My Personal Finance Journey

Personal finance observation, musing and decisions in a journey toward financial independence by 2020 with at least $3 million.

By Topics

0. About (10)
1. My Progress (139)
2. Car & Home (107)
3. Credit (138)
4. Banking (33)
5. Saving (49)
6. Investing (308)
7. Taxes (89)
8. Spending (74)
9. Misc (97)
A. Archive (49)


Feb 2014 (3)
Jan 2014 (6)
Jan 2012 (1)
Apr 2011 (1)
Mar 2011 (1)
Feb 2011 (1)
Jan 2011 (1)
Dec 2010 (1)
Oct 2010 (1)
Sep 2010 (1)
Aug 2010 (1)
Jul 2010 (1)
Jun 2010 (1)
May 2010 (1)
Apr 2010 (1)
Mar 2010 (6)
Feb 2010 (2)
Jan 2010 (7)
Dec 2009 (3)
Feb 2009 (4)
Jan 2009 (8)
Dec 2008 (1)
Jun 2008 (2)
May 2008 (2)
Apr 2008 (5)
Feb 2008 (3)
Jan 2008 (15)
Dec 2007 (32)
Nov 2007 (6)
Oct 2007 (8)
Sep 2007 (9)
Aug 2007 (24)
Jul 2007 (2)
Jun 2007 (1)
May 2007 (3)
Apr 2007 (4)
Mar 2007 (4)
Feb 2007 (13)
Jan 2007 (6)
Dec 2006 (3)
Nov 2006 (7)
Oct 2006 (7)
Sep 2006 (6)
Aug 2006 (4)
Jul 2006 (10)
Jun 2006 (1)
May 2006 (3)
Apr 2006 (2)
Mar 2006 (6)
Feb 2006 (6)
Jan 2006 (3)
Dec 2005 (1)
Nov 2005 (9)
Oct 2005 (8)
Sep 2005 (13)
Aug 2005 (25)
Jul 2005 (16)
Jun 2005 (17)
May 2005 (19)
Apr 2005 (20)
Mar 2005 (24)
Feb 2005 (23)
Jan 2005 (36)
Dec 2004 (40)
Nov 2004 (34)
Oct 2004 (17)
Sep 2004 (21)
Aug 2004 (59)
Jul 2004 (37)
Jun 2004 (31)
May 2004 (29)
Apr 2004 (52)
Mar 2004 (49)
Feb 2004 (49)
Jan 2004 (31)
Dec 2003 (48)
Nov 2003 (52)
Oct 2003 (29)
Sep 2003 (8)
Aug 2003 (5)
Jul 2003 (2)
Jun 2003 (2)
May 2003 (5)
Apr 2003 (2)
Mar 2003 (2)
Feb 2003 (3)
Jan 2003 (29)


The Cost of Keeping A U.S. Identity

Contributed by mm | March 3, 2006 5:03 PM PST

At the onset of my three-year expatriate journey, my attorney advised me to maintain my U.S. identity to ensure successful repatriation. I found this to be sound advice -- even without it, I do intend to keep my U.S. ties. For sure, there will be a time I will return and live in one part of the country or another.

Maintaining an identity usually involves keeping a phone number and street address, and optionally, cell phone number and fax number. I'm lucky to find a number of low-cost providers for these services:

1. Phone Number

I'm retaining Vonage and paying $16.94/month ($14.99 for 500-minute basic plan, $1.50 for "Regulatory Recovery Fee" and $.045 for "FET tax") to keep my original home number. I'm also enjoy the flexibility of Vonage being a VOIP provider -- I can dial all U.S. phone number as local numbers and receive calls as before.

2. Cell Phone Number

We are keeping two cell phones with Verizon Wireless. In August, we signed up for two free phones via a corporate plan, and currently we are only paying $1.21/month (plus per-minute charges) to keep the account active. The cell phones are particularly useful when I'm on business trips in the States (about once every quarter).

3. Fax Number

I use eFax for a virtual fax number. The service charges me $12.95 per month for a Seattle-based number. If you don't need a specific area code, the service will be free! (Additional per-page charges apply.)

