Jump to content
BANGKOK 22 March 2019 01:16
zapatero

Keeping a Toe In The Door -- Pros & Cons

Recommended Posts

Banking and financial services. Well thats been an increasingly thorny issue for a while. With the ratcheting up of money laundering enforcement it's becoming harder and harder to fool banks about where you actually are. I'd maintained a mail forwarding address in the US , yet still the bank's software detected it, and I needed to provide a physical address.
 

 

 

This is the real problem with most mail forwarding services, particularly for US citizens in the Post-911survellence world... their offices are not legal addresses for residency purposes. However, the State of South Dakota is the only US state that allows virtual residency, so everything can be done through your Private Mailbox address there...DL, voting, passport, banking, anything...they scan or forward mail, register a car for you, and will even act as your registered agent should you want to set up a corporate entity remotely. South Dakota also has no income tax, so that alone saves most people a fair amount each year.

I've used this service for about 10 years now and it could not be more convenient. PM me if you want details.

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, connda said:

Here in Thailand you have no 'permanent address' unless you have permanent residency or citizenship, both which are rare and difficult to obtain.  Most expats are here year-to-year on the whim of the Thai government, always subject to change.
Permanent?  Not hardly. 

I could not agree more. Further more,

if we are lucky we will become old, with all the associate old age problems. I Love Thailand and I hope the visa requirements will improve or always remain the same, that we will always be welcomes here, and that it will always be affordable to live here. But I am not willing to bet my life on it.

   You know what they say, make peace not war but be prepared for both, I have applied this attitude all my life and it has worked well for me, not about to abandon it now on a wish and a prayer .

I am not fully retired yet, and have being traveling back and forth for over 13 years now, so not a problem yet but next spring will be retiring, Have sold one home, and have not decided what to do do with my FL home (i have a thread in the real estate forum asking for opinions).   I will be keeping a permanent address at my sisters house also in FL , If I rent the house I will have the rent deposited at my Charles Schwab account and have it invested, or if I sell it, invest the proceeds on a relatively safe investment maintaining a way back home if needed.  I am leaning more toward the sell and invest option as I am not sure if the wife is sophisticated enough to be able to sell the property on her own after I pass. 

  The point being. burn your bridges at your own peril.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I use my younger sister address basically for bank and drivers license.

nit been back in two years and living out of the US 12 years or more. I’ll send her a little bit of money for her and my to go out for dinner (their next door neighbors. Moms 86) ...... all of my sisters as well as I are getting up in age....children’s one lives in Cambodia and other in US 

Share this post


Link to post
On 8/11/2018 at 7:31 AM, gk10002000 said:

I have contracted in the USA the last 15 years.  While not an expat, I almost always worked or was away from home as I worked in 17 states!  I found that it was extremely useful and even important to get and keep a permanent address somewhere.  I had a mail forwarding thing for a year or two, but they kind of folded and stopped doing what I needed.  So I found a cheap place to rent a room.  I pay monthly rent, but that allowed me to keep my cell phone bill at that address, get my driver license there, etc.  So now when I am on the road working away from home I qualify for Tax Free Per Diem. 

 

  Of course over the years, it also made getting mail reliable as I never changed my address. AAA card, credit cards, even driver license renewal, car registration, health insurance stuff, Federal Tax and State Income Tax, you name it.  Luckily I can keep this same address it looks like for many more years even as I spend time in Thailand. 

 

   Frankly, I am quite serious about opening a little business to help expats.  Charge some nominal fee to receive other people's mail, package them up via DHL, Fed Express or whatever and send on when asked for.    seems easy to do.  Nothing illegal as I am not certifying anything, just simply performing a service.  Now if the person wants a more permanent sort of deal, maybe make up a lease, charge some nominal rent, and that kind of gives them residency?  Just thinking out loud

nothing illegal.... until some guy sends drugs to your address nad you forward it on...

Share this post


Link to post

I am fortunate in having a brother who allows me to use his address.. My bank and Credit Card provider, although aware that I am in Thailand, have expressed a preference to my having a "home address" .

