Author Topic: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?  (Read 27309 times)

jim555

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #50 on: December 12, 2016, 06:24:55 AM »
The big downside of US citizenship is tax reporting and how they tax worldwide income.  Also, since the ACA is toast that is another thing to consider.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #51 on: December 12, 2016, 06:47:08 AM »
The big downside of US citizenship is tax reporting and how they tax worldwide income.  Also, since the ACA is toast that is another thing to consider.

Yeah, not sure if it's an overall positive or negative, but I do know of people that are specifically staying out of the US due to the current ACA...
Give me one fine day of plain sailing weather and I can mess up anything.

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fa

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #52 on: December 12, 2016, 07:19:20 AM »
About investments:  several posters mention that Vanguard freezes your account if you become a non-US resident.  ARS then posted it is not an issue.  I am confused about what really happens.  Do you just hide your residency status from Vanguard by officially having a US address, such as with a family member?  Plus use VPN to hide your IP address?  If they "freeze" your account, what exactly does that mean?  Can you no longer add funds, can no longer trade, can not withdraw,...?  Has anyone actually have that happen to them?

ARS, I have read about TravelingMailbox.com.  They sound very good.  Can you use them as your address of residency, or are they on some sort of black list for investment firms, banks, etc.?  I have read somewhere that the traditional mailbox places (UPS Store etc) are listed and you cannot use them as an official address.  But I am not sure about a service like TravelingMailbox.

Thanks to all the posters.  You are a wealth of great information.  You can probably guess that I am looking at a nomadic lifestyle after quitting my job.

arebelspy

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #53 on: December 12, 2016, 04:05:20 PM »
About investments:  several posters mention that Vanguard freezes your account if you become a non-US resident.  ARS then posted it is not an issue.  I am confused about what really happens.  Do you just hide your residency status from Vanguard by officially having a US address, such as with a family member?  Plus use VPN to hide your IP address?  If they "freeze" your account, what exactly does that mean?  Can you no longer add funds, can no longer trade, can not withdraw,...?  Has anyone actually have that happen to them?

There's no need to hide anything. We'd explain we're traveling, if Vanguard cared.

You're talking about a special case of moving to a different country and becoming a resident there.  This thread isn't about that, it's about being a permanent traveler.

Here's the weird thing: Because of the physical presence test, we're foreign residents.  We're out of the US 330+ days/yr, so we can use the FEIE, and have an exclusion from the ACA.  So we are foreign residents.  But we are residents of Nevada.

There are two tests to see if you qualify: The Bona Fide Residence Test or Physical Presence Test.  We don't pass the first one, because we haven't established residency elsewhere.  We do pass the Physical Presence Test, by not being in the US > 35 days per 365 day period.  So we are exempt, even though we aren't a resident of anywhere else, and still have a US residence.

Confusing, no?  :)

Bottom line: Unless you take active establish residency elsewhere in a single place you're living in, you'll still be a US resident, even if you never visit.

If Vanguard asks, I can honestly tell them I'm a US resident who is traveling.  If they insist otherwise, I can ask them where they think I'm a resident of, as above.  The US government considers me a resident, excluded from certain things because of the Physical Presence test, so I don't know why Vanguard would fight that.

I think it's a bugaboo, personally.

(Unless, of course, you actually do become a resident of elsewhere--something some people do so they can still travel to the US > 330 days and can ignore the physical presence test, so they try to qualify on the Bona Fide Residence Test, but then obviously they ARE a resident of elsewhere--this is not the case for most perpetual travelers.)

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ARS, I have read about TravelingMailbox.com.  They sound very good.  Can you use them as your address of residency, or are they on some sort of black list for investment firms, banks, etc.?  I have read somewhere that the traditional mailbox places (UPS Store etc) are listed and you cannot use them as an official address.  But I am not sure about a service like TravelingMailbox.

I have them as my address for 99% of things.  There was one thing that wouldn't accept it, but I can't recall what it was.  I have it as my address for all banks, investments, with the IRS, etc.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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fa

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #54 on: December 12, 2016, 04:49:53 PM »
Terrific info.  Thanks for sharing.

arebelspy

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #55 on: December 12, 2016, 05:21:23 PM »
Terrific info.  Thanks for sharing.

No problem.  :)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

gerardc

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #56 on: December 12, 2016, 08:59:30 PM »
Depends on how much you want the US citizenship, but traveling 6 mo/yr or whatever for the next 5 years seems pretty good to me.

