it is clear that banks are definitely far more focused on AML/KYC issues than they were in the past. 

The 585

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Re: Personal Mail Box (PMB) as address for financials?
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2020, 11:37:20 AM »
Geographer,

I don't have any experience with PMBs, but be aware that if you bank and invest with the same institution, they may share information that will lead them to conclude that you are not residing in the US, regardless of your mailing address.  For example, if you are using a credit or debit card and the banking side of the house sees a pattern of use that indicates you are living outside of the US, they can (will?) share that information with the investment side of the house which may then decide that they don't want you as a customer. 

This kind of thing never used to be an issue, but it is clear that banks are definitely far more focused on AML/KYC issues than they were in the past. 

Thanks for this input, I haven't thought about that. But fortunately my main banking institution (a credit union used to dealing with people abroad) is different than my Ally high interest savings, and vanguard investments. I also know that using a VPN is a good idea, too.