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Should I stay or should I go? (several questions)

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Kiramu Kiramu (New) New

My hubby and I are considering the feasibility of travel nursing for us. I have some questions that I'm hoping you can weigh in on to help us with this decision.

1. is 56 too old to start traveling?

2. Are most jobs in urban areas or can you get assignments in rural hospitals?

3. We plan on living in our motorhome. What is average space rent around the western half of the country?

4. Can you get enough assignments to be full time or is it hit and miss?

5. How difficult is it to establish a 'tax home' if you're traveling?

I'd love to hear from anyone, you don't have to answer all the questions, any would do.

LadyTiger44

Has 6 years experience.

My hubby and I are considering the feasibility of travel nursing for us. I have some questions that I'm hoping you can weigh in on to help us with this decision.

1. is 56 too old to start traveling?

2. Are most jobs in urban areas or can you get assignments in rural hospitals?

3. We plan on living in our motorhome. What is average space rent around the western half of the country?

4. Can you get enough assignments to be full time or is it hit and miss?

5. How difficult is it to establish a 'tax home' if you're traveling?

I'd love to hear from anyone, you don't have to answer all the questions, any would do.

1. I don't think 56 is too old to start traveling!!

2. Jobs just depend. They have both available.

3. I hear that rent space runs about $400 but I can't be sure of that.

4. You will be full time. You take one assignment at a time. Just make sure guaranteed hours are in your contract and you will be guaranteed to work full time.

5. I still pay some rent at my tax home. I am not sure how this would work if you didn't have a home base somewhere.

1. no

2. yes

3. average? Rural or urban? $300 to $1,200 is the range but usually $800 is tops. Not a way to save money, lifestyle choice.

4. fulltime

5. tax home is something you establish before you start traveling. If you don't have a home other than your RV, you cannot possibly have a tax home, no matter what you read on RV forums.

trackhead

Specializes in Flight nurse, flight medic, ER, ICU, NP school now. Has 20 years experience.

1. No, I see a lot of travelers in that age bracket, all the time.

2. I'm working in a 4 bed ER right now, before that was Level II trauma, plenty of jobs in both big and small.

3. Been living in an RV for a year, average RV rate is $550/month, plus electricity, we save 50% of our take home.

4. More than enough work for full time.

5. Listen to Ned.

We pay $480 a month to live here............But if you take the cost of the motorhome, and divide it by however many months you plan to travel, then add that to your monthly expenses. We paid cash for our RV, but still, if we travel for five years, you have to figure 60 months divided by the cost of the RV to have a realistic monthly expense total, then the depreciation and nominal insurance.

IMG_7445.jpg

Thank you for all the answers!!!!

I can't offer any advice, but the title of this thread just made me sing it as the song "Should I Stay or Should I Go" rather than read it as a title haha.

LOL, that was what was playing in my mind when I wrote the original post

HikingNinja, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency, Psych. Has 8 years experience.

I'm going to specifically address the issue of RV living and tax home. I would recommend going to the TravelTax website and looking at their FAQs (they have a specific RV example) and even calling them for a consult (this is what I did). We are doing the same thing, selling the house and roaming the country in the RV to travel nurse. Here's what they told me.

Wherever you earned your main income prior to traveling is your current tax home. So even if you have a house in Arizona, but work in Nevada, your tax home is Nevada, not Arizona. Here is our situation. We've been living and working in the same area we own a home for over 10 years. We are selling the home. If we return to our tax home each year for at least 30 days, and earn 25% of our yearly income there (paying all taxes on stipends because we are "at home"), we have maintained our tax home for that year. All I need to do is take an 8 -13 week assignment in my tax home each year (and not do anything silly like register my vehicle in another state or start using a friend in Colorado's address for my mail) then I will survive an audit.

I really do recommend contacting TravelTax. They are great, there are soooo many things that are tax deductible that I didn't even know about ....Hello...ATM fees when you are traveling...WOW!!! And there are so many others.

D

trackhead

Specializes in Flight nurse, flight medic, ER, ICU, NP school now. Has 20 years experience.

Don't forget you have to "duplicate expenses" at your tax home. The way I interpret that is a fair value/market value rental, room, etc.

HikingNinja, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency, Psych. Has 8 years experience.

Don't forget you have to "duplicate expenses" at your tax home. The way I interpret that is a fair value/market value rental, room, etc.

But you don't have to duplicate expenses for the entire year. That is a big myth apparently. Not necessary to survive an audit. This is why anyone who is traveling really needs to contact an accountant who specializes in travelers. Mine is TravelTax dot com. They are great! You can set up a phone or email consult with them prior to traveling.

If you sell your home, you no longer have a residence to return to, and thus no tax home is possible. You cannot just return to the general area of your old home, stay in a motel, and meet IRS criteria. I think you are misunderstanding what Joe is telling you.

trackhead

Specializes in Flight nurse, flight medic, ER, ICU, NP school now. Has 20 years experience.

I use TravelTax annually.

HikingNinja, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency, Psych. Has 8 years experience.

If you sell your home, you no longer have a residence to return to, and thus no tax home is possible. You cannot just return to the general area of your old home, stay in a motel, and meet IRS criteria. I think you are misunderstanding what Joe is telling you.[/

I'm sorry, but you are mistaken. I have clarified this fully with Travel Tax. There are several ways in which you can keep or establish a tax home. One way is to return to your already established tax home each year, earn approximately 25% of your income there, and pay taxes on your stipend or have all wages taxed. You are not required to keep your physical residence to keep your tax home. Trust me (or I would prefer you wouldn't and call, email, or review the Travel Tax site for yourself), I had the folks at Travel Tax give me 20 different examples of how this works. Again I encourage those who are curious to take a look at the Travel Tax website FAQs. It gives several different examples of tax homes. One is actually an RV example of a person who starts out without a tax home but acquires one by taking assignments in the same city every winter, starts to pay taxes like that is his tax home, and continues to live and travel in his rv.

It really didn't make sense to me at first but after they went over my situation, then gave me other examples for a good half hour I started to get it.

I understand tax homes very well, and I serve on a board with TravelTax. Yes, a tax home can be the place where the majority of your income is made, but it makes no difference in the ability to deduct expenses (or accept tax-free reimbursements) for traveling away from an area in which you have no residence. You would be itinerant effectively for deducting expenses (you can't). TravelTax has a very extensive website, see if you can come up with specific citations, not just your interpretation of unrelated anecdotes.

Here is one story I think you will find easily on TravelTax's site: If your only home is an RV, you are at home wherever you are, and thus cannot be working away from home. Renting or owning an RV pad cannot be claimed as a tax home, because there is no year round residence maintained there to return to.

There is certainly no law that would prevent you from paying state taxes to a single state on all your income because you have a recurring assignment there and make a plurality of your income there. But the IRS (federal government, not state) will not allow you to deduct expenses for working away from that state if you don't have expenses of maintaining a residence. It goes against the theory that deducted expenses (or tax-free reimbursements) are for expenses that would not have been incurred if you had stayed at home. You have no extra expenses as you are always at home in an RV - thus there is nothing to deduct.