Automatic bill pay's dark side: Man's death undiscovered for two years
Police officers broke the door down and discovered his body and a huge pile of unopened mail inside his door. It wasn't reported how they were inspired to check on the 70-year-old Dean.
While this is surely an extreme example of the blind efficiency of modern conveniences -- and is an argument for being connected to one's community -- it makes me wonder if setting up automatic bill pay from an account large enough to pay bills for years isn't ultimately a bad idea. Today I discovered that my Fidelity 401(k) account could be configured to pay my bills; and it seems a little too convenient to think that I could sell some stock to pay my water bill. I've always thought that keeping investments and savings less accessible and definitely separate from your checking account was the prevailing wisdom. Are we sacrificing too much for ease-of-use? [Thanks to Stacy Westbrook for the link!]