You won't get FEIE or ACA exemption for being an expat, but probably worth giving that up for a bit.

Or, like you said, you could just give up on the green card if you don't need it. If you'll eventually settle in Canada, and mostly travel internationally, and up to 6 mo. in the States, may not need it.

Yep, I'm basically trading 5 years of bending over for the DHS for better potential employment prospects in the future, simplified finances and taxation, and ability to cruise the US freely. Sounds fair, especially since an ease-in period for permanent traveling is preferable.

Google Fi sounds really fantastic. I was thinking of getting sim cards at each temporary place, but keeping the same number is a big +. Plus, the convenience. Plus, it's not expensive.


The big downside of US citizenship is tax reporting and how they tax worldwide income.  Also, since the ACA is toast that is another thing to consider.

Being Canadian, this is almost an advantage because I can put my tax base in the US and benefit from lower taxes, due to the US/Canada treaty (Canada would otherwise claim me as a resident if I was hopping around from country to country). Plus, my investments are in the US (which is better IMO) so the tax treatment is simpler as a Canadian non-resident. The only downside is if I want to settle permanently elsewhere and would have liked to avoid both Canada and US taxes in favor of the new country. Or settle in Canada and avoid US taxes. But since I plan to have low income in retirement and keep investments in the US, that's probably not a big disadvantage.


About investments:  several posters mention that Vanguard freezes your account if you become a non-US resident.  ARS then posted it is not an issue.  I am confused about what really happens.  Do you just hide your residency status from Vanguard by officially having a US address, such as with a family member?  Plus use VPN to hide your IP address?  If they "freeze" your account, what exactly does that mean?  Can you no longer add funds, can no longer trade, can not withdraw,...?  Has anyone actually have that happen to them?

It depends on the country you're establishing residence to. At Vanguard, if you change your address to a Canadian address, they freeze your account: you can keep all accounts (IRA, Roth, taxable) only do partial withdrawals and automatic dividend reinvestments. You can't rebalance, buy new funds, convert from IRAs, etc. At Schwab, it's even more restrictive. They convert you to Schwab International and your taxable account is closed (sold, capital gains) right away!

You can always use the traveling mailbox thing as the MAILING address on Vanguard, but not the residence address, I believe. So in theory, you could use that as a mailing address before moving, and just not update your residence address upon moving. But that could be construed by the IRS or state as you being a resident there, so they could potentially go after your account for taxes. If you change your residency correctly (say to Canada), you'll file a W8BEN form with them and they'll start withholding 30% tax (or 15% for Canada due to the tax treaty) of all your dividends automatically as a non-resident, which you could get back by filing a tax return at the end of the year.

So, the best strategy is probably to stay a resident of a US state with no state tax and not establish residence in any other country. Then use travelingmailbox as your mailing address.

arebelspy

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #57 on: December 12, 2016, 09:18:35 PM »
Google Fi sounds really fantastic. I was thinking of getting sim cards at each temporary place, but keeping the same number is a big +. Plus, the convenience. Plus, it's not expensive.

PM me if you decide to sign up, I have a referral code, we'd each get $20 off the next statement.  :)

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You can always use the traveling mailbox thing as the MAILING address on Vanguard, but not the residence address, I believe.

Why not?  I do.

We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

C40

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #58 on: December 12, 2016, 10:04:21 PM »
Some companies, especially for investing or whatever other things the government may control tightly, do a check of your address to confirm that it is a Residence. I ran into trouble with my investing company. Their check showed that my address (a postal mail box at a mail forwarding company) is not a residence. I explained that I'm traveling but they said it's the government that requires them to have a residence address. My account was frozen from buying any new stocks, so I eventually used a family member's address.
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gerardc

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #59 on: December 13, 2016, 12:10:01 AM »
Google Fi sounds really fantastic. I was thinking of getting sim cards at each temporary place, but keeping the same number is a big +. Plus, the convenience. Plus, it's not expensive.
PM me if you decide to sign up, I have a referral code, we'd each get $20 off the next statement.  :)

Will do, but it won't be before next year or right before I leave.

Quote
You can always use the traveling mailbox thing as the MAILING address on Vanguard, but not the residence address, I believe.

Why not?  I do.

