Now that I am in the final weeks before I leave the country for an extended period, I’m busily checking things off my list, and trying to make sure that all my responsibilities are taken care of before I leave.
One thing that has been weighing on my mind is what to do with my mail while I am away. I’m moving out of my apartment, so should I have my mail forwarded to a mail box at the UPS Store and ask a friend to kindly pick my mail up once a week or so. Or should I just forward my mail to that friend or a family member’s home. My main concern is I do not want to inconvenience anyone while I pursue my dream of living abroad.
I already pay most of my bills online, and I’ve changed all my banking, credit card and other monthly statements to paperless. But it seems like I am still receiving mail – mostly junk mail, but also a few direct mail pieces and catalogues from the companies I do business with. Once in a while a check will come in the mail, and I certainly do not want to miss that!
While doing an Internet search on this subject I found a terrific blog that was really helpful on exactly this matter. The Blog: RetireEarlyLifestyle.com by Billy and Akaisha Kaderli has a plethora of information for people who are retired, are planning for an early retirement, or those who just want to travel more and for longer periods. The Kaderli’s retired at the age 38 back in 1991; and with three decades of living a financially independent lifestyle, their blog offers great advice and wisdom for others who want to do the same.
The article titled What to Do with Mail on Long-term Travel? was especially helpful for me.
The advice they gave was: “The first thing to do, of course, is to minimize any kind of mail that you receive. This means that instead of receiving paper copies of anything (your charge card statement, your brokerage house statement, your health insurance billings, and anything else) — just go paperless whenever possible. And it’s almost always possible. Reduce your junkmail at every opportunity.”
This link lead me to the Earth911 website and an article titled 8 Ways of Reducing Your Junk Mail. Fabulous information — and I took immediate action to reduce mine.
Another piece of advice from the Kaderli’s was: “…to get signed up for automatic bill pay for anything you have come in on a regular basis. Fidelity is our brokerage house and we have our charge cards automatically paid out of this account. Fidelity also offers a check writing service which will allow you to write a physical check and manage it online. That means that you “write” the check online and Fidelity sends a physical check to your Biller.”
The third thing the article advises “is to look into mail forwarding services. People who full-time in their RV’s utilize services such as these. These companies will forward your mail to just about anywhere — or you could try Earth Class Mail. This company will let you see (online) an image of your mail and then you tell them what you want them to do with it.”
The Earth Class Mail option seems perfect for me!
For the full article, and more great advice from Billy and Akaisha Kaderli, please check out their website: RetireEarlyLifestyle.