Also, in a country as politially unstable as Thailand, I always have a nagging fear that a future "government " may turn hostile to aliens and I may be required to scuttle back home in a hurry.

Share this post


Link to post

One of the most important aspects probably most will agree is maintaining yourself on GP lists

In the uk patient access has opened and is being rolled out across the uk whereby you can maintain all contact online by secure website log in. I offered to trial it at my practice when they notified us.

You can even read all your own medical notes down the years. It works a treat and surgery said over 50% are basically using it successfully now

 

Main point being that with a well chosen couple of logs in a year you're maintaining yourself on the lists something that expats have had problem with over the years

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I honestly don't get this burning bridges hyperbole. Robbing a bank and going on the run is burning bridges. I see nothing stopping me returning to the UK in the unlikely  event I should choose to do so. 

 

If you think it likely you'll go home in the future, yes I'd say it's useful to keep things 'live' so to speak. If not live and you have to go home, it's a mere inconvenience to walk into a GP and register, get a SIM card etc etc. 

 

About the pension being increased, I'd imagine you're risking putting yourself on the benefit fraud team's radar. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a disgrace British expats in Thailand don't get pension increases... but claiming residence when you are not there just to beat the pension system is almost certainly considered fraud. 

Edited by NilSS
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, TunnelRat69 said:

I have been using "The UPS Store" in my now, hometown in Hawaii, they forward my mail to wherever I go to work overseas, even had mail sent to Jom Tien.   If you are going to live in USA,  and are serious about opening something like this, out of your home, I'd inquire with the franchise.  They have been helping me for over 15 years, plus provision a street address and 'Apt' number which is required by a lot of agencies as proof of address.  This is a favorite home business for veterans in the US.

I used a similar place in Huntsville Alabama for a while.  But the owners got lazy, would not forward mail properly.  Then many agencies started cracking down on such things and were figuring out which places were valid residences or just some mail stops.  Even though the store I used labeled things as "unit 72" for example to indicate my mail box, the street address got flagged as not a real house. So be aware there may be issues with some government agencies or even businesses.

Share this post


Link to post
On 8/10/2018 at 5:31 PM, gk10002000 said:

I have contracted in the USA the last 15 years.  While not an expat, I almost always worked or was away from home as I worked in 17 states!  I found that it was extremely useful and even important to get and keep a permanent address somewhere.  I had a mail forwarding thing for a year or two, but they kind of folded and stopped doing what I needed.  So I found a cheap place to rent a room.  I pay monthly rent, but that allowed me to keep my cell phone bill at that address, get my driver license there, etc.  So now when I am on the road working away from home I qualify for Tax Free Per Diem. 

 

  Of course over the years, it also made getting mail reliable as I never changed my address. AAA card, credit cards, even driver license renewal, car registration, health insurance stuff, Federal Tax and State Income Tax, you name it.  Luckily I can keep this same address it looks like for many more years even as I spend time in Thailand. 

 

   Frankly, I am quite serious about opening a little business to help expats.  Charge some nominal fee to receive other people's mail, package them up via DHL, Fed Express or whatever and send on when asked for.    seems easy to do.  Nothing illegal as I am not certifying anything, just simply performing a service.  Now if the person wants a more permanent sort of deal, maybe make up a lease, charge some nominal rent, and that kind of gives them residency?  Just thinking out loud

have expats share your address and rent.

Share this post


Link to post

All my years of contracting, many contractors that are working away from home, need to show some sort of proof that that maintain a residence in their home state in order to get Tax Free Per Diem while living and working away from home on the job.  So over the years, many people try to assert they maintain a place somewhere even though many did not do any such thing, were completely itinerant.  So I was aware of many that tried to get enough proof to qualify for the Per Diem.   In many cases it just wouldn't stand an sort of detailed investigation, but they kept rolling the dice, and were willing to risk an IRS audit which would scrutinize their pay stubs and taxations.

