Thursday, January 5, 2012

Living On the Boat and Getting the Mail

 One question we get on a regular basis is, "What are you going to do about getting your mail?" It's one thing I've read up on, and our solution is to use a mail forwarding service. Mailboxes Etc., is one company that forwards your mail and is one we may use if we keep our Missouri residency, but I'm leaning toward establishing residency in the state of Florida, and there is an outfit down there called St. Brendans Isle that a lot of full time cruisers use. St. Brendans, for a monthly fee, will provide you with a regular street address where your mail will be delivered to. Mailboxes, Etc. provides more like a P.O. Box, and some things will not be delivered to a  post office box. St. Brendans Isle will forward our mail along to us when we get to a place where we may be staying for more that a day or two, via FedEx or UPS. They will also scan and send along documents via email, and they will identify mail to you so you can choose to have it sent or scanned, or just discarded. St. Brendans will also assist new residents in registering their vessels in Florida, help get driver's license's and help negotiate other governmental bureaucracy.
 Since we have been formulating our plan for some time now, we have already begun reducing or eliminating our snail mail. We don't renew magazine prescriptions, even the free ones. Anything that can be set up electronically in regard to banking or bill paying, we have done that too. Stock reports from our portfolio have been a sticky issue. Every fund wants to send a monthly, or quarterly report. We got that resolved, and then the annual reports started coming recently. Our financial planner, where the investments are made that generate these reports, has been helpful on getting everything sent to us via email instead. It's a work in progress.
 We hope this was the last year for Christmas cards. Need I say more?
 Whether or not we keep our condo will play a part in how much we can reduce our mail, and we aren't completely confident that we can eliminate it entirely, but as each new piece of mail arrives at our home presently, we try to determine how to eliminate it on a case by case basis, in the hopes of being ready when the time comes. "One less thing," as Forrest Gump would say.

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