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NEWS FROM NARFE

Prepare now for 'NARFE Advocacy Month,' Aug. 3 - Sept. 8
NARFE
Congress is in session through the month of June, meaning that the first great opportunity to meet with members of Congress in the districts/states is the July 4 recess, running July 1-5. Knowing that most NARFE chapters suspend meeting during the summer months, NARFE officers and legislative staff have been planning a major grass-roots thrust, "NARFE Advocacy Month," to coincide with the extended congressional recess, Aug. 3 - Sept. 8.

"We trust federations, districts/areas and chapters have prepared carefully for this outreach, or will soon," says NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin. "Individual NARFE members should plan now to exercise their First Amendment rights in July and August by meeting personally with their congressional delegation. The annuity and health insurance benefits you earned are under assault, and silence is no solution."

NARFE members can speak with members of Congress at community events, parades and town hall meetings. Remember to wear items that identify you as a NARFE member and to speak briefly on our issues. Remind your members of Congress that federal employees and retirees "Protect America's Heartbeat," and that their earned retirement and health benefits need to be preserved — and that includes opposing the Chained CPI.

Tools and resources are available from NARFE's Toolkit online here.
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NARFE Congressional Directory available via NARFE.org
NARFE
NARFE's Congressional Directory for the 113th Congress (2013-2014) can now be purchased using the NARFE website. Go to http://www.narfe.org/congdir/, then log in and fill out the order form. This resource contains 192 pages of information on each governor and congressional delegation, and 28 pages of customized NARFE content. Federations and chapters can and should use federation and chapter funds to purchase copies for key legislative officers, including legislative committees, district officers and especially Congressional District Liaisons. An order form appears on page 10 of the June issue of narfe magazine as well. Individual copies of the NARFE Congressional Directory are still $20. No phone orders. Please make checks payable to NARFE.
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FEDERAL BENEFITS QUESTION OF THE WEEK


Medicare coverage
NARFE
Question: I have several questions on Medicare coverage.
• If I enroll in Medicare Part B, can I cancel Part B coverage at any time?
• Is Medicare automatically cancelled if I cease being a resident of the United States, and can I restart Medicare if I return to the United States to again become a resident?
• Do Medicare Parts A and B pay medical costs incurred outside of the United States if I travel for less than one month?
• Do my Part B premiums reduce the amount of my Social Security payment that is taxable?

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FEDERAL UPDATE


OPM to offer buyouts, early outs
Federal Times
The Office of Personnel Management is planning to offer buyouts and early retirements to nearly 300 employees — and some of those buyouts are likely to result in slower pension processing times.
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Sequestration may be slowing momentum on retirement claims
Government Executive
The government processed 19 percent fewer retirement applications in May than in April, a sign that sequestration could be hobbling efforts to eliminate the long-standing claims backlog. The Office of Personnel Management completed 10,954 retirement claims last month — 2,628 fewer claims than it processed in April — despite receiving roughly the same number of applications during both months. OPM hoped to process 11,500 claims in May, falling 5 percent short of that goal.
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Federal workers could enjoy a 'phased retirement'
The Washington Post
With their pay frozen and reduced by furloughs and their credibility at times questioned, you'd think federal employees would dash for the door as soon as they were eligible to retire. Instead, many have pushed for a way to hang around the workplace a little bit longer, to ease into retirement while transferring their skills and knowledge to the next generation. Uncle Sam soon will make that easier to do.
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Uncle Sam scales back on bonuses
Government Executive
The government handed out less bonus money to federal employees in 2012 than in 2011, according to new data. Uncle Sam paid $332 million in bonuses to feds in fiscal 2012, down $106 million from fiscal 2011, and $149 million less than in fiscal 2010.
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Pentagon preparing 2014 spending plan that factors in sequestration
FederalNewsRadio.com
The Defense Department is prepared to present Congress with a detailed outline of how it will cut billions from its budget if sequestration continues into next year. By July 1, the Pentagon will provide the Senate Armed Services Committee its plan for managing reduced fiscal 2014 budget levels, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in a recent speech at a special-operations conference. The committee had asked DOD to provide a list of spending reductions after the White House submitted a budget proposal for next fiscal year that simply ignored sequestration, ostensibly in the hope that the automatic budget cuts would be canceled or otherwise avoided by next fiscal year.
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FINANCES


Family finances need more discussion
Forbes
Sometimes we don't discover that there's a problem until family members have lost money or have plunged deep in debt. Much of the disconnect with money has to do with our culture: We don’t like to talk about it and, when we do, it only has to be in a positive sense. Negative money talk doesn't do well at the family bbq or neighborhood get-together. And the money taboo doesn't go away when we age. According to the National Endowment for Financial Education, an excellent group that researches financial issues, some seven out of 10 Americans surveyed have "major barriers" that halt family members from openly discussing financial issues on behalf of older family members.
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RETIREMENT READINESS NOW TIP


New and improved MyMoney.gov site
Office of Personnel Management
www.MyMoney.gov, the U.S. government's website dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics about financial education, is new and improved. Making the most of your money starts with five building blocks for managing and growing your money — The MyMoney Five: Earn, Save & Invest, Protect, Spend and Borrow. Keep these five principles in mind as you make day-to-day decisions and plan your financial goals.
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HEALTH


Your stroke risk can shrink with 7 lifestyle changes
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
Certain lifestyle changes could greatly reduce your stroke risk, according to a new study. Researchers calculated stroke risk among nearly 23,000 black and white Americans ages 45 years and older. Their risk was assessed using the American Heart Association's Life's Simple 7 health factors: be active, control cholesterol, eat a healthy diet, manage blood pressure, maintain a healthy weight, control blood sugar and don't smoke.
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SECOND CAREERS


BBB: Look for red flags when job searching online
The Telegraph
People are increasingly turning to the Internet as a key tool when searching for a new job. Estimates show 80 percent of job seekers reported using online sources in their job search, compared to only 66 percent in 2005. While the Internet has made searching for jobs easier, it also provides an opportunity for ID thieves and scammers to take advantage of eager — and unsuspecting — job seekers.
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RETIREMENT TRENDS


What retirement crisis? Retirees say they're doing just fine
TIME
Maybe we worry too much about retirees. As a group, they are more likely than working people to describe their finances as comfortable, according to a new poll. How can this be? Aren't oppressively low bank rates crushing the lifestyle of folks concentrated in conservative investments? Hasn't the housing bust wiped out much of their home equity safety net? Weren’t many forced to sell assets at low prices to make ends meet? The answer to these questions is, in part, yes. Yet 75 percent of retirees report that they are financially comfortable right now.
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TRAVEL


Seniors should take precautions when traveling
Las Vegas Review-Journal
There's nothing like a summer vacation. Everyone is relaxed, beverages are chilled and the cellphone is silent. It's a good time. For seniors, however, especially those over 55, precaution should be taken before riding the wild surf or buying back-to-back tickets on the upside-down, twisting and turning roller coaster at Six Flags. And that same precaution should be taken even if it's just a trip back east to visit the grandchildren or a five-day multigenerational cruise.
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CONSUMER TIPS


Senior citizens vulnerable to lottery scams
USA Today
An 84-year-old may have won last month's record-setting lottery, but some of Gloria MacKenzie's peers are finding themselves winning a different kind of lottery — the kind that loses them money. It's called a lottery scam, and data show that senior citizens are more likely than any other age group to fall victim to it and other fraudulent transactions, especially those promising prize promotions.
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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
Caleb Gremmer, content editor, 469.420.2648   Contribute news
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