Where Do You Reside?

We do a good work in distinguishing home from a house/apartment/yurt/whatever. But we all reside somewhere. The question is, how does this work?

For most of us the question isn’t very complicated. Wherever we own or rent a place and live there is where we reside. Sometimes that means making a decision between two (or more!) options, or calibrating our time soas to remain a resident of one location rather than another.

The challenge we’ve faced for the past few months is we don’t reside anywhere, technically. Some of the details of our life – like car registrations – are still in California. Where we’ve lived since June is just a rental, not a place we can call our own. And we have no idea when we’ll be exiting the country and heading overseas, but even then, we need to have a place here in the US where we reside.

For folks working abroad, or for folks who have uprooted from a stationary residence like a house or apartment and embraced the nomadic life of the full-time recreation vehicle owner, just traveling all over the place without a permanent residence anywhere, there are actually services and options for establishing residency someplace for tax and other services.

Something we never knew about or even would have guessed at when 2021 started and now we’re navigating the curious (and remarkably simple) pathways of establishing residency in South Dakota. Residency there has advantages from tax perspectives, and there are companies that provide you with a physical mailing address (as opposed to a PO Box) and receive your mail on your behalf and give you the option of having them open some of it and scan it and e-mail it to you. All of this is completely legal, though the particularities vary from state to state.

Crazy, right?!

Just one of the many unexpected intricacies of preparing to live and work overseas for an extended period of time! We’re grateful we had the chance to visit South Dakota a few months ago (and will need to visit again briefly as part of the residency acquisition process) and can affirm it’s a beautiful state!

This means that within the next week or two we’ll have a permanent address, as opposed to borrowing the address of relatives for mail forwarding and shipping purposes. Oddly enough, for me this is a bit of stability in the midst of a lot of flux. Even if the address is virtual it’s also real and permanent, unlike much of anything else in our lives!

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