4. Street Address

I paid $291 in October for a one-year lease of a fairly large mailbox at the local UPS Store (I do have a lot of mails/magazine subscriptions). This gives me a street address instead of a PO box (if you go to the USPS route). Cleaning up this physical mailbox is now the #1 in my to-do list for my quarter trip to the mothership.

5. Credit Monitoring

I also feel it is prudent to actively monitoring my credit profile (on top of relying on free annual credit reports from the three credit reporting agencies). At $7.46/month, I found TransUnion credit monitoring services via Walmart Financial Services to be one of the best deals around.

All the above services add up to an affordable $800 a year, but I didn't mention one thing, the tax bill! In fact, I am still subject to federal income tax and FICA tax. The FICA tax alone set me back about $9,000 a year. Of course, paying tax is the right thing to do, but it is still costly.

This Post Has Received 32 Comments. Share Your Opinions Too.

Adam Commented on March 3, 2006

For credit monitoring, a free alternative is to get a no annual fee Providian card. If you log in to your account online, you can see your FICO score monthly, as well as the history for the past 6 months or so (I think it's based on TransUnion data).

I know you're concerned about applying for new credit cards now that you're living outside the US, but use your UPS Store address, and apply a month or so before your next visit to the US, and pick up the card then. I'm living in Australia now and have done this.

Pablo Commented on March 5, 2006

Credit monitoring is great. The central service for getting your free credit report is actually www.annualcredit not the one that is advertsied on TV.

I have found this site to be helpful in fixing credit problems

Wandering Indian Monk Commented on March 7, 2006

You could save even more money switching your VOIP provider to SunRocket ( and signing up for their $199 annual package.

asTar8s6n6t Commented on September 12, 2016

[url=]where can i buy cialis[/url] [url=]valtrex[/url] [url=]where to get acyclovir[/url] [url=]doxycycline hyclate 100mg[/url] [url=]cialis super active plus[/url] [url=]azithromycin[/url] [url=]albendazole[/url]

asEnvtghiw Commented on December 20, 2016

[url=]can i buy singulair over the counter[/url] [url=]albuterol inhaler[/url] [url=]buy bupropion[/url] [url=]clonidine 0.1 mg[/url] [url=]cialis[/url] [url=]going here[/url] [url=]tenormin[/url] [url=]cafergot[/url]

AaronSit Commented on January 9, 2017

[url=]cialis[/url] [url=]nolvadex[/url] [url=]purchase clonidine online[/url] [url=]cefadroxil for strep throat[/url] [url=]buy silagra[/url]

AlfredCaf Commented on January 9, 2017

[url=]synthroid[/url] [url=]CIALIS ONLINE[/url] [url=]retin a 0.05 cream[/url] [url=]purchase nolvadex[/url] [url=]benicar[/url] [url=]viagra[/url] [url=]prednisolone acetate[/url] [url=]order fluoxetine hcl 20 mg capsule online[/url]

TracyNuami Commented on January 22, 2017

wh0cd949182 [url=]tenormin atenolol[/url] [url=]diclofenac 75 mg[/url] [url=]amitriptyline hydrochloride[/url] [url=]v-gel[/url] [url=]hair loss cream[/url] [url=]cialis canadian[/url] [url=]crestor[/url] [url=]generic for allopurinol[/url] [url=]crestor[/url]

AaronSit Commented on January 24, 2017

wh0cd544718 [url=]prednisone[/url] [url=]propecia online[/url] [url=]this site[/url] [url=]lasix water pills for sale[/url] [url=]benicar price[/url] [url=]erythromycin[/url] [url=]lasix generic[/url] [url=]prozac[/url] [url=]where to buy generic cialis online[/url] [url=]diclofenac 1 gel[/url]

AlfredCaf Commented on February 6, 2017

wh0cd589596 [url=]cheap cialis[/url] [url=]viagra 20 mg[/url] [url=]tenormin[/url] [url=]generic seroquel cost[/url] [url=]discount celebrex[/url] [url=]cephalexin[/url] [url=]benicar[/url]

KennethCed Commented on February 10, 2017

wh0cd13548 [url=]nizoral over the counter[/url] [url=]olmesartan[/url] [url=]Albendazole[/url] [url=]more hints[/url]