Vanguard clearly says that the street address should reflect your residence for tax purposes. Even if your remote mailbox is in the same state as your claimed residence, it seems safer to use a real address for the street address and the remote mailbox only as the mailing address, because if your main residence were ever put into question (due to being known as a remote mail service), Vanguard could freeze your account and ask for a utility bill and pay stub to prove your residence before they'd unfreeze it. By keeping a real address as your street address, those checks wouldn't apply and you'd keep receiving your mail at your remote mailbox. But, that's probably bordering paranoia at this point. And, a relative address or a previous address is probably not 100% safe either, if it becomes known you don't live there anymore.

jim555

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #60 on: December 13, 2016, 12:14:35 AM »
I think sometimes Vanguard is overly picky about things.  Maybe another broker would care less about things like that.

arebelspy

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #61 on: December 13, 2016, 12:43:56 AM »


Google Fi sounds really fantastic. I was thinking of getting sim cards at each temporary place, but keeping the same number is a big +. Plus, the convenience. Plus, it's not expensive.
PM me if you decide to sign up, I have a referral code, we'd each get $20 off the next statement.  :)

Will do, but it won't be before next year or right before I leave.

Quote
You can always use the traveling mailbox thing as the MAILING address on Vanguard, but not the residence address, I believe.

Why not?  I do.

Vanguard clearly says that the street address should reflect your residence for tax purposes.

That address is my residence for tax purposes. 

As above, where else would be my residence?  The longest I've been anywhere in the last year is Istanbul, at 3 months. Is that my residence? I haven't been there for 9 months and have no plans to go back.

The place I currently am, Manila, I'm only here for another week. Is this my residence?

As far as the IRS is concerned, my residence for tax purposes is Nevada. That is my only address is Nevada. Ergo, it is my residence for tax purposes.

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Even if your remote mailbox is in the same state as your claimed residence

Not just the same state, the same address.

Quote
Vanguard could freeze your account and ask for a utility bill and pay stub to prove your residence before they'd unfreeze it.

Guess I'd provide that, then.

My Google Fi phone bill has that address.  Utility bill.

My paychecks from selling trade lines have that address. Pay stubs.

I think I can put up a pretty good argument.

Of course, they could still leave it frozen, but I'm not super worried about it, as you can tell. :)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

gerardc

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #62 on: December 13, 2016, 12:55:36 AM »
I completely agree with you but you know those customer service representatives can be stubborn as f. They'll just say "Sorry, you primary residence must be a real street address, not a commercial mail service" or "we can't help you". So, if you can do something to smooth things up a little like setting a street address to a previous real residence of yours in the same state (which no mail will get sent to anyway), that might make it easier. But who knows what can happen.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #63 on: December 13, 2016, 04:33:44 AM »
About investments:  several posters mention that Vanguard freezes your account if you become a non-US resident. 

Why would you become a resident of another country?
Give me one fine day of plain sailing weather and I can mess up anything.

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arebelspy

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #64 on: December 13, 2016, 04:55:15 AM »
About investments:  several posters mention that Vanguard freezes your account if you become a non-US resident. 

Why would you become a resident of another country?

As I stated above, if you want to take advantage of the FEIE and be excluded from the ACA, but don't want to do the physical presence test, because you want to be in the US > 35 days/yr, you could become a resident of somewhere else, and then qualify for those benefits under the Bona Fide Residence Test.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

Metric Mouse

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #65 on: December 13, 2016, 05:04:36 AM »
I completely agree with you but you know those customer service representatives can be stubborn as f. They'll just say "Sorry, you primary residence must be a real street address, not a commercial mail service" or "we can't help you". So, if you can do something to smooth things up a little like setting a street address to a previous real residence of yours in the same state (which no mail will get sent to anyway), that might make it easier. But who knows what can happen.

Has this happened to you? It seems like you might be making a bigger deal of the issue than it is. I never had any of these problems while travelling for years at a time, and I lived off my Vanguard investments.
Give me one fine day of plain sailing weather and I can mess up anything.

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C40

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #66 on: December 13, 2016, 09:14:51 AM »
I completely agree with you but you know those customer service representatives can be stubborn as f. They'll just say "Sorry, you primary residence must be a real street address, not a commercial mail service" or "we can't help you". So, if you can do something to smooth things up a little like setting a street address to a previous real residence of yours in the same state (which no mail will get sent to anyway), that might make it easier. But who knows what can happen.

Has this happened to you? It seems like you might be making a bigger deal of the issue than it is. I never had any of these problems while travelling for years at a time, and I lived off my Vanguard investments.

