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ISPJS

Final Decision On Mail Forwarding Service

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ISPJS   

We are just under 30 days from closing on the sale of our house so we want to get our address changed in the next couple of weeks.  Since we want to keep a Florida legal address we have pretty much narrowed down our decision on what service to use, it will either be Good Sams or a local UPS Store.   I have read some old posts on mail forwarding but nothing recent.  Any full timers out there have an opinion one way or another about either one of these mail services?  It looks like both Good Sams and a local UPS Store will provide a legal street address, hold mail, forward when we want, etc.  Any other suggestions?

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manholt   

I would think you can use any service you want, including FMCA or Escapees...just make sure it's not set up as a legal add. change.  I used to have a cabin, some time ago, and would spend 4 months a year there, it  had a P.O.Box and I would receive all my mail there, then I just filled out the form when I left and it would revert back to my house in Texas.  Don't know if it's different now!

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TBUTLER   

You might want to check to see if the local UPS store will provide a legal residential residence.  There is a difference between a street address and a residential address.  You may find some companies and government agencies that require a residential address.  Things like voting, passport and drivers license may require a residential address.  A box at the UPS Store may not work to get those items.  An address like the Good Sam, Escapees or FMCA mail forwarding service are structured to give you a residential address that will work for all of the above.  Investigate the difference carefully.

We used MyHomeAddress in Emery, SD for 11 years, until we went back to a fixed home.  They are a smaller operation but provided just what we needed including taking care of registration and licensing of our coach and toad, assisting with voting registration, etc.  If you want to stay with a Florida residence, I would suggest looking for a smaller operation located in Florida.  As a state with no state income tax, they surely have some small operations that can meet your needs. 

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ISPJS   
11 hours ago, manholt said:

I would think you can use any service you want, including FMCA or Escapees...just make sure it's not set up as a legal add. change.  I used to have a cabin, some time ago, and would spend 4 months a year there, it  had a P.O.Box and I would receive all my mail there, then I just filled out the form when I left and it would revert back to my house in Texas.  Don't know if it's different now!

That is the point Carl, we need it to be a legal address change and be permanent.  Not sure about FMCA's forwarding service or Escapees, but both Good Sams and of course UPS Stores close to us can offer a Florida street address.

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ISPJS   
8 hours ago, TBUTLER said:

You might want to check to see if the local UPS store will provide a legal residential residence.  There is a difference between a street address and a residential address.  You may find some companies and government agencies that require a residential address.  Things like voting, passport and drivers license may require a residential address.  A box at the UPS Store may not work to get those items.  An address like the Good Sam, Escapees or FMCA mail forwarding service are structured to give you a residential address that will work for all of the above.  Investigate the difference carefully.

We used MyHomeAddress in Emery, SD for 11 years, until we went back to a fixed home.  They are a smaller operation but provided just what we needed including taking care of registration and licensing of our coach and toad, assisting with voting registration, etc.  If you want to stay with a Florida residence, I would suggest looking for a smaller operation located in Florida.  As a state with no state income tax, they surely have some small operations that can meet your needs. 

Tom, I talked to the manager at the closest USP Store to us here in Cape Coral.  She gave me an example of what our address would look like. 

Joe Spidle

1242 SW Pine Island Road STE 42-444

Cape Coral FL  33991

According to her it is a real street address that works for having on your Florida DL and registrations.  I'm not sure about using it for renewing a passport, which is a very good question.  The draw for using the UPS store is that for 5 or 6 months out of the year we will be in a CG close to Ft. Myers/Cape Coral, so instead of having mail forwarded every week or every couple of weeks we can simply stop in and pick it up.  If we go with FMCA, Escapees, or Good Sams it always has to be forwarded no matter where we are.  Good Sams forwarding service provides a street address in northern Florida for everyone which looks similar to my example from the UPS Store.  Decisions, decisions....

