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Old 07-17-2015, 11:12 AM   #21
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The original post was meant to be about "one click"... not necessarily paperless billing.

If you look back at the email jpg, you'll see that it isn't all that simple. Note that by just doing a quick click, that you are also agreeing that you have read and agree with terms and conditions, and that you agree to receive electronic communications regarding your account. Of course, since you always read every word of every agreement, you would not be caught short, or get involved in anything that could compromise your privacy.

It's not about Amazon, or paperless billing at all, but simply the idea that "one click" could involve almost anything. Anyone who has gone to a political website, or just to contact a congressman, has likely found that they will receive correspondence from many sources, and even on news websites, it is common to receive "One Click" petition requests. My concern also goes beyond my own handling of email. DW shares my Email, and is more trusting than I.

For those who have medicare, the idea of going "paperless" would imply that you have a very good memory. Medical bills... Doctor, Medicare, and Medicare Supplement... almost always involve many pieces of correspondence, and sometimes take three or more months of billing to resolve. Double billing from doctors often results in overpayments that somehow, never get caught. 15 years of experience in this tells me that this is not uncommon.

Trust is wearing thin. After putting my Comcast agreement (and its sub links) into the "Word Count" website, the number of words exceeds 19,000. The idea that a single click online might constitute a legal contract bothers me.

And so, I have no quarrel with paperless billing, if that is the choice... I just don't like being presented with a legal agreement, based on what looks to be a simple big button, but which has small print. Today paperless billing... tomorrow, who knows?
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:19 AM   #22
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
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Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
The original post was meant to be about "one click"... not necessarily paperless billing.

If you look back at the email jpg, you'll see that it isn't all that simple. Note that by just doing a quick click, that you are also agreeing that you have read and agree with terms and conditions, and that you agree to receive electronic communications regarding your account. Of course, since you always read every word of every agreement, you would not be caught short, or get involved in anything that could compromise your privacy.

It's not about Amazon, or paperless billing at all, but simply the idea that "one click" could involve almost anything. Anyone who has gone to a political website, or just to contact a congressman, has likely found that they will receive correspondence from many sources, and even on news websites, it is common to receive "One Click" petition requests. My concern also goes beyond my own handling of email. DW shares my Email, and is more trusting than I.

For those who have medicare, the idea of going "paperless" would imply that you have a very good memory. Medical bills... Doctor, Medicare, and Medicare Supplement... almost always involve many pieces of correspondence, and sometimes take three or more months of billing to resolve. Double billing from doctors often results in overpayments that somehow, never get caught. 15 years of experience in this tells me that this is not uncommon.

Trust is wearing thin. After putting my Comcast agreement (and its sub links) into the "Word Count" website, the number of words exceeds 19,000.

And so, I have no quarrel with paperless billing, if that is the choice... I don't like being presented with a legal agreement, based on what looks to be a simple big button, but which has small print.
Not to belittle your concern, but this is the way of the future. Unfortunately if you REALLY don't like it, then you will have to eventually cut the internet cord, which as you probably already know is quite difficult if not impossible.

For me, I personally have no issues with this. I am able to read the legal disclosures easier online (as I can zoom in to read) whereas when a new card shows up in the mail, the legal disclosure is 5"x3" and still has 19,000 words in it that I can't read.

Truth be told, if I could just TURN OFF my physical mail, I would.

Speaking of Amazon cards, I had a card through Chase for several years. It was closed about a year ago for lack of use but when I try to open a new account for the $60 statement credit, the site *thinks* I still have a card and won't let me apply.
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:24 AM   #23
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Trust is wearing thin. After putting my Comcast agreement (and its sub links) into the "Word Count" website, the number of words exceeds 19,000. The idea that a single click online might constitute a legal contract bothers me.
Behind every agreement is the pricing model predicated on that agreement. If Paragraph 23 is worth $X per $100 in sales, and Paragraph 23 is removed, then market forces should naturally raise prices X%. The American consumer is far more price sensitive than condition or quality sensitive, probably by orders of magnitude. And the thing that I find really surprising is that the American consumer prefers complaining about being exploited than incurring the reasonable costs of preventing being exploited.
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:28 AM   #24
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Maybe this is much ado about nothing, but it surely bothered me. It's an Email from Amazon, which says that by a single click, I would be enrolled in paperless billing. I don't want that, but think that it would have been easy to do the "one click"...
If this kind of "one click" commitment catches on, what next? Sign up for credit cards? Purchases? Donations?
Isn't 1-click just Amazon's express checkout option that you set up with them with whatever credit card you want to use, nothing to do with paperless billing?
Amazon.com Help: 1-Click Ordering

I think the email could well be bogus.
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:42 AM   #25
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I'm not sure what a bill from Amazon is either. I decided last year to get an Synchrony Amazon card. I especially like the low limit allowed on the card and it is the only card I have registered on the website. (If I need more, which I probably won't, I can always use another card.) Paying the bill is trivial. I get an emailed notice that the bill is posted and I just go over to Synchrony (Amazon) and pay it. The only weirdness is that they won't allow you to put the Prime subscription on the Amazon card.
I noticed the same thing about the Prime subscription. The 5% back on all purchases is a better deal than the Amazon rewards card by Visa too. Synchrony also gave me 50 bucks to sign up.
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:43 AM   #26
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I am totally electronic for all regular mail. But they just send a notification that the bill has been posted and no link is included.

