I get inquiries frequently regarding how mail can reach those who come to live here in the Philippines. Those of us who are military retirees have a great benefit … APO/FPO mail, thank you US Sate Department, Military Postal Service and the hardworking RAO’s here in the Philippines). But what about the vast majority of folks who aren’t retired from the military. And how about mail that you want to know about or get in your hand sooner than the two to three weeks it typically takes US APO mail to get to your door?
Also, how much mail to you really need? I mean I myself have got mine pretty much down to zero already … but even after 4 years outside the US there are still hundreds of pieces of pure crap that are sent to me monthly … my long-suffering son who acts as my personal mail forwarding service back in the states throws away a couple wastebasket-fulls of unwanted third and forth class
advertising mail, catalogs and such that comes to my US mailing address. I mean don’t these people ever realize the waste .. after 4 plus years of no response, wouldn’t it be smart to drop me from the list? Ah, but there I go, trying to apply logic to a non-logical problem. To eliminate the non-responders would require actual intelligence behind the facade of the mail marketers, and if they had any brains at all, they wouldn’t be marketing with 19th century methods in the 21st century anyway, now would they?
There are a number of mail forwarding firms that will receive your mail, pack it up and send it on to you … for overseas, usually via FedEx or another commercial package service. I’ve written before about forwarding mail, and my friend Bob written on overseas mail forwarding also. This sure isn’t free, but it usually gets here, and that’s the important part.
But I think these services have it all wrong. We shouldn’t be using paper mail at all in the 21st century, or at least I don’t believe we should. What we need is, someone who would open your mail, scan it into electronic form (as it should have been to begin with), and then let you decide if the mail is one of those rare pieces that you actually need a paper copy on … read it on-screen and just hit ‘print’ for the letters or bills you want to keep.
Cheap (no postal or package service fees). Near instant … as soon as it is canned, it’s available on your screen. Supremely Green … no “tree hugger’ I, but I hate wasting resources, and the current US paper mail system is an abomination … buy a hybrid car to save the environment and then drive to the post office to collect pounds and pounds of wasted paper, chemical coatings and in, etc. “Not logical, Jim.”
Well, guess what. A couple services are available online to do exactly as I think they ought to.
- Receive your mail
- Open it at your direction
- Scan it online for you to read on screen
- Forward special paper pieces as you direct them to
- Archive everything you want a record of to CD
- Then shred the paper for security/identity theft protection
Great stuff I say. And particularly great if you plan to spend time in the Philippines and elsewhere as well during the year. perhaps living part time in the Philippines, part time in the US, or casting off in your sailboat and cruising the South Pacific for a year or two. Changing the address on important mail is always a bit of a hassle, and it’s very time consuming to get all the people mailing you on the same page (or address).
So what I would recommend, even well before you move, is to sign up with one of these services and get all your mail going to one place … and then you’ll never have to worry about mail, no matter how often you change locations.
Here are two service that have been recommended to me. I have no business relationship with either of them, I am sure there are other, similar companies out there as well, but the services these guys offer will serve as a good primer for those of you who are still searching for answers about how you’ll manage your mail if you move to the Philippines.
AmericanMailnet.com provides Safe, Confidential, and Secure Postal Mail Forwarding . Online and Standard Mail Forwarding Services are available. Are you on the road, out of the country or simply want more control of what mail is delivered to you? AmericanMailnet.com is your mail forwarding solution. AmericanMailnet.com will give you the piece of mind knowing that you can have secure access to your postal mail from anywhere in the world – We can help you manage your postal mail forwarding needs.
Online Mail Forwarding (paperless mailbox – we open forwarded mail, scan, and send via Online Postal MailBox) This service is ideal for busy executives, field sales and support staff, flight attendants, members of the military, truckers, doctors, business consultants, RV owners, snowbirds, merchant marines, expatriates, students, entertainers, athletes, and individuals who have frequent address changes. Services start at only $14.99 per month for online mail forwarding service. Free Junk Mail Disposal. Free CD Archive Sign up Today
Standard Mail Forwarding services start at $10.00 per month . We will receive and forward your unopened mail on a schedule you set -We offer Free Junk Mail Disposal. Several Mail Delivery Options Available Sign up Today
Log in to your online control panel for easy access to all of your mail anywhere there’s an internet connection. You will receive an email notification whenever a new piece of mail arrives, and can log in to view the sender, date received, and a full-color image of the front of each envelope.
After reviewing your mail items, you can choose how we handle your mail items. If you want to see the contents, you can have us securely open and scan the letter, which will then be easily accessible from your online control panel. If you need the actual letter or package, we will mail it and any other mail items you request to have forwarded to any address in the world. And if you no longer have any need for the item, you can have it securely shredded and recycled.
Secure Mail Scanning
You no longer need to wait for mail to be forwarded to view and respond to important documents — simply request to have a piece of mail scanned and a PDF file containing an image of the envelope and its contents will be posted to your account within 1 business day. All plans include a set number of scans per month, and you can pay on a per-scan basis after that …
Forward Mail Anywhere in the World
After you’ve decreased the number of items in your mailbox by shredding and scanning mail that you may not need physically, you can have any items that you still need forwarded to you at some of the industry’s lowest shipping costs. You can have your mail shipped almost anywhere in the world through FedEx or the U.S. Postal Service. In addition, whenever possible, we will combine your items into a single shipment to reduce costs. You can also set up automatic weekly or monthly forwarding if you aren’t able to regularly log in to view your mail….
Shred and Recycle Your Mail
When you request that we destroy a mail item it will be shredded on site before being recycled. This eliminates the threat of two of the most common forms of identity theft: dumpster diving and mail theft. Additionally, you can choose to have the original document shredded, but retain the scanned copy in the Archive folder in your online control panel for as long as you wish…
Well there you go. Several viable ways to get your mail here, or even handle it better back there in the USA.
How are you handling your mail to and from the Philippines … I’d like to know