Author Topic: Should I become a nomad or still have some kind of permanent residence?  (Read 952 times)

StartingEarly

  • Bristles
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So my current job is a travelling professional gambler, I travel all over the southwest and will be travelling all over the US once my current lease in Arizona expires. I drive an 02 Insight so I get about 55mpg so while I have to travel between 75 and 125k miles for work to maximize profitability I'm typically using less than 2500 gallons a year so not drastically excessive. I typically get 90% or more of my hotel stays paid for right now, that might drop to 60% for a while but still the lions share of my housing expenses are paid for as well as a lot of food comp. I'm generally going place to place and only in the same place a day or two until I've exhausted my opportunities there and then going onto the next place. I frequently end up going back to places solely to collect large amounts of freeplay but I've been working on setting up arrangements with locals to reduce travelling just for that.

Currently with having a place I'll return home roughly once a week or every other week for a few days depending on work conditions which vary from a multitude of factors. If I were focusing on absolutely maximizing profitability I'd probably be travelling even more but I'm trying to thread the needle on burnout.

I'm wondering with how things are currently if I should do my plan of travelling extensively until I find some place I want to buy that works well for all areas of my life or if I should spend a little bit of money and have some kind of lower cost rental to have a place to go back to. Other information that's somewhat relevant is I have a father in central Wisconsin that has an extra room I can occasionally stay at and I have a brother in Arizona that the same is also true.

I'm on the fence between it being wasteful having a place to go back to when I'm almost never there and needing a place that I could decompress that has all my stuff. I'm able to stay put in some areas for a while (up to five consecutive days) so I am able to take breaks out on the road.

Sibley

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It is way, way easier to have a legal permanent residence, even if you're barely there. I would have something, whether it's a small studio apt, your dad's basement, or whatever.

StartingEarly

  • Bristles
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I wouldn't want to put my dad's place as my primary residence. They have a pretty high income tax. I'd be paying more just in income tax then I'd pay for an apartment in a place that had no income tax.

Sibley

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I wouldn't want to put my dad's place as my primary residence. They have a pretty high income tax. I'd be paying more just in income tax then I'd pay for an apartment in a place that had no income tax.

Thus why I said "small studio apt, your dad's basement, or whatever". The point is that NOT having a permanent residence creates a lot of problems that are not easy to solve.

Villanelle

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I agree with Sibley.  Sign a lease with a friend and pay a minimal rent if you have to (though they may need to look at taxes and whether they will meet a FMV standard, depending on details). 

What state will your drivers' license be in?  Where will you register to vote and register your car?  These are the types of things that get complicated if you have no home at all.  Having some sort of legal tie to a spot makes it a lot easier, but that doesn't have to mean renting an apartment.  If you don't have family with a place that would work, I'd consider just renting a room in someone's home if you can find that, since you also mentioned wanting a place for your stuff. 


NumberJohnny5

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Look to people who live in a camper year-round for ways to accomplish this. Just an example:

https://www.followyourdetour.com/changing-your-domicile-to-texas/

StartingEarly

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Johnny might be onto something. I was thinking of having a PO box in Eastern Tennessee since it's close to a work site in the Carolinas. I may just end up having a cheap little studio apartment in Eastern Tennessee though since it would be nice to have something to go back to if it's not overly expensive.

Rdy2Fire

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Johnny might be onto something. I was thinking of having a PO box in Eastern Tennessee since it's close to a work site in the Carolinas. I may just end up having a cheap little studio apartment in Eastern Tennessee though since it would be nice to have something to go back to if it's not overly expensive.

Friends did the PO Box thing using FLA as their address and thus paying minimal tax as they live a nomadic life. Their plan is to eventually buy a piece of land in FLA to park their RV on; it's apparently working

NumberJohnny5

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Johnny might be onto something. I was thinking of having a PO box in Eastern Tennessee since it's close to a work site in the Carolinas. I may just end up having a cheap little studio apartment in Eastern Tennessee though since it would be nice to have something to go back to if it's not overly expensive.

PO Box isn't enough. More and more places need an actual address that you use as a residence (though you could still use the PO box as the mailing address). Even some banks will even throw a fit if you try to use one of the not-really-but-technically-is-a-phyisical-address that nomads use (Ally refused to use it, other banks were fine with it).

StartingEarly

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Ok, I'll have to keep that in mind. My current plan is to drive around for the rest of the year since I do that for work anyways as a travelling professional gambler and find places I like and hopefully I'll find something relatively affordable and maybe I'll have a place to come back to since it seems like not having an address opens up all kinds of problems.

