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What To Do With All That Mail

As we went through quarterly meetings during the last few months of 2019, several questions came up over and over again. I personally believe that if you hear the same question five times, it might be a good idea to address it, but if you hear the same question 20 times, 200 more people probably have that same question and are too busy to ask.

In that light, as we roll through the first quarter of 2020, there are a few things we’ll be addressing in our meetings with you. But, we also know some of you snowbirds won’t be in for a while, or perhaps you’re so happy you don’t feel like you need to come in. This is for you.

The majority of our client families have elected to go paperless, but there are certain things like privacy statements, proxy votes and other random documents that do still get mailed out – even in 2020, there are people who don’t have email!

Over the last couple of weeks you’ve probably gotten an avalanche of these documents, and one thing we note internally is that we get a ton of phone calls from clients asking us if they need to do anything with all that paperwork.

Now, some folks are super-busy and don’t have time to open all that computer-generated (read, not from a live person in our office) mail, and it gets tossed.

For the rest of you who do call us up with questions, we generally have two responses. One: You could put it all in a bag, bring it to your next quarterly meeting, and with your permission, we’ll shred it for you. Two: you could just shred it yourself! None of that paperwork affects your day-to-day accounts with us.

For those of you who are less busy and do find time to open every piece of mail that lands in your mailbox, well, hat’s off to you! Even I don’t do that. I also know from talking to our operations team that some of you call us each time you open one of these items. And that’s fine – that’s why we’re here. We always want you to call us if you have questions.

But, I’ve decided that 2020 is the year we’re going to work together to eliminate some of the calls we get on these random mailings, and reducing the number of times we have to say “shred it!” At this point, our staff will have a pizza party and start looking for a way to eliminate the phrase “automate your savings.”

Now, the documents you do need to pay attention to are as follows:

  • Anything from your current or former employer.
  • Anything from the IRS.
  • Anything from the State of Kentucky (or whatever state you live in)
  • Most importantly: Any envelope with the Family Financial Partners logo printed in color.

This rule of thumb will reduce what you open to about 5 percent of what you receive. Now, I know you’re thinking, “So Dave, are you saying that I can disregard ALL of that other mail?” I’m not. You are supposed to look at it. But at the same time, there’s nothing wrong with just shredding it all either. Nothing changes relative to your accounts with us. If there’s something in all of that non blue-and-green logo-printed email that you need to sign, we already know about it and were copied on the mailing.

My goal here is to help us eliminate about 10 phone calls per day, or about 2,000 per year, because that does start to add up. It’s a time saver for our staff and for you. That said, if you’re curious about some of the third-party companies we do choose to work with, click here to learn more about them and why we do business with them. And if you do have any questions, by all means, bring them up next time we talk.

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