It happened to me. But not at Vanguard, at a different broker.
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gerardc

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #67 on: December 13, 2016, 11:39:08 AM »
It happened to me with a Canadian broker, and similarly with Paypal Canada. I couldn't even withdraw my money balance without sending "utility bills" from where I didn't live anymore.

gerardc

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #68 on: December 14, 2016, 09:46:11 PM »
Another question for permanent travelers: How do you usually go about securing a place to live in? Say you move country every 3 months, do you rent a cheap hotel for the first few days you get there, then look on craigslist? Or try to find something before arriving?

That could get grueling after a while... of course, you rent furnished so the move is easier :)

gerardc

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #69 on: December 14, 2016, 10:50:13 PM »
I've seen rental ads in some LCOL places, they seem easy to find. Just wondering about the logistics of the first 1-2 nights out of the plane. Hostels are fine but otherwise it could get expensive quickly. From experience there's always a delay between finding a rental and moving in, like a week or 2 to time with previous tenants / vacancies.

EndlessJourney

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #70 on: December 14, 2016, 11:18:59 PM »
I've seen rental ads in some LCOL places, they seem easy to find. Just wondering about the logistics of the first 1-2 nights out of the plane. Hostels are fine but otherwise it could get expensive quickly. From experience there's always a delay between finding a rental and moving in, like a week or 2 to time with previous tenants / vacancies.

Maybe in the western world. But everywhere outside of North America, we've been able to move in the next day if there's no current tenants.

The trick to finding cheap accommodations is to cut out the middle man. Even sites like AirBnB charges a commission to both the renter and the owner which add up over a long period. Search Craigslist for short-term furnished rentals and avoid the property management companies that advertise on there, instead try to rent from the owner directly.

Facebook also has great real-estate groups you can join. Target "Digital Nomads"-type groups. ie. "Chiang Mai Digital Nomads" or "Gran Canaria Digital Nomads". Plenty of places up for let or sublet in those groups and they cater to short-term renters like you and I.

Another trick is to go through AirBnB and book a place for 1 night. If you like it, negotiate with the owner in person for a long-term rate. That way both of you don't have to pay the AirBnB commissions.

It really isn't that much of a hassle as you think it might be.
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rob in cal

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #71 on: December 14, 2016, 11:36:03 PM »
   I wonder about those Craigslist adds for apartment rentals in the Europe section.  A lot of them look too good to be true in terms of price.  Anyone have experience using Craigslist in Europe?

arebelspy

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #72 on: December 15, 2016, 01:36:11 AM »
AirBnB is a godsend for the PT.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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Eric

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #73 on: December 15, 2016, 03:18:04 PM »
Does the international insurance typically cover you in high healthcare cost countries (like the US) or are you self insuring during short visits to your home country?

You can get US coverage, but it adds a lot to the cost (and it still won't be ACA compliant, so you'll either need an ACA plan, or to be exempt anyways), because you'll need to have that extra expensive rider on the whole year.

The better route, IMO, is to get only international coverage, excluding the U.S., and then getting travel insurance just for the periods when you're in the US.  The most common one for US based people is World Nomads, but if you're a UK/EU citizen, I've heard good things about True Traveller.

I'd double check that travelers insurance will cover you in your country of residence.  I feel like most of them exclude domestic.  Because of this:

If Vanguard asks, I can honestly tell them I'm a US resident who is traveling.  If they insist otherwise, I can ask them where they think I'm a resident of, as above.  The US government considers me a resident, excluded from certain things because of the Physical Presence test, so I don't know why Vanguard would fight that.

You're actually still a US resident, so travel insurance may not be the best thing.  I think an even better solution when traveling back to the US is to sign up for a non-ACA compliant high deductible health insurance plan.  This way you know you're covered in case of catastrophe, and you still get the cheap rate on your international health insurance.
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arebelspy

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #74 on: December 15, 2016, 03:38:37 PM »
There are ones that cover you even in the US.

I.e. you could get them on a trip from CA to NY.

Definitely check that what you're getting to cover you actually does, that's a good point. :)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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You can also read my forum "Journal."

MgoSam

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #75 on: December 16, 2016, 05:04:50 PM »
This is something I would love to do post-FIRE for a time. I have plenty of family nearby so could downsize and store items in their houses. I don't know if I would do this permanently as always moving seems like it would be too exhausting, but would love to see the rest of the world.

fa

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #76 on: December 16, 2016, 09:21:45 PM »


Google Fi sounds really fantastic. I was thinking of getting sim cards at each temporary place, but keeping the same number is a big +. Plus, the convenience. Plus, it's not expensive.
PM me if you decide to sign up, I have a referral code, we'd each get $20 off the next statement.  :)

Will do, but it won't be before next year or right before I leave.

