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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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Old 02-18-2004
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Bank Account

My wife and I are shortly to sell our house and become ''liveaboards''. We''d like to know how we can have a bank account from a boat ? As far as we understand, a permanent land based address is required. Thanks ~ Chris.
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Old 02-18-2004
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Bank Account

If a land address is required you could use the Marina address or get a PO Box.
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Old 02-18-2004
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I''m sorry, we''re new to this. I should have said ''liveaboard cruisers''. We wont be in a particular marina for any length of time. We''ll be cruising, indefinitly..... and the problem of living on board a cruising boat and not having a bank account is quite perplexing to us ? ? ?
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Old 02-18-2004
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Bank Account

I would assume you''ll make some kind of arrangement with a relative or friend to have your mail forwarded to them, as Uncle Sam frowns on not being able to find you to get his cut. And if you''re carrying plastic, of course you''ll need somewhere for the bill to go. In other words, you''ll have to have an address for mail regardless of the bank.

What I intend to do in a situation like your''s is establish an account with a bank with web based access and use direct deposit for incoming funds, as well as get a signature debit card. So either open such an account, or use the one you have, and when you sell, change your address to where your mail will go. The bank doesn''t know if you actually reside there, and probably don''t care. All they want is an address.

Fair winds,

John
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Old 02-19-2004
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Bank Account

Yep, what you say makes sense John, and should work - thanks. If we reside out of the country, Uncle Sam can frown all he likes !

I wonder where other liveaboard cruisers in the same situation (semi-retired) get their pension checks sent to in order to access cash for living expenses while cruising and living out of the US ? ~ Chris
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Old 02-20-2004
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Bank Account

Chris, your dilemma is a common one among cruisers and there are many businesses, banks included, who will help you solve it.

Re: mail, you''ll be better served if you set up a method by which you can - eventually, even if only sporadically or rarely - retrieve all your accummulated mail. The USPS is willing at no cost to forward your mail for up to a year (don''t check ''Temporary'' on their Change of Address form, or it will be 6 months). When we''re next in town, we accept mail for a short spell and then resubmit the same form, getting another year''s forwarding. Even if a friend just drops it all in a cardboard box until you ask for it or stop by to retrieve it, that''s better than walking away from it.

''Banking'' usually means a combo of things once you shove off. Sometimes you''ll want to use a credit card (e.g. to rent a car to drive around an island). You''ll want to oversee, manage and perhaps rearrange your investments, plus move money to a more accessible place (e.g. where your ATM card can retrieve it for you). You''ll want the convenience of auto-payments where possible and auto-deposits (e.g. your tax refund). Ideally, you''d also want free phone access to your account manager (even when outside the U.S.) if you have a question about your funds, want to transfer money into your Roth IRA, challenge a charge on your credit card account, etc. IME banks aren''t great at offering all of these services, altho'' perhaps you''ve used one with whom you are so satisfied that starting your research there feels good. We have all the above services using a brokerage account (an AMA account) with T Rowe Price (www.troweprice.com) for $50/year. Because we''ve been out of the U.S. far more than in it these past 4 years - and not always where internet service is available and cheap - the collect calling option has been very helpful on occasion. We previously used a CMA Account with Merrill Lynch but, since we''re not active stock traders and appreciate the much better service we''ve found with TRP, we''ve been using them for over 15 years now. (For AMA services, you can reach them at 800 222-7002).

It sounds like you plan to go foreign. Don''t overlook the benefits of having/using a cell phone on occasion. The typical dodge in Europe is to buy a ''pay as you go'' phone which takes a SIM card. This makes the phone work wherever you are without any roaming charges, as you simply swap out SIM cards. We notice many SoPac cruisers end up using cells in NZ and OZ, also. With ''pay as you go'', it costs nothing if you aren''t using your phone. Our universal GSM phone cost $90 in Portugal, and we expect to use it many years.

Jack
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Old 02-20-2004
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Bank Account

Jack, thanks for the information. It''s food for thought and very helpful.

I''m ok with the communication side of things while cruising, including cellphone service.

Ideally, we''d simply like to have an internet bank account with a visa card... but when it comes to trying to open one without a permanant land address, it''s not quite so simple. We''ve tried Everbank, and even PayPal, both require that which we will not have.
Go well ~ Chris
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Old 02-21-2004
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Bank Account

I have an account at Bank of America. Once I opened the account, I opted for electronic billing/notification/statements. They don''t mail me anything. Everything is online. I can even download my checking transactions right into Quicken at no charge.

All my credit cards, insurance bills, etc. are also electronic. The only mail I receive at my PO Box is junk mail. When cruising, I just close the box.

I had the same set up while cruising the Caribbean. Granted, internet access was pretty good (albeit oft pricey).

Point is: you may "need" an address to open an account...you don''t "need" an address to have an account.
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Old 02-22-2004
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T:

Since tax time is upon us, I''m curious where your 1099''s, W-2''s, interest & dividend statements all get sent? That''s one reason why my BofA folks tell me I''m required to offer them an address. (And let''s remember: the IRS wants W-2''s and 1099''s to be attached to one''s return...or the data on them has to be transferred over if filing electronically).

When I move funds (e.g. from some type of investment to the ''slush fund'' from which our VISA card charges are taken), I can do it all electronically...but again, federal banking laws mandate a written confirmation be sent.

IME it seems like the difference is between what you are willing not to receive and what BofA is willing not to send?

Jack
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Old 02-22-2004
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We use St. Brendan''s mailing service and are very happy with it.

http://www.boatmail.net/

They hold our mail until we request, or send it based on a prearranged agreement.

This is considered our mailing address. We sometimes also have a "physical" address, but don''t use it.
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