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Old 02-22-2016, 09:10 AM   #1
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Keeping up with the mail

I think this has come up before, but I couldn't find anything in the "search."

I'm interested in what people do about mail -- we pay as many bills as possible online but there are some for which that isn't possible. And occasionally there are surprises. One summer we received something from the IRS that had to be addressed before we would have gotten home. Last summer I was called for jury duty and if someone weren't reading our mail I would have missed the date. Knowing about it meant I could call up and change the date.

We've usually had people living in the house so we call home once a week and have the person go through the mail. Another option is to pay someone to come by every day to check on the house and go throughout our mail -- we've done that too.

Is there something I haven't thought of?
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Old 02-22-2016, 09:31 AM   #2
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When we picked up our trailer, we stayed out for 2 and a half months (taking the long way home). We found a couple through TrustedHousesitters (https://www.trustedhousesitters.com). They stayed at the house, cut the grass, and took in the mail. If there was anything that they thought might need our attention, they took a picture of the envelope and sent it to us via email. Otherwise, they sent us an email once in a while to keep us up to date. Worked out well for us (and them).
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Old 02-22-2016, 03:40 PM   #3
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When we picked up our trailer, we stayed out for 2 and a half months (taking the long way home). We found a couple through TrustedHousesitters (https://www.trustedhousesitters.com).
Never heard of this organization! I've bookmarked the site. We were wondering what to do when the trailer was gone and all the housebreakers in the area figured it out. I'll have to look into them some more after we get The Trailer. Thanks for the info!
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Old 02-22-2016, 04:17 PM   #4
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this may seem a little extreme but when we take the trailer of its pad and leave we don't worry because .... we moved into a house with one of my daughters and her husband.


they look after the mail and our basement suite. we look after their cats + mail. and when/if my daughter has a baby we are around to be helpful grandparents.


if all goes well with this plan we get to skip the condo stage and the kids roll us right into the nursing home or hospice ....
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Old 02-22-2016, 04:22 PM   #5
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if all goes well with this plan we get to skip the condo stage and the kids roll us right into the nursing/hospice ....
I remember the facility telling us when we were getting our parents ready to "roll right in" that most folks arrive chained to the bumper.
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Old 02-22-2016, 05:06 PM   #6
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Larry and Liz that is such sensible plan. Our oldest would love it if we did that and someday we might move, if not into their house (and they actually have a rental apartment, but it's small) but into their co-housing community. The grandchildren are always pushing it, but it's not the right time for us.

Meanwhile, starting this thread reminded me that the perfect house sitter would be the woman who walks the neighbor's dog. I know her, I like her and it would work. In the past we've had either our kids or people who were at a crossroads and needed somewhere to figure out their next step -- so we all helped each other.
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Old 02-22-2016, 05:46 PM   #7
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".....but it isn't the right time for us."

That is a trigger phrase for me since at multiple times as my parents aged they resisted doing the age related transitional moves (out of the condo into assisted living) - they kept saying "we aren't ready yet" until dad got sick and us kids ended up running in circles organizing in-home care and sleep overs to watch them until dad ended up in a hospice. Then mom resisted moving into assisted living (a very nice facility by the way) for a few years until she became forgetful and we worried about her leaving things like the stove or water running in the tub. We finally did the move to assisted living. And after a few months she would say she wished that they would have both moved a few years earlier. Now having been there about 8 months she is sliding into dementia (altimers sp?) and forgets what day it is and what she had for lunch.

So there is a kind of sweet spot when to make these life changing decisions.

In our case (I'm 62 and Liz is 61) we benefit by being able to take off and have someone around the house. The kids have a reduced mortgage. Of course this doesn't work for everyone. Lots of things to work out.

Anyway all that to say the phrase "but we aren't ready yet" holds humour, irony and sadness for me.
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Old 02-22-2016, 06:02 PM   #8
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So far we tried a temp mail forward, took an extra 2 weeks for the PO to get it going, then they send back anything marked do not forward, like tax bills, so that didn't work. Then we tried mail hold for out current 5 weeks trip. Almost 4 weeks in and the mail has yet to be held. The only thing reliable so far is having my son stop by once a week and send me an email about any bills that come in. Got a parking fine last week for parking in downtown Boston, thing is we and the truck are in FL.
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Old 02-22-2016, 07:16 PM   #9
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.... we moved into a house with one of my daughters and her husband.
We have considered this option, and discussed it with my youngest daughter too, but it would be in about 20 years or so. Our daughter is a year or so away from having her first kid, and the problem arises when the kids get to be teenagers, and need the basement space for hosting their friends, and doing their own thing away from their parents. Who knows, maybe with a really huge home?

We are planning to move soon too, and have been actively looking for the right house, downsizing from what we have, and putting a bunch of the equity into our retirement fund. It is becoming a very good time to buy, with the depressed economy in Alberta, so we are ready to jump when the right place comes along. We likely are not going to move though, as we are not planning to sell our house until the economy recovers, even if it takes a few years. If I sold now, I would likely get about $200k less than I would have 1 1/2 years ago. Relatively small house, HUGE garage/shop, is what I am planning on getting.

With regards to mail, we must have someone come by at least once every three days to check the house, as stipulated with our insurance. We are fortunate to have lots of family and friends within 19 minutes of home to check our mail. If gone for any length of time, we have them open it to see if there is anything of importance.
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Old 02-22-2016, 07:34 PM   #10
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If moving in with your kids doesn't work for you, and there is no one living nearby to drop by regularly, most of the mail could still be handled by family or friends. If they agree to take care of it, just change your address with everyone you can to theirs... your mail goes to their house for them to handle. Just a possibility.
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