Quote
You can always use the traveling mailbox thing as the MAILING address on Vanguard, but not the residence address, I believe.

Why not?  I do.

Vanguard clearly says that the street address should reflect your residence for tax purposes.

That address is my residence for tax purposes. 

As above, where else would be my residence?  The longest I've been anywhere in the last year is Istanbul, at 3 months. Is that my residence? I haven't been there for 9 months and have no plans to go back.

The place I currently am, Manila, I'm only here for another week. Is this my residence?

As far as the IRS is concerned, my residence for tax purposes is Nevada. That is my only address is Nevada. Ergo, it is my residence for tax purposes.

Quote
Even if your remote mailbox is in the same state as your claimed residence

Not just the same state, the same address.

Quote
Vanguard could freeze your account and ask for a utility bill and pay stub to prove your residence before they'd unfreeze it.

Guess I'd provide that, then.

My Google Fi phone bill has that address.  Utility bill.

My paychecks from selling trade lines have that address. Pay stubs.

I think I can put up a pretty good argument.

Of course, they could still leave it frozen, but I'm not super worried about it, as you can tell. :)

What if, for asset protection and to avoid estate taxes, your spouse owns the family home and has the utilities in his/her name?  You wouldn't be able to prove you actually live there.  Or you live in an Earthship home without utilities.  Our post 9/11 world is more complicated and less free.

arebelspy

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #77 on: December 16, 2016, 11:04:00 PM »
What if, for asset protection and to avoid estate taxes, your spouse owns the family home and has the utilities in his/her name?  You wouldn't be able to prove you actually live there.  Or you live in an Earthship home without utilities.

I'm sure Vanguard has more than a few clients with asset protection strategies in place.

Quote
Our post 9/11 world is more complicated and less free.

No doubt. But we deal with the world we live in, while trying to change it for the better. 
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

Metric Mouse

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #78 on: December 17, 2016, 06:54:37 AM »
I travelled solo so just stayed at a hostel until I decided I wanted to stay in an area longer and found a place. In my case it was often finding a place by happenstance that lead me to stay somewhere longer when I initially  had no plans to stay there. Sometimes opportunities arise (or you meet people you want to spend more time with) that are so great that you decide to stay somewhere, or stay longer than planned, just to take advantage of them. Travelling full time allows for that.

ETA and no its not grueling. Especially since AirBNB and the like exist. Very easy to find rentals or roommate situations.

Right? Half the fun was exploring a new city in person, finding others in the travelling community, and letting them guide me where the best place to spend the night was. Being open to the possibility of changing plans at a moment's notice was one of the best things about travelling mostly solo.
Give me one fine day of plain sailing weather and I can mess up anything.

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #79 on: December 17, 2016, 06:58:33 AM »
I completely agree with you but you know those customer service representatives can be stubborn as f. They'll just say "Sorry, you primary residence must be a real street address, not a commercial mail service" or "we can't help you". So, if you can do something to smooth things up a little like setting a street address to a previous real residence of yours in the same state (which no mail will get sent to anyway), that might make it easier. But who knows what can happen.

Has this happened to you? It seems like you might be making a bigger deal of the issue than it is. I never had any of these problems while travelling for years at a time, and I lived off my Vanguard investments.

It happened to me. But not at Vanguard, at a different broker.

How did you manage to unfreeze your account?

gerardc

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #80 on: December 18, 2016, 01:11:30 PM »
Generally to unfreeze you'll have to provide paystubs and/or utility bills with your address on it. That's what Vanguard representative told me (I asked preemptively).

Arebelspy, since you figured out a lot of things already, what laptop do you recommend for travel? :D


arebelspy

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #81 on: December 18, 2016, 02:45:09 PM »
Arebelspy, since you figured out a lot of things already, what laptop do you recommend for travel? :D

Hah. Ive actually gone through three this year trying to find the best fit.

It depends a lot on your preferences/needs.

I have three or four different recommendations, depending on how much power you need, if you want a touch screen (I do, wife does not), and how much you're willing to spend.

(OS preferences will obviously limit you as well, as will a few other things.)
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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #82 on: December 18, 2016, 04:20:36 PM »
I like Windows/Linux dual boots (any PC equipped with Windows is fine), around 14-16 inches, which is suitable for development IME.