But I have a problem with one bank. Everything is electronic except Corporate Action Notices which they mail from a specific bank location. These require time sensitive response times. The bank refuses to even call to let me know even though they used to.

Any ideas on a solution?
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Old 07-18-2015, 04:31 PM   #27
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On the question of paperless billing - Does anyone have any experience with handling financial affairs for someone who is no longer capable - how does that person having gone paperless effect the process ?




I am trying to set things up for ease of whoever has to deal with my own finances if I become unable to.
Will not having paper bills around leave someone unable to determine what accounts exist, and what bills may be coming due?


How do others handle this?


























I am single with no children or close younger relatives.
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Old 07-18-2015, 06:33 PM   #28
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I also am paperless on all of my bills, with the exception of one - a USAA credit card. They don't offer paperless billing. I hardly ever user that card anyway, so almost never receive a paper bill in the mail......
That is strange. I have two cards with them and have always had paperless billing.
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Old 07-18-2015, 07:40 PM   #29
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On the question of paperless billing - Does anyone have any experience with handling financial affairs for someone who is no longer capable - how does that person having gone paperless effect the process ?
That is one reason I am reluctant to go paperless. I'd be more comfortable with it than DW would and she'd have a very hard time adjusting to it if she had to take over everything. By staying with paper the transition would be much easier for her.

Another issue is that if we both get hit by that proverbial bus at the same time. With paperless the executor may not be able to even find an account. Sure, you can give them a list of accounts and contact info, but will they be able to put their hands on it ten years later?
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Old 07-18-2015, 08:37 PM   #30
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Even though I already have paperless billing at Penfed credit union, I still get the screen asking me to enroll every time I log into my account....maybe I will go ahead and sign up again to see what happens.
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:22 PM   #31
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On the question of paperless billing - Does anyone have any experience with handling financial affairs for someone who is no longer capable - how does that person having gone paperless effect the process ?
This is an excellent question. I think that Walt is on the right track. I don't have a good answer for anyone who has gone paperless, but I do have some experience with handling monies and bills for persons who were unable to do it themselves. It was about 15 years ago, and I got into the act a little late, trying to help some older people in our community, a man and a woman, who had lost spouses in the previous 6 months and while able to physically function fairly well, through depression and loss of interest, had not paid attention to bills of all kinds that had been piling up for months... bills, re-bills, threats, legal actions, eviction notices, utility shut offs and even older obligations from their deceased spouses... so double the trouble.

This is a literal nightmare. dozens, maybe hundreds of hours of letters, phone calls, and trying to bring some order to total chaos. Imagine five or six large paper bags full of bills, totally unsorted by person, type, amount, or date.

We are trying to head this off, without much success thus far. At the present, we are looking to keeping to paper bills as much as possible, and maintaining a virtual "spindle" type of sort... using "received by" and "paid" spindles (actually piles). Since we still have three properties, this seems to work out the easiest.

In an "after-the-fact" bill paying situation, the first step is doing a sort by date... without regard to type or source of bills. This allows for an easier elimination of duplicate bills... (especially important with medicare and all other healthcare bills).

Stacking/spindling/piling of bills allows for easier handling by a third party, where it's almost impossible to keep track of folders or even a spreadsheet-type of filing.

Back to the initial question... I can't see an easy way for a second party to pay bills on a paperless basis... particularly when it involves a different physical location (ie. mom's house).

Personal... in earlier days, I might have been able to keep this all sorted out, with some other system but as I look to the future, neither the interest nor the ability to do this. So not very clean or technical, but at least one standard method, that can be understood by anyone who might have to take over.

Best of luck on this... IMHO, a good question on a subject that will be important to all of us in time. Will watch for other ideas.
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Old 07-18-2015, 10:40 PM   #32
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I like paperless because if I'm travelling, I can see and pay my bills, which I've done.

I never accept Amazon's 1-click because it would be too easy to "accidentally" buy some stuff, and I did notice in the past when getting some free stuff from Amazon that not having 1-click allowed me to easily do it, whereas 1-click would have prevented it.
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Old 07-18-2015, 10:46 PM   #33
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On the question of paperless billing - Does anyone have any experience with handling financial affairs for someone who is no longer capable - how does that person having gone paperless effect the process ?
I have had to do this, and frankly paperless is super easy as long as you have the login.
Then you can see the bills and pay them.
If you had a paper bill, you cannot write and sign a check in another person's name, so you are stuck loaning the money.

