Handling business matters from afar…Not always easy…

A single beautiful lily in the lily pad pot in the yard.

Today, we had to make several business calls and had set aside our early morning, during which we can only reach some of the companies due to time differences between the US and New Zealand.

Thank goodness for Skype. Otherwise, such calls would incur monstrous charges. With our Skype phone account any call we make to the US is only NZ $.03, US $.023 per minute plus data charges which add up quickly.

We’ve discovered using Skype with video for an approximate 30 minutes results in a cost of one gig. Of course, when we’re calling a phone number without the recipient using Skype on their end, there’s no possibility of video.

Beach on a cloudy evening.

A few of our readers and Facebook friends have suggested we use “What’s App” for making face-time calls.  Doing so requires a phone with a capacity for making calls and using data. Using only Skype for phone calls with no data connection on our phones, using such an app isn’t possible.

If we needed to use the phone, we could swap out the SIM card, we have on the Spark hot spot from which both calls and data could be used. However, using that NZ SIM card would incur expensive charges when calling anywhere outside of New Zealand.

One of our business accounts requires a few signed documents in order to make changes requiring an original ink signed document. In today’s day and age, this concept of signing in ink is becoming obsolete with the availability of documents easily be signed online. 

Lots of seagulls at the beach in New Plymouth on the Coastal Walkway.

When we have to send a signed document we run into the problem that we no longer have a portable printer when ours quit working over a year ago. It wasn’t worth replacing it when we seldom need to print anything. 

We still have our portable Doxie scanner which continues to work quite well when we use it for saving tax-deductible receipts. Scanning the receipts prevents us from hauling paper receipts all over the world.

We’ve been unable to access one of our business accounts online since we arrived in New Zealand, one we easily accessed in Fiji and all other countries in the past. We’ve contacted the company by Skype and apparently, there’s nothing wrong on their end. 

Similar to Australia, many of the beaches are uneven and rocky.

We can only assume there’s an issue with the Internet here in NZ blocking our ability to access that account for some reason or another. This is a unique situation we’ve never experienced in other countries.

With our good knowledge of the use of the Internet, we can’t find any other reason that particular account is blocked. We’ve spent considerable time working on a solution only to discover after calling, there’s nothing we can do.

These types of scenarios are a part of traveling the world over which on occasion, we have no control in creating a solution. But, we’ve found a “workaround” as is always the case…today’s phone call on Skype answered all of our questions.

We often stop at this favorite spot for photos of Mount Taranaki.

Another issue we had today, is regarding a new credit card we received over six months ago. It’s a card that provides “extra perks” for grocery shopping and fuel, a great adjunct to the cards we already use. 

When the card arrived in one of our “mailed-from-the-US” shipments, we immediately attempted to use it only to discover it was declined. How embarrassing! Immediately upon returning home (we’d just arrived in Fiji and had picked up the shipment from customs at a local post office) we called the credit card company asking, “What’s the deal?”

They explained that the US-generated card had to be used in the US for six months before it would be released for use in other countries due to fraud guidelines when many credit card thefts transpire outside the US.

Frustrated by the inconvenience, I marked my online calendar to remind us to call in six months to “request that the card be made available for use outside the US” per their requirements. The only way to do this was to make the call as required this morning. In 24 hours, the card will be available for use outside the US. 

These noisy pesky birds are magpies, which tend to keep other birds away.

We’re required to call back to list the countries in which we’ll be using the card again in another six months, after listing today each country where we may use it in the upcoming six months. 

This company requires a phone call whereby our other cards are available by entering “travel notifications” online which we’ll be updating today, again noting on the calendar to do these again in another 60 days as required.

Often, many assume that handling one’s personal business can be relatively easy while traveling the world.  For short periods, that may be the case. For us, traveling for the “long haul” we must stay in touch and in tune with changes, updates, and processes required for banking, investments, and other “paperwork” related transactions.

View of cattle from the highway.

At this time, we’re also working with our accountant in Nevada, US, to complete our 2015 tax filing, due by April 15th. We had all the necessary paperwork sent directly to her from our mailing service in Nevada. Once she received the docs she scanned everything sending us (by email) copies for our records.  We’ve already sent her all of our calculations. Filing taxes is another one of those tasks that must be done from afar.

With both of us sharing in these tasks; Tom the investments; me the banking, payments, and taxes, we manage to get it all done in a timely fashion. Once we have these types of responsibilities behind us, we can return to our relatively carefree lifestyle of enjoying our world travels.

Today it’s very windy here in the Taranaki Region, not uncommon this time of year. After I’d hung one load of laundry this morning, I went outside to find that one of the clotheslines had broke in the wind and our laundry was lying on the ground. We brought everything inside to finish drying. With all these other tasks behind us today, that’s the extent of today’s concern. We love that!

Happy day!

Photo from one year ago today, March 11, 2015:

One year ago, we attending a senior event in Princeville, Kauai for food, fun, and bingo. We actually had a great time. For more details, please click here.

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