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Old 07-13-2017, 11:25 AM   #1
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Is California Domicile a Bad Idea?

My husband and I currently live in San Diego. We've sold our house, purchased our Airstream and truck, and are waiting until our lease is up in April to hit the road full time. We have California driver licenses, our truck and trailer are registered in California, and we have a consulting business registered in California that will continue to be our income source. We plan to spend a decent part of the year in California and we'll have our stuff stored in San Diego.

Is a California domicile a bad idea?

We know there is a mail service available in San Diego so that wouldn't be an issue. We know other states are better for income tax, but we are used to CA's taxes so that's not a #1 priority. Our vehicles are insured through USAA. The only thing we haven't looked into yet is health insurance. My husband is a disabled veteran, so he's able to get what he needs through the VA. I have insurance through Blue Shield of California. I have not called them yet to inquire about what happens when we're on the road full time.

Does anyone out there have California domicile? Is there anything else I need to consider? I appreciate any help on this matter as we're so new to this we haven't even picked up our trailer from the dealership yet.
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Old 07-13-2017, 11:45 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by GoneStreamin View Post
My husband and I currently live in San Diego. We've sold our house, purchased our Airstream and truck, and are waiting until our lease is up in April to hit the road full time. We have California driver licenses, our truck and trailer are registered in California, and we have a consulting business registered in California that will continue to be our income source. We plan to spend a decent part of the year in California and we'll have our stuff stored in San Diego.

Is a California domicile a bad idea?

We know there is a mail service available in San Diego so that wouldn't be an issue. We know other states are better for income tax, but we are used to CA's taxes so that's not a #1 priority. Our vehicles are insured through USAA. The only thing we haven't looked into yet is health insurance. My husband is a disabled veteran, so he's able to get what he needs through the VA. I have insurance through Blue Shield of California. I have not called them yet to inquire about what happens when we're on the road full time.

Does anyone out there have California domicile? Is there anything else I need to consider? I appreciate any help on this matter as we're so new to this we haven't even picked up our trailer from the dealership yet.
Sounds like your off on a grand adventure!!

I spend five months a year in San Diego living in my rig. I still maintain a residence in Michigan so I haven't had to deal with the issue myself, but many around me have and they seem to favor South Dakota and Wyoming for the most part - mostly citing tax reasons. Since I'm on the road much of the time, I have a Blue Cross Michigan multi-state gold policy which allows me in-network access to doctors and hospitals that accept Blue Cross around the country. Not sure how the private companies work, but they may offer something similar.

Hope that helps a obit! BTW, love La Jolla except for the parking:-)
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Old 07-13-2017, 12:11 PM   #3
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we are used to CA's taxes so that's not a #1 priority.
You'd be surprised how easily you'll adapt to other states with no income tax. And have money to spare.
But if you're attached to California and can afford it, then I think you've already decided to keep your legal residence there.
I love California, I could never live there. It's such a beautiful state with some of the best reasons to leave.
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Old 07-13-2017, 12:21 PM   #4
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Presumably your only reason for setting up domicile in another state is to save on taxes/insurance/registration?

In that case, I'd say you definitely should investigate the possibility of doing so in the various states where it's advantageous as well as if maintaining the business in CA hinders your ability to do so.

I think we are expensive on all three fronts: taxes, registration, and insurance. However, I don't know if there's a single state that's good on all three?

There are the seven states without state income tax: AK, FL, NV, SD, TX, WA, & WY.

Of those, AK, NV, TX, WY have flat fee registration. A few of the others appear to still have fairly low fees relative to CA.

I'm not sure about insurance, but these might all help you narrow down. The other thing to keep in mind is how often and how long will you be in CA and if that creates a problem if your vehicles are registered in another state?
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Old 07-13-2017, 12:24 PM   #5
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Hi from AZ. . . several of our peeps have established residence in South Dakota. . . You have to spend one night there (motel or camping) every 5 years. NO state income tax, vehicle registration is a lot cheaper than AZ, and there's a service that does the paperwork for you, I think in Rapid City . I'm trying to find you the link to him . . . stay tuned. . . regards, Craig
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Old 07-13-2017, 12:55 PM   #6
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Hi

If you will be traveling "all over the place", your health insurance should be adjusted to fit that reality. There are lots of options these days so it's not that hard to work out.

Having lived in a lot of different places over the years, costs vary a lot from place to place. Insurance can be (but usually isn't) a 10:1 kind of thing. Taxes can be a bit tricky so do your homework. Paying no state income tax is only fine if there isn't some other magic way they grab an equivalent amount of money each year.

Doing residence in a place you never ever go near can be a pain. There are routine things like drivers license renewal. There are not so routine things like being on call for a month for federal jury duty (wife is on that one right now).

