Author Topic: Traveling Mailbox?  (Read 5603 times)

Shane

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
Traveling Mailbox?
« on: April 04, 2018, 01:46:28 AM »
It would be great to be able to say goodbye to paper mail and switch everything over to Traveling Mailbox. I would be totally fine with paying TM's very reasonable fees for their services. I'm a little concerned, though, about how switching over to TM will affect our lives. It'll be easy enough to update all of our profiles online for bank, brokerage, CC, and other accounts. What about driver's licenses? Can we put a TM address on our DLs? What about voter registration? Health insurance?

Unfortunately, TM doesn't offer any addresses in our home state. Obviously, we could change our residency, but probably that would require our physically returning to the US. We've thought about becoming residents of WA to take advantage of no state income taxes. There are some advantages, though, to being residents of a state that charges higher taxes. For example, because our income is low enough, we qualify for Medicaid in our current state. Not sure if that would be possible in WA...

We've been traveling full time for a year and a half, and, right now, we're having some issues with one of our brokerage accounts. The brokerage is threatening to restrict access to our account because they're claiming we have "moved." Extended family members in our home state have been generously receiving our mail for us. Apparently, there was a miscommunication, and our family sent back an important piece of mail to the brokerage with a note telling them we weren't there, and that it would be better for the brokerage to contact us by email. Now, the brokerage keeps sending us threatening messages saying they are "required by US Federal law to have both our physical and mailing addresses on file, and if we don't update our address with them by XX/XX/XXXX date, they're going to restrict access to our account."

Jeremy, Have you had any issues, so far, using TM? Somewhere, I seem to remember reading that some companies (CC? banks?) know when an address belongs to a mail forwarding company and refuse to accept it. Do all of the brokerages, banks and CC companies you deal with accept your TM address as your physical/mailing address?

gocurrycracker

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 297
  • I live here.
    • View Profile
    • Retire Early. Travel the World.
Re: Traveling Mailbox?
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2018, 08:28:58 AM »
Hi Shane

You still need a physical address. A bank, DMV, credit card issuer, etc... all need it.

You would give everybody your physical address and mailing address, and they would send all of your mail to the latter.

None of the brokerages/banks/CC companies have only the TM address, but they do send 100% of the mail there. Which is limited, because we have everything configured for electronic delivery.

In short, we are 100% switched over to TM and have had no issues with it.

chicagobluu

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
    • Language Shine
Re: Traveling Mailbox?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2018, 11:55:48 AM »
This has been a concern of mine before leaping to live abroad.  I'm set up with a traveling mailbox now but I'm curious how others maintain a physical address.  Do people typically use a family members address?   I do have rental property that I could utilize.  I'd prefer not using a family members address.

Another issue I've seen pop up is some brokerages are shutting down accounts as apparently it's illegal to own mutual funds if you live overseas.   I feel like America is trying to keep it's citizens trapped inside.

Maybe there's a grey area between residency and just visiting or being transient for long stretches.   FYI, I have lived in Taiwan for a few years in the past (A beautiful island) and I plan to head back to Asia later this year.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2018, 12:00:52 PM by chicagobluu »

gocurrycracker

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 297
  • I live here.
    • View Profile
    • Retire Early. Travel the World.
Re: Traveling Mailbox?
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2018, 07:43:51 PM »
We use a friend's house as a physical address. Note that zero mail is actually sent there.

Another issue I've seen pop up is some brokerages are shutting down accounts as apparently it's illegal to own mutual funds if you live overseas.   I feel like America is trying to keep it's citizens trapped inside.

This is wrong. It's not illegal to own mutual funds, and you can buy ETFs without issue. (the site you linked isn't one I would read again)

Rover12

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Traveling Mailbox?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2018, 02:02:07 PM »
I'm so glad I stumbled upon this! I am having the same issue! Without going into details, my spouse and I are living abroad temporarily and concerned that our investment accounts will be shut down. Can you expand what you mean by "You would give everybody your physical address and mailing address, and they would send all of your mail to the latter."? I was under the impression that places like Vanguard wouldn't allow you to have your physical address be outside the US. Thanks for the clarification! This is the first place I have found that addresses this issue with some simplicity and have I have been searching for months!

gocurrycracker

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 297
  • I live here.
    • View Profile
    • Retire Early. Travel the World.
Re: Traveling Mailbox?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2018, 08:01:03 PM »

You still need a physical address. A bank, DMV, credit card issuer, etc... all need it.


