Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-06-2015, 09:23 PM   #1
Guru
 
menzies's Avatar
 
City: Jacksonville
Country: USA
Vessel Name: SONAS
Vessel Model: Grand Alaskan 53
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 2,203
Long Term Cruising And Land Based Challenges

We are coming close to buying "the retirement boat."

Once I do retire (no date yet), the wife wants to first do the Loop - probably over two years, leaving the boat here and there and doing other non-boating stuff. Then I want to do the islands all the way down to the ABC and either back or, depending on prevailing political climate hug the central American coast back along the gulf coast.

We do have a good number of questions though. Not about life on board but about how to handle things back on land.

What do people do about mail, especially bills? I guess most can be handled on line, but often unexpected ones do pop through the mail and are time sensitive. If you have a friend or neighbor handle them are you comfortable about privacy as you don't know what is going to pop through the mail box?

What about looking after the house, not so much the cleaning and polishing, but if there was a water leak or, God forbid, a break in. A tree down, or a blown piece of equipment like AC.

What other land-based issues have people had to deal with when cruising for long periods?

Or do folks decide either right off the bat, or after a year or so, that they no longer need a home, and sell it.

We would rather not as we cherish holidays at home hosting our family.
__________________
Advertisement

menzies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2015, 09:28 PM   #2
Guru
 
caltexflanc's Avatar
 
City: North Carolina for now
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Small Incentive
Vessel Model: Boston Whaler 130 Sport
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,797
Since you are a Florida resident, use St Brendans Isle in Green Cove Springs as your new land address; they have all kinds of mail sorting and forwarding services.

Mail Forwarding Services at St Brendan's Isle

having been Texas residents before taking off, we used Escapees in Livingston for the same purpose.
__________________

__________________
George

"There's the Right Way, the Wrong Way, and what some guy says he's gotten away with"
caltexflanc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2015, 10:08 PM   #3
Guru
 
twistedtree's Avatar
 
City: Gloucester, MA
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3,193
We have someone who checks on our house, plus a security system that will alert us of anything requiring immediate attention.

I am not yet comfortable with the various mail services due to privacy and security, so instead I have our mail forwarded to our son who then checks for important things and lets us know if there is anything that requires action. I have set up to have most bills sent via email, and I can pay everything on line, but as you said, there are always stragglers that need attention.

Credit cards and bank cards are a particular challenge. If one gets compromised while traveling - something that seems to happen every time we are away for a while - some banks will only send replacement cards to your address on file with the bank. Ditto for debit cards.
__________________
www.MVTanglewood.com
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2015, 10:54 PM   #4
TF Site Team
 
ksanders's Avatar
 
City: SEWARD ALASKA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: LISAS WAY
Vessel Model: BAYLINER 4788
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 3,955
Our local UPS store rents post office boxes.

They also offer a service where they will forward your mail to you via UPS. Just call and they will throw it in a box and ship it via whatever service you want where ever you want.

Great for harbor hoppers, and RV'ers.

If you want they will even scan and email you the fronts of the envelopes and open and scan your mail and email it to you. It's a completely customizable service.
__________________
Kevin Sanders
Bayliner 4788
Seward, Alaska
www.mvlisasway.com
ksanders is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 02:32 AM   #5
Guru
 
timjet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,905
We were on the boat 5 months last year and what we found helpful was to have all routine bills sent via e-mail. We had all our mail forwarded to our son who would scan items he felt we needed to look at. A pool company took care of the pool and lawn company cut the grass.

We have an alarm system for the house but don't use it. Too many false alarms. We have 2 WiFi cameras that we can view the front and back door of the house via WiFi on the boat. Our close friend and neighbor would occasionally walk around the house.

We also secured the house in the event of a hurricane.
__________________
Tim
Tampa Bay
Carver 355 ACMY Twin Cummins Diesels Sold
timjet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 03:12 AM   #6
Guru
 
BandB's Avatar
 
City: Fort Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 13,153
I agree with Caltex on St. Brendan's. If not using them, and family or friend instead, use the same system they do. Scan envelopes and decide if you want them to open them and scan what's inside for you. First thing I'd ask is why you receive any paper bills. We get zero, all online. So very little mail other than junk. Main concern I'd have is a tax notice of some sort.

