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Old 01-13-2022, 10:21 PM   #21
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Thanks to everyone for the valuable feedback! After doing some research, I'm leaning towards PostScanMail as it has California addresses available (although it is on expensive side). I also checked Fidelity and indeed they have two addresses on record: personal and legal/residential. I believe the first one can be virtual mailbox and the second can be real where friend or relative live. In this way, hopefully there won't be any issues.
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Old 01-13-2022, 11:48 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by rt-texas View Post

One or two gotchas in the last 2.5 years but nothing a Skype call couldn't sort out. Also make certain I have a good to-do list when back in the states for anything better sorted in person.
I have a Skype virtual telephone number, which forwards to my Skype account, which I have set up to forward to my Swiss mobile phone automatically. This has worked fine until a few months ago when Vanguard starting using 2 factor authentication. Their automated authentication process asked me to "press 1" to get the audio security code (note: the skype virtual phone does not allow for texts). Unfortunately the DTMF tone on my phone for the Swiss telephone system is slightly different from that of the US, so it failed to work.

The solution was to find a US DTMF tones website. Then, when I am asked to press 1, I play the tone from the website and my phone picks it up. A bit of a workaround but serves the purpose.

It reminded me of my university days when some fellow students would hack the Bell Telephone network to get free long distance using a tone generator. Plus Áa change, plus c'est la mÍme chose!

-BB
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Old 01-13-2022, 11:54 PM   #23
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Thanks to everyone for the valuable feedback! After doing some research, I'm leaning towards PostScanMail as it has California addresses available (although it is on expensive side). I also checked Fidelity and indeed they have two addresses on record: personal and legal/residential. I believe the first one can be virtual mailbox and the second can be real where friend or relative live. In this way, hopefully there won't be any issues.
Take a look at USABox.com They have street addresses in Florida, Texas, and several other states which do not have a state income tax, so you can avoid that issue. They send email notifications of new mail with a scanned image of the envelope, and will open and scan items for a fee at your request. They forward only the mail that you select from a list and discard the rest through a bonded partner company. They offer a service whereby the will open packages on your behalf and repackage/mail to you in a single box to save costs.

For the US IRS I use my Swiss address.

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Old 01-13-2022, 11:55 PM   #24
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I've been living in Thailand for the past five years. I previously lived in California and I now use my sister's CA address as my US address. My sister though, has floated the idea of her moving to Nevada in the future so I also am considering a virtual address as a plan C (plan B would be trusted friend in CA). I have maintained a US phone number. I stopped paying CA taxes this year. I still have a CA drivers license until 2026.
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Old 01-13-2022, 11:55 PM   #25
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One other item for you. Before leaving the US be sure to put a on a hold at your various credit reporting agencies. You cannot activate this from outside the US.

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Old 01-14-2022, 12:03 AM   #26
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One other item for you. Before leaving the US be sure to put a on a hold at your various credit reporting agencies. You cannot activate this from outside the US.

-BB
Thanks, this is an excellent idea.
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Old 01-14-2022, 12:28 AM   #27
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The UPS Store might be a good alternative for you. They seem to be pretty much everywhere.
6 months ago I would have +1 this. For years I have had a box in a private mail box company. It was not UPS but bear with me. They closed suddenly on December 31 and it has been a nightmare since. I have literally lost mail although I don't think anything important. The USPS will not forward. The former owners are trying to be helpful but their hands are tied by postal regulations.

Probably not coindidentally, the UPS store also closed so most likely people who had boxes there are going through a similar nightmare. The USPS is not very supportive of contract vendors so be aware that anyone you choose could blow up.
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Old 01-14-2022, 08:10 AM   #28
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May I ask what is a problem with credit cards? Why cards cannot be sent to Traveling Mailbox address? Is it a problem for specific bank?
As regarding phone number I do have google voice where everything is forwarded and hope it will work. If not, I will also maintain US cell phone number and service and use it through wifi calling feature abroad.

Can't give you an honest answer. Traveling Mailbox gives you a physical street address, one of the reasons I chose them. But when I went into my main credit cards and tried to change the address to it,, the CC's would give me a message to the affect of "unable to use this address" or something like that. I assume they have it in their system that this is a mail drop and block it, but just my assumption.

For our phones we have Google Fi and kept our phone numbers we have had for 25+ years. Works great for two factor authentication and we just only call the US on Skype or other wifi callls to keep the cost reasonable.
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Old 01-14-2022, 08:18 AM   #29
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Renewals of the few US credit cards I have maintained are sent to the USABox address with no problem.

-BB
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Old 01-14-2022, 08:33 AM   #30
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I have a Skype virtual telephone number, which forwards to my Skype account, which I have set up to forward to my Swiss mobile phone automatically. This has worked fine until a few months ago when Vanguard starting using 2 factor authentication. Their automated authentication process asked me to "press 1" to get the audio security code (note: the skype virtual phone does not allow for texts). Unfortunately the DTMF tone on my phone for the Swiss telephone system is slightly different from that of the US, so it failed to work.