Bob
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Old 07-14-2017, 07:37 AM   #7
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Old 07-14-2017, 07:44 AM   #8
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With a business based in California you may be challenged by the Franchise Tax Board that your legal residence is outside of CA, if that's what you choose. Check with your accountant.
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:09 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by LBOskiBear View Post
Presumably your only reason for setting up domicile in another state is to save on taxes/insurance/registration?

In that case, I'd say you definitely should investigate the possibility of doing so in the various states where it's advantageous as well as if maintaining the business in CA hinders your ability to do so.

I think we are expensive on all three fronts: taxes, registration, and insurance. However, I don't know if there's a single state that's good on all three?

There are the seven states without state income tax: AK, FL, NV, SD, TX, WA, & WY.

Of those, AK, NV, TX, WY have flat fee registration. A few of the others appear to still have fairly low fees relative to CA.

I'm not sure about insurance, but these might all help you narrow down. The other thing to keep in mind is how often and how long will you be in CA and if that creates a problem if your vehicles are registered in another state?
There must be 8 with no state income tax. TN has no state income tax. Flat registration fee, low cost of living, low crime rates, beautiful scenery. I think we hit all three pretty good.
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Old 07-14-2017, 11:31 AM   #10
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No Free lunch

a thread like this can be concluded by stating "you get what you pay for".
You want cool and dry or get soaked by FPL? What you don't pay in income taxes you make up for in utilities (and other things). Prolly the same in Beautiful TN and NC!
The big problem with California is even with all the bitchin and moaning, y'all keep coming here, and its getting damn crowded even in the outer regions! Try to camp in Death Valley! Big Bear is like Miami Beach during high season.
LA and SD? fugedaboutit!
But, I'm still here in CA (A great place to be FROM)- bouncing from mountain top to mountain top, especially after my "winter in FL experiment" of last year (2016). You really cant go home again
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Old 07-14-2017, 11:38 AM   #11
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following. we are having the same conversation right now!
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Old 07-14-2017, 11:41 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by RamblinManGa View Post
Hi from AZ. . . several of our peeps have established residence in South Dakota. . . You have to spend one night there (motel or camping) every 5 years. NO state income tax, vehicle registration is a lot cheaper than AZ, and there's a service that does the paperwork for you, I think in Rapid City . I'm trying to find you the link to him . . . stay tuned. . . regards, Craig
I can agree with this if you going to actually spend time in South Dakota, Otherwise your just freeloading in the state you actually live in.
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Old 07-14-2017, 11:42 AM   #13
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All good advice.

Since 2009, we've traveled in our airstream about 5 monthss of the year. A lot of our friends who live spend even more time on the road have registered their vehicles in other states.

For most of that time, we were both covered by Blue Cross. My wife still is, but I switched to Medicare with a Blue Cross Supplement plan. By and large, this has worked for us everywhere we've gone, with one notable exception. OuMy wife's Blue Cross plan requires that she use in network facilities, or pay a hefty penalty. She had a serious incident in Northern California (!!) last year and was hospitalized for four days. The only covered hospitals were two hours away--had we waited to get her there, she probably wouldn't be here right now. we got excellent care from a local hospital, but it took while after the fact fro Blue Cross to agree that it really was the only alternative. Ultimately, they did cover everything.

As Calfiornia residens, we feel that we really should be paying California taxes to keep up that infrastructure. So we have made no attempt (although it's been tempting) to register our vehicles elsewhere.

We've recently move out of state, and we're leasing our California home. Our legal residence is now Hawaii. so our other vehicles are registered here, but our Airstream and tow vehicle are stored in the Redlands, CA area, and that's where they are registered.

There can be less expensive solutions, but we like to support local wherever possible.
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Old 07-14-2017, 11:48 AM   #14
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a thread like this can be concluded by stating "you get what you pay for".
You want cool and dry or get soaked by FPL? What you don't pay in income taxes you make up for in utilities (and other things). Prolly the same in Beautiful TN and NC!
The big problem with California is even with all the bitchin and moaning, y'all keep coming here, and its getting damn crowded even in the outer regions! Try to camp in Death Valley! Big Bear is like Miami Beach during high season.
LA and SD? fugedaboutit!
But, I'm still here in CA (A great place to be FROM)- bouncing from mountain top to mountain top, especially after my "winter in FL experiment" of last year (2016). You really cant go home again
NC yes TN in big cities yes, E TN we have a great area. Low cost of living, low crime, low taxes, utilities reasonable. Traveled extensively in 42 states and can't find anywhere that compares to home. Been to Cali from top to bottom. Top of state is awesome bottom of the state not so much. So nick sharpe you don't have to worry about me overcrowding your area because I have no desire to come back to visit much less live with high cost associated with everything in your part of the country.
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