Moving to Florida- for an entire week


2014-03-13 13.31.41

Retirement?!?  Are you Bats??

After planning for three years and spending the past year trying unsuccessfully to sell my solo ENT medical practice in Blairsville, Georgia, and while still negotiating the sale of the hearing practice, we decided to walk away.  We had felt an overwhelming urgency to leave, strongly prompted to go now. Not in 2-3 months. Now.

I quit my practice on September 3- stunning our loyal staff. Losing a job is never easy and they had no warning.  But, I’m a surgeon and I like to cut cleanly and get the healing started up as soon as possible.

I had seen 16,400 people over the past 14 years from the surrounding 9 counties and 3 states.  It was a well-run and professionally adminstered practice (thanks to Clay) and I was treated very kindly by the local hospital and my 200 referring providers.

But it was time to go. To be done living and working in Blairsville. Sold the house, the airplane, the hangar and the extra car.

Not quite done working, though. If we had sold the practice, we would have been able to live off the dividends of the investments that Clay has so carefully cultivated over the years. That didn’t happen, so I will do locum tenens (temporay doctor) assignments around the country for 3 months of the next few years until dividends equal yearly expenditures.

So, now what?

Clay and I both made quick Labor Day Weekend trips to see our Moms (Clay to Greenwood, Indiana and me to Plymouth, Michigan).  So grateful for our brothers and sisters who watch out for them.

Then, on Tuesday, September 8th, we released parking brake and took off for Crestview, Florida to establish our new state residency.  We had already changed our mailing address to the Good Sam Mailing Service in Crestview, as well as arranging health and auto and RV insurance from that location.

Establishing Florida Residency

The first full day in Florida, after paying for a week at the Eagles Landing RV Park in Holt, Florida, we showed up at the Tax Collector’s Office in Crestview.  Three hours later, we had Florida Driver’s Licenses, Voter Registration Cards, an official Declaration of Domicile (for taxation and residency), library cards and picked up our accumulated mail at Good Sam Mail Service (also called My RV Mail) and were back in the RV having lunch.  Pre-planning is the key.  There are plenty of websites about how to establish residency.

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Good Sam Mail Service — can you see our mailbox?

Why Florida?

Yes, we were residents of Georgia for 14 years- but there are three states that work very well for residency when you live on the road full time and don’t plan to spend very much time in any one state: South Dakota, Texas and Florida.  Health insurance for full time travellers is becoming hard to find in South Dakota. Texas requires a special driver’s license to operate a motorhome (including a driving test expecting you to parallel park the RV. Seriously???  Forty five feet of motorhome— at no point, I promise you, will I be parallel parking her. No offense, Zane dear, but you’ve got a generously endowed rear).  And they want it inspected every year.  Too many hassles.

Florida has no state income tax, good health insurance for people like us and they understand snowbirds when it comes to jury duty.  And you don’t have to renew your driver’s license in person for 16 more years.  I’ll be 70 by then.

So, legal Florida residents, a week later we were back on the road, heading up the Mississippi River to Wisconsin to see our children and grandkids.  Stay tuned.


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Clay fulfilling the dream: watching barges on the Mississippi River


2 thoughts on “Moving to Florida- for an entire week

  1. Crestview is where I lived for most of college. I eventually moved to Pensacola. I worked in Baker and am very familiar with Holt, where you camped. It is easy to establish residence there. They have it set up very well. (Side note: the basic driving test in Florida doesn’t require parallel parking. That’s where I got my license. I’ve never parallel parked anything.)


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