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Old 04-06-2009, 06:08 PM   #1
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Full time living on the road

We are going to live fulltime in our airstream trailer starting at the end of April. It's very exciting, and we are looking forward to travelling around Canada, and the US. I was wondering if there was anyone on the forum who's versed in the whole issue of no permanent address.

We'd like to retain our Canadian status, so it's a simple matter of being in Canada 6 months of the year. What's not obvious is around taxes, health care and all those minor (ha!) details.

I'd like to know other people's experience, any direction we can get.
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Old 04-06-2009, 06:18 PM   #2
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Sounds like a wonderful adventure! While we are not Canadian, nor are able to address most of your questions, we do get prescriptions filled at Walgreen's all around the country. Also wander into outpatient hospital laboratories at times for needed blood work. We carry a standing order for the labs, have never had a problem getting them done. They are faxed to the doc, who calls us with results. Should there be an emergency, emergency rooms here will and must treat you. Have a great trip, and will look for you on the road.
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Old 04-06-2009, 06:57 PM   #3
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Hi Kim and Deb!

Great website you've put together!
The rig looks great and it sounds like your dream has begun

I've been full time since 2000, but not being from Canada can't really advise ya.

There are quite a few Canadian members who will chime in no doubt!

The journey IS the destination.

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Old 04-06-2009, 07:24 PM   #4
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Kim and Deb...

Congrats on the beginning of your new adventure...a great website you have going and a great start on your new lifestyle...have a blast! Maybe we'll see ya down the road! You'll be able to get the advice and questions answered here (and there are answers), for sure!
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:24 PM   #5
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Kim & Deb :

For the purpose of having some sort of domicile, you might consider just having an "address" at a family member's home (for rev-can, licences, etc..) however, if that's not possible you could always set up a box at a UPS store.

BTW, your plans to go, see, & experience are really inspiring.

Good luck to you !!
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:51 PM   #6
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Kim & Deb,

Looks like a great adventure! Your blog/website is cool! My advice here about being on the road is likely "overkill" (or road kill....) but it is what we do. We have not taken the luxury of going full time. But, there have been times in the past (actually way too many...) when we need medical assistance when we are not at home.

I have a little booklet of information with multiple copies. One in the trailer, tow vehicle, often in my purse... (You need to understand we are senior citizens and meds, etc. use up a portion of every day ~ ugh!) In the booklet I have emergency contact names, numbers, etc. Copies of Health Care Directives and Power of Attorney for Health Care, lists of our past ailments, surgeries, etc. and a list of current medications with dosage amounts, etc. This has come in handy many times when one of us has had to drag the other to ER... I can't emphasize the need for Power of Attorney for Health Care enough! I had a horrible experience years ago when my father needed medical decisions made and I wasn't listed on his health care POA... my sister was, and she was in Italy at the time. Very messy.

I also wear a Medic Alert bracelet and am a member of Medic Alert. The "original one!" Medical ID from MedicAlert - Medical Alert, Medical ID Bracelets, Necklaces, Emergency Response They have several levels and have an extraordinary plan for traveling internationally. They have one policy that will assist if you are in a country that doesn't speak your language to assist, or won't accept your insurance and require advance payment they will advance up to $5,000 ~ they have your basic medical records on file to be accessed digitally, or by phone by a physician or ER, they also have an insurance policy that will repatriate you if you are too ill to travel back home or to your family on your own. They will even pay for someone to travel with you back home if absolutely necessary. And, in the worst events, they will repatriate your body should you die.

Anyway, as a pacemaker patient I find a great deal of comfort in the Medic Alert organization. They are international, have great service, affordable, and offer choices. Might be something to consider if you have any particular health issues.

Other than that scary OCD diatribe.... I wish you a great journey!
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:57 PM   #7
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dont bother

as a Canadian as well, just dont bother paying taxes, or worry about health care (someone will pay for it) and just dont licence the trailer... it's very simple no need to worry about it. Lets just hope while in USA you dont have to visit any hospitals... hows that for an optimistic outlook..... LMAO

All the Best and lots of hugs
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:05 PM   #8
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mail forwarding

Check out some of the mail forwarding services, some of them will provide you with an "address". They will also forward your mail to you if and when you want it.