Villanelle

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Ok, I'll have to keep that in mind. My current plan is to drive around for the rest of the year since I do that for work anyways as a travelling professional gambler and find places I like and hopefully I'll find something relatively affordable and maybe I'll have a place to come back to since it seems like not having an address opens up all kinds of problems.

Why not rent a room from someone?  Much cheaper than getting your own place.

StartingEarly

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It would be hard to find someone I trust in a reasonable timeframe, I'd much rather not have other people having access to my stuff. Id be in a state I don't know anyone since I'm moving to avoid state taxes.

FatFI2025

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Look to people who live in a camper year-round for ways to accomplish this. Just an example:

https://www.followyourdetour.com/changing-your-domicile-to-texas/

If these people get audited by CO, it's a slam dunk that they're still CO tax residents, subject to CO income tax. They even (stupidly) say so on their website: "...our home state of Colorado, which will always be our home base for travel."

Each state has its own factors that they'll look at, but near the top of the list is usually where you have a home (apt, room, etc.) and where you spend most of your time.

You need to establish domicile in a no tax state by living there. If you don't, the state you're attempting to separate from will likely still be your tax home.

I think the fact that people get away with faking a change of domicile with these waste-of-time tricks leads to this misconception that you can officially change your tax residency by filling out some paperwork and getting a mailing address.

Just because the Texas DMV will accept two pieces of paper for a drivers license doesn't mean that the CO DOR will use the same standard. It won't.

I'm not saying don't do that, but don't think it will be defensible in the slim chance you get audited.

If you don't want to take the risk, look up the factors that your state considers to determine domicile/tax residency and make sure to address all of them that you reasonably can. It's honestly not that hard and not that expensive.

It is way, way easier to have a legal permanent residence, even if you're barely there. I would have something, whether it's a small studio apt, your dad's basement, or whatever.

I think you only need that for a period of time to demonstrate that you've established bona fide domicile in a new state. Once you've done that, I've found it's not necessary.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2021, 12:00:05 PM by FatFI2025 »

Rosy

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It sounds to me like you have reached a point in your life where you would like to have a home base to retreat to.
Taxes and a convenient on-ramp for your professional travels decide where that might be.

Find something nice (maybe with access to nature so you can destress from the gambling environment) and take a deep breath.
No need to pick the cheapest or the most expensive - just pick a place that suits you and your lifestyle slash interests best.
That way whenever you are home you can enjoy what the area has to offer and make life more enjoyable while you are there.
Besides with Delta looming you might be glad you chose a nice place of your own.

A true nomadic lifestyle is not for everyone and can be stressful and problematic too.

Sibley

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It is way, way easier to have a legal permanent residence, even if you're barely there. I would have something, whether it's a small studio apt, your dad's basement, or whatever.

I think you only need that for a period of time to demonstrate that you've established bona fide domicile in a new state. Once you've done that, I've found it's not necessary.

Believe it or not, there are still important pieces of documentation that I can't get electronically. And when you hit Medicare age, good luck not having a valid address. They send so much mail. In large print.

It works until it doesn't, and when it doesn't work its a problem. I do not understand why someone would willingly NOT have a permanent address. Why add that unnecessary complication into your life when you don't have to?

Villanelle

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It would be hard to find someone I trust in a reasonable timeframe, I'd much rather not have other people having access to my stuff. Id be in a state I don't know anyone since I'm moving to avoid state taxes.

But you were willing to have no permanent address at all?  That doesn't make sense.  Your OP asked whether you should have nothing, or a permanent address.  Having nothing is problematic for reasons already outlined, so I suggested something in between.  If you had no permanent address, what would you have done with the stuff you are concerned about? 


StartingEarly

  • Bristles
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Well, I currently have a storage unit that has some of my stuff in it that I didn't have time or the places to put it in my current residence. I'll be moving the remainder of my stuff (not a lot, current place was furnished hence the storage unit to begin with) into that storage unit and it will be safe until I need it. Not ideal but still much cheaper than having a place. I probably will ultimately try to find a place before years end that I like that's relatively cheap. With my work (professional gambler) I don't want to have too much tied up into a house that takes away from my bankroll and puts my career in jeopardy. I'll probably end up with something in Tennessee or Texas around the 100k mark, just a tiny little place that has two bedrooms and is nice enough and in a quiet area to get away from all the noise of gambling for a few days at a time. Eventually I do want to have a more nature focused property but my current bankroll is only about 200k after my tax bill eventually comes in and I don't want to have significantly less than that especially if I had a sizeable mortgage and one of the variants shut us down again so I was hemorrhaging money.