That physical address is in the US.

Shane

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Traveling Mailbox?
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2018, 02:24:58 PM »
Hi Shane

You still need a physical address. A bank, DMV, credit card issuer, etc... all need it.

You would give everybody your physical address and mailing address, and they would send all of your mail to the latter.

None of the brokerages/banks/CC companies have only the TM address, but they do send 100% of the mail there. Which is limited, because we have everything configured for electronic delivery.

In short, we are 100% switched over to TM and have had no issues with it.

That's good to know, Jeremy. Even though we've got all of our accounts set up to send us everything electronically, I still feel kind of bad knowing that our junk mail is getting sent to our relatives' place. They have to sort through it and try to figure out if anything is actually of value. If we can get TM to do that work, then maybe it won't be as much of a burden for our relatives to just let us use their physical address...

gocurrycracker

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 297
  • I live here.
    • View Profile
    • Retire Early. Travel the World.
Re: Traveling Mailbox?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2018, 10:05:59 PM »
That's good to know, Jeremy. Even though we've got all of our accounts set up to send us everything electronically, I still feel kind of bad knowing that our junk mail is getting sent to our relatives' place. They have to sort through it and try to figure out if anything is actually of value. If we can get TM to do that work, then maybe it won't be as much of a burden for our relatives to just let us use their physical address...

Part of signing up for a mailing service is to forward all mail to it. No junk mail goes to the physical address.

Shane

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Traveling Mailbox?
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2018, 11:22:53 AM »
I'm so glad I stumbled upon this! I am having the same issue! Without going into details, my spouse and I are living abroad temporarily and concerned that our investment accounts will be shut down. Can you expand what you mean by "You would give everybody your physical address and mailing address, and they would send all of your mail to the latter."? I was under the impression that places like Vanguard wouldn't allow you to have your physical address be outside the US. Thanks for the clarification! This is the first place I have found that addresses this issue with some simplicity and have I have been searching for months!

@Rover12, both your physical and mailing addresses should be inside the US. Don't tell Vanguard, etal, that you are living outside of the country, otherwise they may close/restrict access to your account(s). Even though you are temporarily living abroad, you are still technically a resident of whichever US state you lived in last. Find a friend or relative who lives in your home state who will allow you to use her physical address. If your relative/friend is okay with sorting through your mail for you and you trust her, you can have USPS deliver your mail to your physical address. Alternatively, your mailing address can be different from your physical address. It can be a PO Box, or you can have your mail delivered to a virtual mailbox like the ones offered by Traveling Mailbox.

Shane

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Traveling Mailbox?
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2018, 11:27:49 AM »
You still need a physical address. A bank, DMV, credit card issuer, etc... all need it.

You would give everybody your physical address and mailing address, and they would send all of your mail to the latter.

None of the brokerages/banks/CC companies have only the TM address, but they do send 100% of the mail there. Which is limited, because we have everything configured for electronic delivery.

In short, we are 100% switched over to TM and have had no issues with it.

I'm assuming your physical address is in WA, right? Are you paying for a "premium" address in WA through TM, as well? Unfortunately, TM doesn't offer addresses in our home state. Any idea if it will raise a red flag anywhere if our physical address is in one state and our mailing address is in another?

gocurrycracker

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 297
  • I live here.
    • View Profile
    • Retire Early. Travel the World.
Re: Traveling Mailbox?
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2018, 06:31:54 AM »
Yeah, both in WA.

I don't think the State on the mailing address matters so much. Everything legal is tied to the physical address. But... TM has a forum, you could pop in there and see what people are doing / think?


Shane

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Traveling Mailbox?
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2018, 06:10:19 AM »
Yeah, both in WA.

I don't think the State on the mailing address matters so much. Everything legal is tied to the physical address. But... TM has a forum, you could pop in there and see what people are doing / think?

Thanks Jeremy. I'll do that.