 I don't need much power (cpu, ram, disk...) or touch screen. Just as light and as cheap as possible for travel :)

I'd usually pay $400-500, possibly more if it can last a long time.

malacca

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #83 on: December 27, 2016, 12:00:23 AM »
Go for it! I did it once when I was younger - and as a family sort of do it now. Once my youngest turns 7 we may hit the road for a year.

I know a dozen people / family / couples living the vagabond lifestyle.

1. Don't focus on moving around. Staying in one place for a while can be more rewarding. You actually get to know the place and people - and make friends. That said, if a place becomes a burden / boring, move on.

2. Don't worry about the 330 rule or ACA. You can - and should - get an international insurance policy. You will be shocked at the cost. For my family of 4, we paid $2300 with $1000 deducible. That is for a year - not a month. Plan works anywhere in the world EXCEPT the USA (hints at how bad our medical is). A 55 year old male will be $1000 to $1500 a year.

All of which is mute as you will probably qualify for Medicaid (if your state has expanded Medicaid and the new administration doesn't cut it). If you have Medicaid, then get the cheaper global policy for basic needs and return to the USA for major stuff. PMM me if you need more info. If your state doesn't have expanded Medicaid, move to one that does. Get a DL and apply. Cost is $50 a month or less!

3. Moving around too much is hard on your health. Food is one issue. Having a kitchen is essential. Stress, even good stress, over long periods is hard.

4. Buy one rental if possible. A place you can live in one day if necessary. Make it one story. You never know the future. Hire someone to manage it for you. Doesn't have to be a nice place. Hopefully it will give off some cash even with paying someone to manage it. Shit happens  - to even smart, hard working people. Nothing worse than being homeless. I have seen it before. I will see it again - successful people who end up homeless.

5. Homesickness? I quickly got sick of home, if anything. Many world travelers confuse homesickness with loneliness. To combat this, stay in one place longer. Make friends. Expat friends are best. Locals are fine but the are not living your lifestyle.

6. Airfare is cheaper than you think. Especially once you leave the USA. Even in the USA, you can get tickets to Europe for $99 one way from major airports (NY, Boston, LA, etc.). Just plan ahead.

7. Taxes. Don't worry, you will be tax free. Any income you earn overseas will be tax free up to around $82,000 a year. Once on the road you will meet American expats who will know more than anyone on MMM.

8. Work if possible. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but working in foreign countries can be very rewarding. It is less stressful as you are not tied down by the income and can quit at anytime. You get to meet people and having some income relieves the savings drain stress. I knew a guy who worked for 3 months a year in Korea and then lived in the Philippines for 9 months on the earnings.

9. Apply for a fancy credit card that doesn't have foreign transaction fees. Lots to choose from. Pick one without annual fees. Your miles may not be worth much in many parts of the world.

10. Attend a language school upon arrival. once you get the basics down life is easier and you will absorb more of the language.

Other suggestions:
One person I know only does house / pet sitting. He uses a few housesitting websites (membership required). Since he has a good reputation, he easily gets good sits. He might do a month or even three for owners. He pays nothing and stays in some pretty cool places. He has done million dollar places in London and organic farms in Costa Rica. Rarely does he pay for accommodations. Many if the places even let him use their vehicle.

Places like Malaysia and Thailand have a surplus of furnished rentals. You can stay in a great place for $500 a month - all in. $250 will get you a decent place. Shacks can be had for much less.

Sometimes the third world costs more. They are so corrupt anything above the basics gets expensive. Of course if you want to live in a shack the prices are universally low. I had a thatched hut years ago in Thailand that costs me $4 a month - and I probably overpaid. Unlimited mosquitos were included, free of charge!
I retired at 40. Have been having / raising kids since.

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #84 on: December 27, 2016, 03:37:40 AM »

5.  Expat friends are best. Locals are fine but the are not living your lifestyle.

.....

7.. Once on the road you will meet American expats who will know more than anyone on MMM.



This X1000. It's amazing how easy it is to find expats living the life, how much they know and how willing they are to share their knowledge.
Give me one fine day of plain sailing weather and I can mess up anything.

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #85 on: December 27, 2016, 07:05:01 AM »
Thanks for your insight malacca.

