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NARFE protests House vote to extend federal pay freeze
In spite of NARFE and Federal-Postal Coalition efforts, the House last week passed legislation, HR. 273, to extend the federal pay freeze for the balance of the calendar year. The vote was 261-154 (19 representatives did not vote). In a statement released after the vote, NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin called the action "incomprehensible" and described the bill as "nothing more than another direct attack on hardworking public servants." Despite the disappointing news, NARFE was pleased to see that, in part thanks to our grass-roots efforts, 26 representatives who voted for a similar bill on Jan. 1 voted against the bill this time around. NARFE will use this vote when we compile our voting scorecard for the 113th Congress. The tally of the vote is posted on our Legislative Action Center. The gateway to NARFE-selected votes is here. Roll call votes also are available on the Clerk of the House's website .

To read the complete text of Beaudoin's statement, click here.
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Long-term care insurance
Question: I am interested in long-term care insurance. Is there a link to get me there?
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Start a spending plan
Office of Personnel Management
A spending plan gives you control. Your plan will clearly show how much money you have coming in, what you're spending it on and where you can make trade-offs to come up with extra cash. It's also your first step in meeting larger financial goals. With a spending plan in place, you will be better able to find the money you'll need to reach them.

The FINRA Investor Education Foundation developed this 6-step action plan to help you develop a spending plan.

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House votes to extend federal pay freeze
Government Executive
The House has voted to freeze the pay of federal employees and lawmakers through 2013. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., prolongs the current across-the-board pay freeze for civilian government employees through the end of the year. President Obama issued an executive order on Dec. 27, 2012, that would end the two-year salary freeze on March 27 — when the current continuing resolution expires — and give civilian federal workers a 0.5 percent raise in 2013. DeSantis' move to block the order also applies to lawmakers, but Congress already voted to freeze its pay in 2013 in the fiscal cliff legislation signed into law in January.
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Federal worker furloughs could start in April
Federal workers could start facing furloughs as early as April, according to federal agencies trying to prepare for the worst. Unless Congress steps in, some $85 billion in massive spending reductions will hit the federal government, doling out furloughs to much of the nation's 2.1 million federal workforce, experts say.
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Federal Employees: Hearing aids as low as $10

Depending on your covered benefit, your hearing aids could be as low as $10/pair when you purchase through TruHearing MemberPlus. Call 877-360-2446 for more details.
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To find out how to feature your company in the NARFE NewsWatch and other advertising opportunities, Contact James DeBois at 469-420-2618.


Taxes, Social Security and your part-time job
Market Watch
More Americans are delaying retirement, and that means more people are collecting both Social Security and a paycheck. That can bring unexpected financial repercussions: a bigger-than-expected tax bill and reduced benefits.
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Study: Slashing the salt would save lives
If Americans cut back on the amount of sodium they down every day, hundreds of thousands of lives could be saved over the next 10 years, according to new study findings. Eating too much sodium contributes to hypertension, or high blood pressure, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke. More than 800,000 Americans die from heart disease, stroke and other vascular diseases each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The American Heart Association reports that nearly half of all deaths caused by cardiovascular disease in the U.S. are related to high blood pressure.
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  Not everyone retires to Florida.

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Encore careers for the rest of us
Is it really possible for somebody in their 50s or 60s to embark on an "encore career," one that lets you earn income and make a social impact? Or do you need to be wealthy to be able to do it, since the new work would typically be at a nonprofit? Those questions kept bubbling up at Encore 2013, the awe-inspiring conference recently held in San Francisco, hosted by, the nonprofit think tank dedicated to second acts for the greater good.
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More baby boomers facing credit-card quandary
Reuters via NBCNews
Sandy Harsh never expected to find herself with $16,800 in credit-card debt and her retirement dreams drifting farther away. Harsh, an IT professional from Tuscola, Ill., is 62, around the age at which a lot of people start actively planning to retire to a white sandy beach with a frozen margarita in hand. Harsh's debt snuck up on her as she helped her two daughters with college and living costs. She went back to school after a divorce, and dealt with unexpected expenses such as big dental bills. Now she has about $300 a month in minimum payments, spread across three credit cards, and the balance never seems to go down because of all the interest she is paying.
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Should you buy travel insurance?
The five-day ordeal on the Carnival cruise ship Triumph certainly illustrates how travel plans can go awry. So, when should you get travel insurance? "Definitely, if you're going overseas," said Carol Ruzin, coordinator of trip insurance at University Travel in Minneapolis. An $1,800 trip for a 31-to-59 year-old costs $91 and covers trip cancellation, trip interruption and emergency medical and dental coverage, Ruzin said.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Three jobs you didn't know you could do in retirement (Next Avenue)
Military service credit (NARFE)
A new retiree's to-do list (Government Executive)
Bank card scam: Skimming devices target consumers at the ATM, gas pumps (Mercury News)
Federal unions, except postal groups, grow as other labor organizations decline (The Washington Post)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


Despite warnings, lottery scams continue to pile up the victims
Across the country, people are being notified they've won thousands, and even millions, of dollars through a lottery or sweepstakes. Unfortunately, in most cases, it's nothing but a scam. The problem is, an alarming number of people refuse to believe it's a scam, and they're losing everything. "I believed them that it was a real thing, and it was going to make our lives different," said Betty Klassen. Klassen and her husband lost thousands of dollars to lottery thieves.
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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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