You do need to figure out a way to leave the login safely written down.
Its totally fine to publicly (in an envelope list all your sites where you pay bills , example https://www.bankofamerica.com/ ).

The trick is to leave the logins available as well.
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Old 07-19-2015, 04:43 AM   #34
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Will not having paper bills around leave someone unable to determine what accounts exist, and what bills may be coming due?
On the contrary, they'll have at their fingertips every statement from every account going back to 2011, searchable, and neatly organized in folders by company and year.

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The trick is to leave the logins available as well.
That's really not a paperless/non-paperless matter, though. I don't know of any banks or brokerages that have paperless as an option for which the experience regarding access will vary depending on whether the account is set up for paperless or non-paperless. There will still be security measures of some sort applied, and whatever they may be will need to be accessible by the successor, and there are still going to be measures by which a successor can establish access otherwise by presenting credentials through the same defined process.
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Old 07-19-2015, 07:19 AM   #35
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On the question of paperless billing - Does anyone have any experience with handling financial affairs for someone who is no longer capable - how does that person having gone paperless effect the process ?
I have experience with assisting on both paperless and paper billing.

My father, who was somewhat computer savvy, made it a point to show me has little black book of online account logins and passwords. He had about 90% of the bills under a paperless system. When he passed away in 2007 it was a trivial matter to recover the book from his desk drawer, and pick up paying the bills - even from 2,000 miles away. I wish his handwriting in the book wasn't illegible but I got access to all the accounts eventually. I still thank him for doing that.

My mother still gets paper bank account statements, and I go online and download/save the online PDF versions of the bank account statements. She will usually send me anything paper that comes in the mail that looks important.

My MIL was another story however. When it became clear she was losing her memory and unable to remember to pay her paper bills, DW and I along with the two oldest adult children traveled the 2000 miles to Florida, and helped. MIL was getting second and third notices on bills, collectors calling, IRS bills, etc. She was placing all the paper mail in a tall 5 drawer dresser in the bedroom. It was completely full! There were bills that ready to mail out (from a year ago with stamps and checks inside) that were mixed in with the incoming mail. It took us 5 hours to go through that dresser sorting everything. Then my DW found a big steamer trunk crammed full of more paper bills. We nearly died sorting that thing out.

MIL had no idea things were that bad. It took about 3 months to find everything and convert it to online payments. In fact, most accounts were eager (almost too eager) to convert to online paperless accounts only.

I know these are two different scenarios to compare, but making everything online makes it so much easier when the helpers/children/family are geographically dispersed. Just make sure there's a known method for getting access to the online account logins and passwords.
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Old 07-19-2015, 10:01 AM   #36
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When my father died in 2000, I took over his payments from 2300 miles away. All the vendors make it easy to find out what is owing and how often. Then setting up payments from my account. And charging the estate afterwards.

It is also pretty easy to find out about all the investments. The key is to know where to ask. So the only tricky part was submitting the final tax return. One of the ticks is to file with what you know and let the revenuers correct you with what they know!

I am not trying to oversimplify but the focus should be on where everything is kept. This tends to be pretty static.

Diminished capacity is a whole other can of worms.
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Old 07-19-2015, 10:17 AM   #37
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I don't have mail delivery and the PO is a 35 mile round trip. You bet I am totally paperless.
Same here. Not only am I as paperless as I can be, I also have my recurring bills set for automatic charges/withdrawals. I monitor all bills and withdrawals and have notifications for large charges, but this way I don't have to worry about missing a payment.
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Old 07-19-2015, 10:25 AM   #38
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If you had a paper bill, you cannot write and sign a check in another person's name...
Actually, you can since the bank doesn't care unless the account holder disputes the check.
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:12 AM   #39
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Thanks for the responses on my question of setting things up for ease of handling by someone else.


It sounds like maybe the "little black book" containing account list and logons, and letting someone know where that is located, might be the way to go for now.
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Old 08-02-2015, 11:36 AM   #40
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It sounds like maybe the "little black book" containing account list and logons, and letting someone know where that is located, might be the way to go for now.
I started using Quicken WillMaker to draw up my will, it's still a work in progress. They have sections in there where you can list all of your financial account details along with online login information. Still deciding about the best way to control the document. The file is currently encrypted and in an encrypted folder on my hard drive. I'll probably keep a paper copy in the safe when completed. I recently had to deal with my parents estate after my mother passed, she had a simple two page will drawn up from a lawyer. There was no information about savings or investments, it was a pain for us to go through all of their paper work to try and figure everything out.
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