Share this post


Link to post

In this day and age, the govt. of your origin always knows where you are.....lol....but it it good not to lose contact with the home country....never know when you will get sick and tired of all the jumping through hoops to call LOS your home.....sooner than later it will grind your gears and if you have the will power and $$$$ your will make a move.....??

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
On 8/11/2018 at 12:31 AM, NilSS said:

A close friend of mine (Thailand based) keeps a house in the UK, but then he has connections, family there etc etc. Personally I have absolutely no ties to my home country, not even a bank account, and I have no contact with any family there. It might as well not exist. However I can understand why many would want to maintain some kind of address or something. Seems a bit of a hassle though. Years ago when I finally left the UK forever, I had Her Majesty's Tax Office send me a cheque for the tax they owed me to my Thai address. No need for a UK address.

There is the old saying never burn your bridges

Share this post


Link to post

I use a mail service in Seattle for the same reasons you used your MFS. Wanderer’s Mail Service has been around since the Alaskan Gold Rush. They have a web site that you can link to by googling them.  I’ve been using them for 5 years now.  I highly recommend them. 

Share this post


Link to post

I have interviewed many retired people and business business people who live in thailand on long term visas. My take away is never sell out. You will always need a place to land if shit hits the fan. This gives you two options. Your home country and Thailand. 

 

1. Developed countries have a quality Social programs for medical and housing when you get to old. If you are of low income or loss everything you can reset assured you will be taken care of better than, if in thailand. They  have good hospitals and care in Thailand but I am taking about old age and all the financial cost of old age. Once your back up credit card runs out and your bank accout is gone by those you trusted you will find yourself in a bad situation.

 

2. If a world war breaks out or economic and financial war gets bigger and Thailand sides with a country other that your own - they may start putting you in camps like other countries have done. Most people I now are
Not"  Thai Citizens they are vistors and a specific visa ie.. "Not Thai"! History shows us this has happend in other countries and in Thailand (River Kawe). Also, If a world/ Econmic & Financial war breaks out (not Nuclear - Just fighting) this means when you walk around you will be a target because your country has killed or wounded someone from their country. You will have to hide out or flee the country. When ever a big political world shift in aggression happens you become a target if you a foriegner. Just stating history.

 

3. I like having the best of both worlds. If a war does break out you will not have access to your money without going through a prolonged verification process by your host country. As, was mentioned in an earlier post, if you don't have some physical presence or reference in your country you might as well kiss your emergency credit card good by. Also, keep your passport up to date. When shit hits the fan and you have not keep your passport up to date - big problem getting out!

 

4. Having two countries is nice and gives flexability to future events, however, what countries offer the best health, medical, and living benefits you are are old. I have met people that have left because they got to old and needed that care in their home country.

 

5. Once your spouce dies you better be a citizen or know how to speak and read thai and have many trusted friends. The Thai Families I do not trust. I have over 15 years watching how Thai families operate - best to have a safety net if things go south.

 

If you don't speak thai you don't know what they are really saying about your - you will be surprised.

 

  • Like 2
  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
16 hours ago, mpyre said:

Banking and financial services. Well thats been an increasingly thorny issue for a while. With the ratcheting up of money laundering enforcement it's becoming harder and harder to fool banks about where you actually are. I'd maintained a mail forwarding address in the US , yet still the bank's software detected it, and I needed to provide a physical address.
 

 

 

This is the real problem with most mail forwarding services, particularly for US citizens in the Post-911survellence world... their offices are not legal addresses for residency purposes. However, the State of South Dakota is the only US state that allows virtual residency, so everything can be done through your Private Mailbox address there...DL, voting, passport, banking, anything...they scan or forward mail, register a car for you, and will even act as your registered agent should you want to set up a corporate entity remotely. South Dakota also has no income tax, so that alone saves most people a fair amount each year.

I've used this service for about 10 years now and it could not be more convenient. PM me if you want details.

hmmm.  thanks for the tip about virtual residency.  And since South Dakota is also a no income tax state, its ranking just went up in my book

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...