4. Buy one rental if possible. A place you can live in one day if necessary. Make it one story. You never know the future. Hire someone to manage it for you. Doesn't have to be a nice place. Hopefully it will give off some cash even with paying someone to manage it. Shit happens  - to even smart, hard working people. Nothing worse than being homeless. I have seen it before. I will see it again - successful people who end up homeless.
Homelessness can be cured with money so I don't see the advantage to owning a place.  Just fly back, hotel it for a while, then get a rental.  Then buy later if settlement seems good.  Owning a place ties up money and you have to worry about tenants, just seems like a hassle.

7. Taxes. Don't worry, you will be tax free. Any income you earn overseas will be tax free up to around $82,000 a year. Once on the road you will meet American expats who will know more than anyone on MMM.
Unfortunately dividends, interest and capital gains are unearned and have no exclusion.  I was not thinking about working any more.

8. Work if possible. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but working in foreign countries can be very rewarding. It is less stressful as you are not tied down by the income and can quit at anytime. You get to meet people and having some income relieves the savings drain stress. I knew a guy who worked for 3 months a year in Korea and then lived in the Philippines for 9 months on the earnings.
Tourist visas don't permit work.  I guess keeping things on the down low is the answer to that.

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #86 on: December 27, 2016, 08:48:43 AM »
If I had 10 million dollars this is what I would do to never pay taxes again (legally):

Get a citizenship from a country that does not tax worldwide income.  Almost every county in the world does NOT tax worldwide income if you are not a resident.
Renounce US citizenship.  Why?  To avoid tax on worldwide income.
Travel from country to country never spending more than 183 days at a time in any one.  Why?  Avoid residency, which avoids tax liability.
Invest in US stock via overseas exchanges.
Sit back and enjoy a tax free existence.




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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #87 on: December 27, 2016, 09:05:00 AM »
If you had 10 million dollars, why wouldn’t you just pay the taxes?  Someone has to pay for the firefighters, schools, roadways, parks, etc. 
806228541398102 is my referral code for Questrade and 48650126S1 for Tangerine.  Hey, why not?

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #88 on: December 27, 2016, 09:07:15 AM »
If you had 10 million dollars, why wouldn’t you just pay the taxes?  Someone has to pay for the firefighters, schools, roadways, parks, etc.
Someone has to pay, just not me.  Remember I don't legally reside so why should I pay for these things?

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #89 on: December 27, 2016, 09:20:54 AM »
If you had 10 million dollars, why wouldn’t you just pay the taxes?  Someone has to pay for the firefighters, schools, roadways, parks, etc.
Someone has to pay, just not me.  Remember I don't legally reside so why should I pay for these things?

I think the poster meant to say: why would one alter their life so much to avoid paying relatively little in taxes.

If one wants to shift countries every 183 days for the rest of their life, that's great. To do so purely to avoid taxes seems silly.
Give me one fine day of plain sailing weather and I can mess up anything.

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #90 on: December 27, 2016, 09:36:31 AM »
Agree with the above posters.  If I had 10MM, I'd gladly pay taxes on it to not have the restrictions you list.

Your plan sounds like a good one for someone with an anti-tax fetish, of which there are plenty.  Some people hate taxes so much they'd rather make their life WORSE to avoid paying some taxes.  Whatever, if that's your thing, enjoy (or don't, I guess).
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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #91 on: December 27, 2016, 09:40:42 AM »
I guess frugality goes out the window with 10MM.

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #92 on: December 27, 2016, 09:49:43 AM »
I guess frugality goes out the window with 10MM.

But efficiency and maximizing happiness is good at any networth.
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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #93 on: December 27, 2016, 10:05:15 AM »
I guess frugality goes out the window with 10MM.

Nah.  I can make myself miserable at any income level, or happy at any level.

Frugality has nothing to do with it, happiness does.

I wouldn't make choices that lead to unhappiness if I had $10, or $10MM.

What you described, as I said, may be appealing to some, but not to most of us.

I'm assuming there's a hot water heater in your house.  That doesn't mean "frugality has gone out the window," but rather that you find the expense worth it.

Ditto freedom, for me.  Doing my part for society is a secondary item.

Frugality doesn't mean you have to make yourself unhappy to save a buck.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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malacca

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #94 on: December 27, 2016, 10:24:44 AM »
If I had 10 million dollars this is what I would do to never pay taxes again (legally):

Get a citizenship from a country that does not tax worldwide income.  Almost every county in the world does NOT tax worldwide income if you are not a resident.
Renounce US citizenship.  Why?  To avoid tax on worldwide income.
Travel from country to country never spending more than 183 days at a time in any one.  Why?  Avoid residency, which avoids tax liability.
Invest in US stock via overseas exchanges.
Sit back and enjoy a tax free existence.

