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Full-timer residency choice

Residency is something that all full-time RV’ers have to wrangle with. The government and financial institutions really have a problem with people who don’t want to call anywhere home, so you are going to have to decide on something.

Most legal experts will advise you to choose just one state to be your ‘home’ and make sure that everything is tied to that state: driver’s license, vehicle registration, income tax, schools for the kids, doctors, and of course, your mail. Trust me when I say that this is extremely difficult and more complicated than you can imagine.

We chose Texas for a variety of reasons. They do not have personal income tax, vehicle registration is affordable, and they allow you to use a mail forwarding service as your permanent address. They even let you vote.

The only downside to Texas that we have found so far is health insurance. Since Texas chose not to set up its own insurance exchange as part of the Affordable Care Act, you must go through the federal exchange in order to take advantage of any subsidies that you might qualify for. We have compared their health insurance rates to California’s (where we originally owned a home) and found the rates in Texas to be about the same, but with much higher deductibles.

Early in our quest to become full-time RV’ers we joined the Escapees RV Club (http://escapees.com) so that we could get advice from their forum and use their mail forwarding service. They also have an excellent handbook on how to become a Texas that I have uploaded to the blog here: http://livingthervlife.com/texan.pdf

We did have to go to Texas at the start to get our driver’s licenses and register the vehicles, but after that we will be able to continue renewing by mail for several years.

The best thing to do is browse through the RV forums, check with your legal or tax adviser and consider all of your options carefully before taking the plunge.

 

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