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This issue of NewsWatch is provided by NARFE, a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to protecting and enhancing the earned pay, retirement and health care benefits of federal employees, retirees and their survivors. Please join today!

NEWS FROM NARFE


Save the date! NARFE 'Grass-Roots Advocacy Month' rolls out in August
NARFE
NARFE’s ‘Grass-Roots Advocacy Month’ in August corresponds with Congress’ month-long recess: the House will be in recess August 3-September 8; the Senate will adjourn starting August 10. Lawmakers are in their home districts frequently in the summer, making it easier for NARFE members to express their views directly by connecting with their representatives and senators at town hall events and public activities such as parades, fairs and community picnics. View town hall meeting schedules at www.narfe.org or contact your legislators’ offices for dates. Wear your NARFE hats and T-shirts for some free publicity. For more tips, see the Protect America’s Heartbeat “Legislative Activities at the Individual Level Toolkit,” www.narfe.org/heartbeat/resources.cfm, or contact Legislative Department staff at 703-838-7760.
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FEDERAL BENEFITS QUESTION OF THE WEEK


Health benefits coverage for surviving spouse
NARFE
Question: I plan to retire soon and want to continue my current Federal Employees Health Benefits Program coverage for me and my spouse. I understand that if my spouse survives me, he can continue coverage and will have to pay for health insurance. What is the minimum monthly amount that he must receive from my retirement program to maintain the insurance? If we decide on a monthly amount for my spouse to receive, and it turns out that the cost of the insurance at the time of my death is more than his payment from my retirement plan, can he pay the additional cost from his own funds and maintain the insurance coverage?
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NARFE's members are well informed on their benefits and retirement options. Qualified benefit specialists are on hand to help members personally and to publish answers to questions like these every month in narfe magazine. Join NARFE today.


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FEDERAL UPDATE


Tens of thousands of feds to receive significant pay raise next year
Government Executive
Tens of thousands of federal employees will soon receive a pay raise thanks to an Obama administration decision to designate 13 cities as unique pay localities. The decision comes after years of deliberation, including tentative approval in May 2013. The cities will now receive unique locality-based pay adjustments, rather than being lumped in with the "rest of United States" grouping.
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Meet a federal phased-retirement pioneer
The Washington Post
Ford Peatross has cut back to working only 20 hours a week for the next 12 months, not much time to pass on a lifetime of experience in how to acquire, organize, preserve, appraise, lend and publish historic architectural and engineering documents. But otherwise Peatross, at age 67 and with nearly 40 years of working for the Library of Congress, would simply have taken that knowledge along with him into retirement.
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Mail or no mail, USPS facilities remain open for now
Federal News Radio
Facing opposition stretching from Capitol Hill to rural communities, the Postal Service has put off a key part of its plan to cut costs, even as it continues to lose billions of dollars a year. USPS will postpone until 2016 nearly all processing facility consolidations. Approximately 70 facilities nationwide are affected, according to agency spokeswoman Sue Brennan.
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A retirement readiness checklist
Government Executive
Last week's column ended with a question: When is the best time to retire? It could be described as this: It's when you are financially and mentally ready for this change in your life — with a little magic thrown in for good measure. The magic is when you wake up one morning with the realization that you're ready, and the time has come.
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FINANCES


The best credit cards for retirees
TheStreet
Making smart financial decisions is the key to a fantastic retirement, and that includes choosing the right piece of plastic to keep in your wallet. Whether you're looking to rack up rewards on everyday purchases, earn airline miles for travel or pay down debt, there are several credit cards available that are especially beneficial to retirees.
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HEALTH


What to do if you're bored with water
The Washington Post
Question: I'm trying to cut down on sugar (including low-calorie sweeteners), but I'm getting bored with plain water, which leads to me to not drinking enough. Any suggestions?
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SECOND CAREERS


5 resume details that brand you as out of date
Forbes
Once in a while somebody sends us a resume and cover letter with the opening "Dear Sir or Madam…" Right away when I see that opening, I think about dear Heidi Fleiss and wonder how Heidi is getting on. "Madam" is a word that hasn't been used in a context other than the one that brings Heidi to mind in a very long time. "Dear Sir or Madam" is an archaic turn of phrase that marks a job seeker as hopelessly behind the times.
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TRAVEL


10 summer RV vacations for retirees
U.S. News & World Report
Memorial Day has passed, and that means it's time for RV enthusiasts to get ready for their next summer adventure. "RVers are creatures of habit," says Jennifer Schwartz, vice president of marketing for the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds. "They go back to the same place every year."
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CONSUMER TIPS


Why medical identity theft is rising and how to protect yourself
Forbes
Anthem. Premera. CareFirst. Since the start of the year, these three major health insurers, all Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, have been victims of major data breaches, with up to about 92 million records affected. While data breaches at major retailers like Home Depot and Target may resonate more in consumers' minds, files that contain someone's medical data can make victims much more vulnerable.
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We are NARFE! Join us!
The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association is the only membership organization solely dedicated to protecting and preserving the benefits of all federal workers and retirees. NARFE is your legislative voice and your information resource.

Visit NARFE on the Web at www.narfe.org.



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NARFE NewsWatch from the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association
Disclaimer: The articles that appear in NARFE NewsWatch are chosen from a variety of sources to reflect topics of interest to active and retired federal employees. With the exception of Federal Benefits Question of the Week and News From NARFE, an article's inclusion in NARFE NewsWatch does not imply that the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) endorses, supports or verifies its contents or expressed opinions. Factual errors are the responsibility of the listed publication.

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
Bianca Gibson, Executive Editor, 469.420.2611   Contribute news
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