The solution was to find a US DTMF tones website. Then, when I am asked to press 1, I play the tone from the website and my phone picks it up. A bit of a workaround but serves the purpose.

It reminded me of my university days when some fellow students would hack the Bell Telephone network to get free long distance using a tone generator. Plus Áa change, plus c'est la mÍme chose!

-BB
I used Skype like this for a number of years with a robotic voice speaking the 2 factor code which I then typed in to complete the log in. However, last year I logged onto my Vanguard account and found that it now accepts international mobile numbers so changed my registered phone number to use my UK phone and it works great. Will it not allow you to enter your country code followed by your Swiss number?
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Old 01-14-2022, 02:34 PM   #31
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I used Skype like this for a number of years with a robotic voice speaking the 2 factor code which I then typed in to complete the log in. However, last year I logged onto my Vanguard account and found that it now accepts international mobile numbers so changed my registered phone number to use my UK phone and it works great. Will it not allow you to enter your country code followed by your Swiss number?
Yes, I have that option. But, I try not to shine light on my non-US contact information; hence the use of the Skype US number. I know that you can also just turn off the 2 Factor completely, which I don't want to do. Thanks.

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Old 01-15-2022, 01:17 AM   #32
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Google voice works very well for all two factor. It is a bit of a pain to set up as it doesnít in theory allow non-US residents to set it up initially (though afterwards it works perfectly overseas). I signed up by first getting a T-mobile sim-less US mobile number for one month ($40) (something designed for travelers so no problem there), signing up to google voice using a VPN to a US IP address. It all worked and bow I can get SMSs and 2F announcements without a problem.
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Old 01-15-2022, 05:47 AM   #33
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We use traveling mailbox.

Overall pretty happy, but having two address (1 more mail and another for packages) has caused us no end of confusion and extra shipping fees. Also tends to be a bit on the slow side.

Managing credit cards in a nightmare as there are rules on forwarding credit cards if they figure out what is inside the envelope. Live checks are another major headache.

We keep a US phone alive for text messages and other verification from various financial firms. Most US firms have no clue what to do with an international telephone number. We've even encountered a few situations with companies that refuse to speak with you on a Skype number.
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Old 01-15-2022, 11:25 AM   #34
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Google voice works very well for all two factor. It is a bit of a pain to set up as it doesnít in theory allow non-US residents to set it up initially (though afterwards it works perfectly overseas). I signed up by first getting a T-mobile sim-less US mobile number for one month ($40) (something designed for travelers so no problem there), signing up to google voice using a VPN to a US IP address. It all worked and bow I can get SMSs and 2F announcements without a problem.
Thanks this is a very useful piece of info. Yes Google Voice may not work for foreign IP addresses directly and VPN is really required. Also I do have Ultra Mobile (this is MVNO out of T-Mobile) which cost me around $5 a month just in case Google Voice may have issues. It has low minutes (I think 100 minutes) but all talks come through Google Voice anyway.
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Old 01-15-2022, 11:27 AM   #35
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Managing credit cards in a nightmare as there are rules on forwarding credit cards if they figure out what is inside the envelope. Live checks are another major headache.
Thanks, this is something I did not expect. So far according to other posts, I assume it might have something to do specifically with Traveling Mailbox?
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Old 01-15-2022, 02:44 PM   #36
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Iíve never had any trouble with checks - in fact us global mail will even deposit for you if you want (not something Iíve tried). I havenít sent credit cards but I canít imagine it is a problem - you have the choice to ask them to open the envelope or not before sending on (sometimes it is useful to save on packing weight).
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Old 01-15-2022, 03:09 PM   #37
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I signed up for Traveling Mailbox last month. I have had mixed success getting financial institutions to accept the address as valid. Fidelity accepts the address while Vanguard and Bank of America say it is not an address recognized by the USPS.

If anyone has any pointers, please share them.
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Old 01-15-2022, 03:30 PM   #38
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For those of you that have a separate mailing and residential address on file, do they ever actually send any mail to the residential address? Just wondering how much (if any?) mail one would expect to receive at the permanent address.
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Old 01-15-2022, 03:32 PM   #39
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Google voice works very well for all two factor. It is a bit of a pain to set up as it doesnít in theory allow non-US residents to set it up initially (though afterwards it works perfectly overseas). I signed up by first getting a T-mobile sim-less US mobile number for one month ($40) (something designed for travelers so no problem there), signing up to google voice using a VPN to a US IP address. It all worked and bow I can get SMSs and 2F announcements without a problem.
Some of them do not. I have GV and cannot establish 2FA with either Chase or Ally Bank.
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Old 01-15-2022, 04:08 PM   #40
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For those of you that have a separate mailing and residential address on file, do they ever actually send any mail to the residential address? Just wondering how much (if any?) mail one would expect to receive at the permanent address.
Vanguard is the only company where I have had this situation and I never received anything from them at my street address. I now have nowhere with a correspondence address different from my street address.
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