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ISPJS   

Was doing some additional research Tom since you mentioned FMCA mail forwarding.  I looked in the "benefits" list and couldn't find anything about it through FMCA.  I did a search for old posts and discovered they used to offer it but stopped back in 2014 or so?  If they began offering it tomorrow I wouldn't trust them and sign up, even if it was free.  I can't think of anything worse than to be full timing and have your mail service pull the plug on you.  You would have to go through the issue of changing your address with everyone, changing your registrations, licenses, etc.  

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Several years ago FMCA stopped the mail forwarding service but they did announce it for close to 6 months.  They did did have a service company in South Dakota lined up for those that wanted to switch. Dakota Post was the company's name.

They didn't leave folks hanging. They all had fair warning and a new alternative. 

Herman 

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manholt   

Joe.  The UPS works fine for Passport, DL, Voting, etc.  Checked with a friend who is full time in coach, but he's on cruises 4 to 5 months a year.  That's what he has in Winterhaven, FL.

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ISPJS   

Thanks Carl, needed that last bit of information reference it working for a passport.  I just renewed mine but the DW's is going to expire soon.  One of the biggest draws I guess for going with a local UPS Store is that we return to this area of SW Florida every winter.  This is where our doctors and many friends are now located.  In addition, we will no doubt buy our next property in this area some day.

Herman, if FMCA gave advance notice plus had someone else set up to take over the mail forwarding that was nice of them.  The fact remains that it is a huge issue when you have to change your permanent address, it can effect everything from health care, income tax filing, banking issues, etc.  Not sure why FMCA dropped the service but they should have never started it in the first place if they were not in for the long haul IMHO.

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smithy   
On 10/17/2017 at 9:16 AM, ISPJS said:

Thanks Carl, needed that last bit of information reference it working for a passport.  I just renewed mine but the DW's is going to expire soon.  One of the biggest draws I guess for going with a local UPS Store is that we return to this area of SW Florida every winter.  This is where our doctors and many friends are now located.  In addition, we will no doubt buy our next property in this area some day.

Herman, if FMCA gave advance notice plus had someone else set up to take over the mail forwarding that was nice of them.  The fact remains that it is a huge issue when you have to change your permanent address, it can effect everything from health care, income tax filing, banking issues, etc.  Not sure why FMCA dropped the service but they should have never started it in the first place if they were not in for the long haul IMHO.

FMCA provided mail forwarding for over 30 years, so we were in it for the long haul.

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manholt   

smithy.  Your correct, but then FMCA went shopping for another provider and came up with one in South Dakota....who now is out of business and FMCA is also not in that business any more!  RIGHT?

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ISPJS   

Well, I didn't have any "skin in the game" when FMCA dropped their mail service.  If I was full timing when they did drop it I wouldn't be a happy camper.  After having just went through a change of address for everything I can tell you it is not an easy feat.  Making excuses and thinking it was okay for them to drop it by saying "well we had the program for 30 years" is like saying "she was faithful for the first 30 years of their marriage....but...".  

Smitty, I expect you to defend everything FMCA does because that is what they are paying you for.  If I were in your position I would be saying the exact same thing.  But like I said we weren't members back then so it doesn't matter.

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wolfe10   

At a time when an organization is spending more money than they are taking in, they should evaluate all programs for "cost/benefit" to the largest number of members.

I suspect that the mail forwarding program was found wanting on the number of members it helped vs the cost to all members.

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manholt   

Brett.  I will agree that is probably what happened...I also still wonder why no one got cut from the magazine that is not cost effective, now that we have digital. :blink::rolleyes:

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Like myself, I am sure that many members prefer reading the actual magazine than reading a digital copy on a PC.  I dislike eBooks and such.  I consider the actual magazine one of the most important benefits of FMCA.

I suppose to save $$, FMCA could ask each member at sign up or renewal to select which format they wanted?  If many members chose digital only, the savings could be big.

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chindog   

As a full timer, I prefer the digital version of the magazine.  It is just as easy to read on a computer or tablet than a print copy (easier in my case, since I can enlarge it enough that my tired eyes can see it better).  And, I don't have to pay postage to have it sent to wherever I happen to be.

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