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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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Quote:
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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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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Old 07-14-2017, 11:49 AM   #15
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New Hampshire has no personal income tax or sales tax.
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Old 07-14-2017, 12:50 PM   #16
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bganso raises a GOOD point. Find out how, having a business registered in CA, will affect all your other decisions. If you do NOT have a physical address IN CA, how will the relatively new Federal REAL ID law affect you when it comes time to renew your drivers' licenses and vehicle registrations? USAA is a GREAT insurer BUT, you should sit down with one of their professionals, tell them your intentions and, ask how your insurance may be affected. These are often a murky areas. I expect you'll have to do a LOT of legwork to get ALL the information you'll need. Mistakes made here could prove VERY costly. If you're NOT already members of the Escapees RV Club, what are you waiting for??? The Escapees have a myriad of resources to assist RVers. GOOD LUCK!
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Old 07-14-2017, 12:50 PM   #17
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CA domicile? It depends

Quote:
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.
We have our home in Highland CA. I have a AZ corporation and work only in AZ. Although as others have pointed out CA is a beautiful State and if it weren't for the people living here it would be great. I have lived most of my adult life hear and despite the beauty and mild temperatures, I have begun to dislike the absurd rules, permanent gas tax, sanctuary state status, the horrible crowds and crammed freeways.

Taxes? Oh yeah. Well all of my income is earned in AZ, but I have to report state income to AZ as well as CA. Although I pay personal income taxes only to AZ, the state of CA wants to know that I did. Also, my CPA tells me that IF you spend more than so many days in CA for what ever reason, you may owe them state income taxes too.

Vehicles and licensing. As you may know already all PU trucks in CA are considered commercial vechicles. So my 2010 Tundra went from $75/per year for AZ license to $750/per year in CA and it never comes down. I changed states because AZ (Maricopa County) only allows a two year window for AZ vechicles to be smoged out of state and you have to return to AZ. Trailers: AZ and TX require that your Airstream be inspected every year (meaning you have to go there) and be certified in order to receive your license tags. Just bought a 30' FC in Texas in December, I don't think CA requires your tailer to be inspected, my CA registered 2007 25' Safari was never inspected by anyone. In anycase, juggling this stuff is a pain.

Just finished a 6000 mile trip through CA, OR. WA, ID, WY, MT, CO, UT, AZ and back to CA. Part of the trip was to scope out states and towns we may like to move to. All of the states above northern CA and northern AZ freeze and have snow in winter. Some have a lot. Denver CO, on May 8, 2017 had a hail storm with hail the size of soft balls that wiped out 100 AS rigs at the Windish dealership in Denver. My point is although CA has a lot of nonsensical rules and taxes and ideas that drive me crazy, the weather, however, is not so bad. If I were in my 20's I wouldn't mind the cold so much, but now I can get a chill at 70 degrees. Maybe the grass isn't greener, but we'll stay put for now.

P.S the scuttle butt is 25% of CA middle class is or has moved to Boise, ID, burrrrr
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Old 07-14-2017, 01:41 PM   #18
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It appears to me you have narrowed things down with the only loose end being health insurance. Other than cost considered accessibility. If you are in the Florida Keys and need medical services, you may be forced back to the state of your domicile. Healthcare issues are changing daily, but it would be something to check on with your current insurance. I know Obamacare is state specific.
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Old 07-14-2017, 02:56 PM   #19
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...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
Uncle has a good point here. I wouldn't choose a new domicile to avoid CA taxes if the place I selected was a place I never or rarely went to (I don't think you can pick one you never went to). Personally, I'd choose a no/low tax state where I'd most likely pass through. As CA residents, that leaves just one choice...NV. Anyplace in NV except Clark Co, that is.
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Old 07-14-2017, 02:58 PM   #20
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Why not just pay taxes to the state you mostly reside in? You know the one that you mostly use the benefits in.
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