MichaelNub Commented on March 1, 2017

wh0cd297020 [url=]anafranil for depression[/url] [url=]where can i buy cialis without a prescription[/url]

CharlesLiede Commented on March 6, 2017

wh0cd340556 [url=]continue reading[/url] [url=]abilify[/url] [url=]tamoxifen online[/url] [url=]revia[/url] [url=]cheap nexium online[/url]

CharlesLiede Commented on April 1, 2017

wh0cd513974 [url=]bupropion[/url] [url=]provera[/url] [url=]albendazole[/url]

AaronSit Commented on April 1, 2017

wh0cd116592 [url=]viagra generic[/url] [url=]CIALIS PROFESSIONAL[/url]

EugeneOrert Commented on April 13, 2017

wh0cd418091 [url=]prozac no rx[/url] [url=]viagra generic[/url] [url=]buy cialis[/url]

TracyNuami Commented on April 25, 2017

wh0cd290998 [url=]buy ventolin[/url] [url=]20 mg of prednisone[/url] [url=]citalopram[/url] [url=]bupropion hcl 100mg[/url] [url=]tenormin beta blocker[/url]

MichaelNub Commented on May 8, 2017

wh0cd432554 [url=]atarax[/url] [url=]buy elocon online[/url] [url=]zithromax azithromycin[/url] [url=]adalat[/url] [url=]amitriptyline[/url] [url=]synthroid[/url] [url=]cialis[/url]

Bennyanymn Commented on May 16, 2017

wh0cd93956 [url=]indocin 50 mg[/url] [url=]atarax[/url] [url=]tadalis sx[/url] [url=]metformin[/url] [url=]cytotec[/url] [url=]baclofen[/url]

Moiseslob Commented on May 31, 2017

cialis wirkung forum

[url=]cialis cheap[/url]

generic cialis

price cialis costco,

Vasyalob Commented on June 2, 2017

cialis donde comprar

[url=]canadian cialis[/url]

tadalafil online

preis cialis 12

Irishlob Commented on June 5, 2017

cialis online pagamento paypal

[url=]generic cialis[/url]

generic cialis online

without order cialis

Calllob Commented on June 7, 2017

can buy viagra uk chemist.

[url=]buy viagra online[/url]

buy viagra

viagra precio argentina

Corelob Commented on June 7, 2017

cialis 20 mg description

[url=]generic cialis online[/url]

generic cialis

cialis nz prix

Sergelob Commented on June 7, 2017

viagra for fun

[url=]viagra online[/url]

viagra online

viagra 11 commandements

Aranlob Commented on June 7, 2017

payday loans huber heights oh

[url=]personal loans for bad credit[/url]

personal loans for bad credit

payday loans with ccj

Ricklob Commented on June 8, 2017

cialis 5 mg tadalafi

[url=]cialis online[/url]


i recommend cost of cialis

Onrolob Commented on June 8, 2017

cialis alle erbe natural

[url=]cheap cialis online[/url]

buy cialis online

cialis generika 5mg bestellen

Sololob Commented on June 8, 2017

direct payday loans lenders online

[url=]cash advance[/url]

payday express

checking cashing

StewartVat Commented on June 10, 2017

wh0cd886768 [url=]buy elocon[/url] [url=]citalopram[/url] [url=]tetracycline[/url] [url=]furosemide[/url]

Bennyanymn Commented on June 13, 2017

wh0cd470255 [url=]tadalafil[/url] [url=]where can i buy viagra[/url] [url=]view site[/url] [url=]clindamycin 100 mg[/url] [url=]chewable viagra soft tabs[/url]

Natalob Commented on June 17, 2017

cialis y tadalafi

[url=]cheap cialis[/url]

buy cialis

best prices on generic cialis

Add Your Comments

Remember personal information?

(It will take a few moments for your comment to be published. Please do not close the window until then.)

Read More ... 97 Posts In The Same Category

This page was last rebuilt at June 17, 2017 11:41 AM PST. (425 Words)



Consumerism Commentary
Get Rich Slowly
My Money Blog
All Financial Matters
The Simple Dollar


Copyright 2003-2014, All Rights Reserved. (Privacy Policy)