Several of you have asked why we made the ‘move’ to Texas. How come? Why now? So before I get into the full explanation, let’s talk for a moment about “Domicile”.
For those of you living in a house or an apartment, domicile is easy. It’s simply where you live. For those of us who move every three weeks or so, it’s a bit more complicated. Not only is there the ‘where do you get mail?’ problem, but the state and federal governments really, really, really want to know where you ‘domicile’. There’s this thing called Taxes that they seem pretty particular about.
The tricky part is that most states want you to actually LIVE there before they will give you a driver’s license and tags for your vehicles. When we first left home (outside of Philadelphia), the house was still on the market, so we just got a PO Box and asked good friends to pick up the mail and send it to us periodically.
When the house finally sold, we changed over from a PO Box, and just used our friend’s address as our own. We were only going to be doing this RV thing for a year or so, so it didn’t make much sense to make any big domicile changes. Once we realized that our ‘year or so’ adventure was going to be a bit more open-ended, the research for our best options began. Back in those day the two primary states that Full-time RVers preferred were Florida and Texas. After checking insurance costs (both vehicle and health), registrations fees and requirements for getting a license (and voting), Florida won the day. (Today probably South Dakota, the other prime full-timer domicile state, would’ve won. Sadly, we were unaware of the benefits of being a South Dakotan at the time).
So that’s the back story. (Are your eyes glazed over yet?). Changing your address, let alone your domicile, is a real pain when you already use a mail forwarding service. Filling out the change of address card and dropping it at the post office does not work – all address changes have to be made manually. SO – we looked very carefully at our options before we decided to make the change. The ol’ spreadsheet came out again as we checked on insurance rates, what it would do to our Medicare supplement plan (if anything), registration and licensing fees, etc. Everything (with the exception of slightly higher vehicle registration fees) seemed to point us toward ‘moving’ to Texas. Another factor was that we rarely go to Florida. And we’ve been in Texas every year since 2006.
Oh, and there was one more reason –
We bought a HOUSE in Texas!
After years of putting sweat equity (and yes, maybe a few dollars too) into our daughter’s sweet house in Waco, we finally took the plunge and bought it! She was living in Ohio and more than ready to sell. Our son was living in the house and perfectly content to remain there, even as we moved in to share the space. The Waco housing market is pretty active these days (thank-you, Chip and Joanna) so it seemed like a good time to make the move. To us it seemed like a win-win scenario. We’re not done traveling and doing our SOWER work just yet, so we’re pleased that our son will be able to watch over things when we’re away.
Once we get into some decent internet, I’ll get some pictures uploaded of some of the projects we’ve started at the house, along with some shots of the adorable family that’s taking care of it for us!! But for now, thanks for putting up with such a wordy post. So many words – so few pictures!!
Thanks for stopping by!
PS – This is by no means an in-depth discussion of how RV’ers choose their state of Domicile! HERE‘s a bit more information from Escapees, a national RV organization if you want the whole story.