As to the house. If climate allows, shut it down and wrap it up. I mean turn electric phone water and sewage off while gone.As to yard, get someone to do it and text you a photo. As to watching the house, relative or nosy neighbor is best. The police say they'll do so if notified. I'll admit some paranoia in notifying them and it falls into the wrong hands.

If you cruise enough then it might make sense to think of a condo or apartment where it would be regularly watched and all maintenance done.

Some use sitters, depends on how long and who. We have an older couple we've known for 15 years and trust totally who keep an eye on everything for us. Often you'll find someone who appreciates the little extra income, but make sure it's someone you feel 100% confident in.

A little comparison of a UPS store to St. Brendan's. St. Brendan has the advantage if you want only some mail forwarded. Want some tossed and some scanned, that saves. Also, they have the advantage if you're going out of the country.

And for those who sell their home, St. Brendan's can be your home. This is something only true in Florida and a few other states. But they can be your legal address, on your driver's license on your car title on your tax returns.
BandB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 05:58 AM   #7
Guru
 
High Wire's Avatar
 
City: Cape May, NJ and Englewood, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Irish Lady
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,600
What about health care under ahe 65? My health ins is based on being an NJ resident. It will cover ER visits out of state but everything else must go throught the primary in NJ. Got to be a better way. I do have the old 80/20 major medical option that can be used anywhere.
High Wire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 06:00 AM   #8
TF Site Team
 
Bay Pelican's Avatar
 
City: Chicago, IL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bay Pelican
Vessel Model: Krogen 42
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,789
Have used St. Brendan's for ten years. The ability to see the delivered envelopes online and request that the content be scanned allows us to pay the unexpected bill and respond to government demands.

There is a loss of privacy, but for some things, the mere fact of seeing the envelope tips us off to checking directly with the sender.

Note it is a private mail service so you cannot file a change of address form at the end of the season to have the mail automatically forwarded to your land based home. We solve this by using the US post office to forward the mail from our home to St. Brendans and then at the end of our boating season cancelling the forwarding so that the mail stays at our home address.
__________________
Marty
Bay Pelican is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 06:03 AM   #9
TF Site Team
 
Bay Pelican's Avatar
 
City: Chicago, IL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bay Pelican
Vessel Model: Krogen 42
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,789
Quote:
Originally Posted by High Wire View Post
What about health care under ahe 65? My health ins is based on being an NJ resident.It will cover ER visits out of state but everything else must go throught the primary in NJ. Got to be a better way. I do have the old 80/20 major medical option that can be used anywhere.
One of the downsides of Obamacare is the increase in policies that will not allow you to see doctors outside of your home state. My wife's policy that was cancelled allowed worldwide coverage. The new policy (2.8 times the original price) will not allow her to go to Chicago, 53 miles away.
__________________
Marty
Bay Pelican is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 07:13 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 207
When full timing for a couple years in our motorhome we used Escapees mail service. They would send mail to us whenever requested. They also have an upgraded service that will scan mail (as do other services). But we also had any local bills go to our sons house. He would take a picture with his camera of any mail in question and email it to us. Quicker than scanning.
We also had credit cards compromised a few times and each time they would fedex the new card to wherever we were. But most of our travels during that time were in the states.
We traveled one year with the house then sold it. Too much trouble and work being absent home owners.
folivier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 07:22 AM   #11
Guru
 
caltexflanc's Avatar
 
City: North Carolina for now
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Small Incentive
Vessel Model: Boston Whaler 130 Sport
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,797
I was on my private insurance from Blue Cross in Texas for 8 years until just now getting MC. Ann was on it the whole time we were cruising until she went back to teaching. We had no issues as a result of ACA, (other than I got two rebate checks from BC due to ACA's claim percent rule), my premiums increased as I aged like they would have without ACA. We were treated by doctors all along the east coast (never in Texas), and I also in California. For the last few years I have been using doctors here in North Carolina almost exclusively, including an orthopedic surgeon for a broken Achille's tendon.

So pick your health care carefully.

By using Escapees, I was able to keep my Texas residency, which allowed me to vote absentee, register my cars, even renew my driver's license. I have only now switched all that to North Carolina. We sold our house in Texas when bought the boat, so Escapees was our address. They primarily serve RV'ers, but were great for us. We'd simply call them up and arrange everything to be shipped in one priority mail box to whatever marina we liked, or to friends/family near where we were with the boat. As others mentioned, recurring bills could all be handled electronically.