The Escapees club does the mail thing, and also helps out with many other aspects of life on the road.

I realize you mentioned that you want to maintain Canadian citizenship, but you may want to consider "moving" to South Dakota or Ohio. South Dakota is supposed to be the least expensive for licensing, insurance, taxes, etc. Ohio is very close.

I've found healthcare in rural areas to be the most difficult thing. Finding a good doctor is not easy. I would ask at the campground for the location of the hospital, and how to get there. The locals will know which hospitals are good, and which you should stay away from. I've heard names like "McMurder" and been forced to keep driving. I got a spider bite last year in Oklahoma, and had to get treated in Missouri.

If you have any special medical needs, ask your doctor for a list of MD's all over the country that he would recommend.

Wear a medical bracelet, it might save your life.

Take the First Aid/CPR class from the Red Cross. It is only $55 and well worth the money. They will teach you how to use a defibrillator. (It's very easy, the machine does all the thinking for you.)

My eye doctor is in Toledo, and I will fly there for an appointment. I don't trust anybody else, and I can work in a couple days of walleye fishing.

Good luck and have fun,

Woody
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:05 PM   #9
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Huh! Beaconsfield, eh? We lived there from '85 to '91, our kids went to Windermere PS then Beaconsfield HS. Great place.

Your address is the first thing to work out, I would think. Why not make it in a province with lower taxes than Québec, while you're at it? IIRC, New Brunswick is even lower than Ontario, but you would want to check that out very carefully.

As for the address, if you are comfortable having a close friend or family member opening your mail from whoever may send it to you (doctor, lawyer, etc) then by all means, go ahead. But if you want to maintain more privacy than that, a mail-forwarding company may be a better choice, or even a lawyer, since he or she could open mail from people that you instruct them to, and take action that perhaps a friend or relative couldn't/wouldn't.

If you go ahead and do this, be sure you are with a doctor (or clinic) that is hip to what you are doing, one that will offer you support on a long-distance basis.

Good luck!
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Old 04-08-2009, 07:52 AM   #10
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Hey Beaconsfield... small world, my youngest son went to BHS as well.

We've already set up a forwarding address to a friend, and have most things paperless, think the question is more in the vein of doing things by the books.

As by the books you physically have to live in a province for a certian number of days per year to actually qualify for health care. Of course tax wise they aren't so stringent. As long as you haven't established a residence in another province, quebec is all too happy to take your tax dollars... they just won't insure your health as well!

I have heard Alberta is the lowest tax rate, plus the most flexible health care wise. But at this point it's just a rumor! In a perfect world there would be universal health care no matter what province you were in.... maybe i should push for a new status in the canadian health care act called "roaming"
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:23 AM   #11
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Isn't it great to have access to all this wonderful information?! Another suggestion: we keep a Master Book with us that has a monthly planner, telephones/addresses,
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doug&maggie View Post
Isn't it great to have access to all this wonderful information?! Another suggestion: we keep a Master Book with us that has a monthly planner, telephones/addresses,
Sorry, hit a button and off it went. ..also a tabbed section with just emergency contact information, another section with login information (not pswd) for all the important websites we need on the road (bank, visa, travel info, etc) and a business card section for favorite campgrounds.

We also started out with a couple of cookbooks, have found it much more space-saving to use a make-your-own recipe book---these can be found at any of the kitchen and cooking stores, or order them online from crgibson.com. We copied recipes we will actually use and put them in there, can then add to them as you find new ones that are roadworthy.

We also carry cards in our wallets that list name and phone numbers of our physicians and a listing of current medications/dosages/reasons for.
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:33 AM   #13
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We use the UPS Store for our mail and have a accountant in Seattle to keep track of taxes, etc. Having a laptop has been a huge advantage for full-timers.
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:40 AM   #14
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seriously

not too many sence of humour replies so here's my real answer.

We spend the majority of time in Ontario, we pay taxes here and we are eligible for health care. When travelling to the states during the coldest canadian winter month's you can purchase out of country insurance which with the correct plan will get you back to Canada if any serious happens. We are 44 years old and health care right now with the exception of an emergency on the road is not too big an issue right now. (thank god) You can spend the majority of the year in canada if you travel coast to coast.......east to west as it's gets cold and you will be fine.
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