This will work if you are NOT a US citizen. There is now big signs on the wall in US embassies stating that you are still liable for US taxes if you renounce your US citizenship for tax reasons. This is another example of why it is so hard to be a US Expat working abroad.

One strategy is to gain citizenship in a country that doesn't allow dual citizenship - then you are required to give up your US citizenship. Singapore is central for this. I met many Americans working in the finance industry that had to pay an additional $100 to $200K a year in US taxes (they were making good dough). Most quickly got Singapore citizenship and rid themselves of their "US taxation without representation" document.

I retired at 40. Have been having / raising kids since.

malacca

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #95 on: December 27, 2016, 10:31:23 AM »
Thanks for your insight malacca.

4. Buy one rental if possible. A place you can live in one day if necessary. Make it one story. You never know the future. Hire someone to manage it for you. Doesn't have to be a nice place. Hopefully it will give off some cash even with paying someone to manage it. Shit happens  - to even smart, hard working people. Nothing worse than being homeless. I have seen it before. I will see it again - successful people who end up homeless.
Homelessness can be cured with money so I don't see the advantage to owning a place.  Just fly back, hotel it for a while, then get a rental.  Then buy later if settlement seems good.  Owning a place ties up money and you have to worry about tenants, just seems like a hassle.

My point here is that things in life change. I know people who retired with a few million but are now near destitute. Stupid shit happens. Your perspective will change when you are abroad. Stupid marriages. Stupid investments.

7. Taxes. Don't worry, you will be tax free. Any income you earn overseas will be tax free up to around $82,000 a year. Once on the road you will meet American expats who will know more than anyone on MMM.
Unfortunately dividends, interest and capital gains are unearned and have no exclusion.  I was not thinking about working any more.

8. Work if possible. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but working in foreign countries can be very rewarding. It is less stressful as you are not tied down by the income and can quit at anytime. You get to meet people and having some income relieves the savings drain stress. I knew a guy who worked for 3 months a year in Korea and then lived in the Philippines for 9 months on the earnings.
Tourist visas don't permit work.  I guess keeping things on the down low is the answer to that.

You will figure that out. Everywhere is different.

Just don't buy a bar in Thailand! Every idiot thought it would work out.
I retired at 40. Have been having / raising kids since.

jim555

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #96 on: December 27, 2016, 10:34:50 AM »
If I had 10 million dollars this is what I would do to never pay taxes again (legally):

Get a citizenship from a country that does not tax worldwide income.  Almost every county in the world does NOT tax worldwide income if you are not a resident.
Renounce US citizenship.  Why?  To avoid tax on worldwide income.
Travel from country to country never spending more than 183 days at a time in any one.  Why?  Avoid residency, which avoids tax liability.
Invest in US stock via overseas exchanges.
Sit back and enjoy a tax free existence.

This will work if you are NOT a US citizen. There is now big signs on the wall in US embassies stating that you are still liable for US taxes if you renounce your US citizenship for tax reasons. This is another example of why it is so hard to be a US Expat working abroad.

One strategy is to gain citizenship in a country that doesn't allow dual citizenship - then you are required to give up your US citizenship. Singapore is central for this. I met many Americans working in the finance industry that had to pay an additional $100 to $200K a year in US taxes (they were making good dough). Most quickly got Singapore citizenship and rid themselves of their "US taxation without representation" document.
How are they going to know why you are renouncing, read your mind?  As long as the tax bill is up to date and you pay the fee I don't see how they could refuse a renouncement. 

arebelspy

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #97 on: December 27, 2016, 10:55:22 AM »
How are they going to know why you are renouncing, read your mind?  As long as the tax bill is up to date and you pay the fee I don't see how they could refuse a renouncement.

With the IRS, in general, they can decide whatever they want, and you are the one responsible for proving them wrong.

What reason would you give for renouncing, if asked?
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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #98 on: December 27, 2016, 11:00:04 AM »
How are they going to know why you are renouncing, read your mind?  As long as the tax bill is up to date and you pay the fee I don't see how they could refuse a renouncement.

With the IRS, in general, they can decide whatever they want, and you are the one responsible for proving them wrong.

What reason would you give for renouncing, if asked?
My fancy pants lawyer will give the right answer.

arebelspy

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #99 on: December 27, 2016, 11:17:15 AM »
My fancy pants lawyer

I guess frugality goes out the window when you're trying to avoid taxes.


;)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."