So in the end, none of the subject issues were a problem at all.
__________________
George

"There's the Right Way, the Wrong Way, and what some guy says he's gotten away with"
caltexflanc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 08:42 AM   #12
TF Site Team
 
Larry M's Avatar
 
City: JAX, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Hobo
Vessel Model: Krogen 42-120
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,737
We have used a mail forwarding service since 1997. She has limited power of attorney, pays the bills, takes care of the vessel doc and makes sure nothing slides through the cracks. We have a joint checking account and keep a couple of thousand in it for the stuff that doesn't get paid on line. I like the idea of not having family involved. We have friends that have had problems when "they" (family) are trying to help out. We don't worry about the privacy issue. It's similar to hiring someone to do your taxes or help with financial advice. Screen your service and have some access controls.

We currently have health insurance with Blue Cross. I had a knee replaced last October in FL, are a Washington resident and it was no problem. We have not used it outside the country but would it be different than if you were hurt while on vacation? Our policy says it will cover us for emergency care.

We don't have a dirt dwelling so we can't help you there.
Larry M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 10:21 AM   #13
Guru
 
BandB's Avatar
 
City: Fort Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 13,153
If you start moving yourself to handling everything possible electronically, you'll be amazed at how little mail is left, and of that part left, how little of it you really need to see or need to see quickly.
BandB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 12:39 PM   #14
TF Site Team
 
Bay Pelican's Avatar
 
City: Chicago, IL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bay Pelican
Vessel Model: Krogen 42
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,789
Need to see mail quickly. I went with a mail service that scans the envelopes after the IRS sent a revision letter and I did not respond within 10 days. Required much more effort to overturn the failure to reply decision then to just point out that they were wrong and I could prove it.
__________________
Marty
Bay Pelican is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 12:52 PM   #15
Guru
 
twistedtree's Avatar
 
City: Gloucester, MA
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3,193
Quote:
Originally Posted by BandB View Post
If you start moving yourself to handling everything possible electronically, you'll be amazed at how little mail is left, and of that part left, how little of it you really need to see or need to see quickly.
I've been trying to do just that, but have been unsuccessful on a few key fronts:

- Property tax bills. I can't get any of these sent via email - they all come via postal service only - all 5 of them.

- Personal property tax bills (gotta love Mass). I get one for each car and each boat, via mail only.

- Town water bill. Mail only.

- Lawn mowing guy. He has no internet and no email.

- Misc other once or twice a year bills like tree spraying, snow plowing, etc.

But the regular stuff I get all via email and pay on line.

Personally I would love to see the USPS go away. All they do every day is deliver my recycling, and there is no way to make it stop. Actually, the best way to filter out the junk that I've found is to forward your mail since they will not forward catalogs, etc. We have tried the various services to stop junk mail, and it helps for a while. But it's a lot of work to set up, and only seems to help for a while before the assault resumes.
__________________
www.MVTanglewood.com
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2015, 07:41 AM   #16
Guru
 
City: Satsuma FL
Country: United States
Vessel Name: No Mo Trawla
Vessel Model: Hurricane SS188
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,678
Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
I've been trying to do just that, but have been unsuccessful on a few key fronts:

- Property tax bills. I can't get any of these sent via email - they all come via postal service only - all 5 of them.

- Personal property tax bills (gotta love Mass). I get one for each car and each boat, via mail only.

- Town water bill. Mail only.

- Lawn mowing guy. He has no internet and no email.

- Misc other once or twice a year bills like tree spraying, snow plowing, etc.

But the regular stuff I get all via email and pay on line.

Personally I would love to see the USPS go away. All they do every day is deliver my recycling, and there is no way to make it stop. Actually, the best way to filter out the junk that I've found is to forward your mail since they will not forward catalogs, etc. We have tried the various services to stop junk mail, and it helps for a while. But it's a lot of work to set up, and only seems to help for a while before the assault resumes.
Pretty much the same experience here. The issue is mainly government entities at all levels that refuse to move out of the dark ages and they further refuse to put into place a sanctioned national email system. The USPS floated the idea on time but unsurprisingly, for our government, it went no where or at least no reasonably prudent man can find it.

And if you do sign up for USPS forwarding, USPS says you will start receiving forwarded mail 10 days for when the forwarding begins. 10 business days.
__________________

Donsan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:37 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012