NARFE NewsWatch
May. 22, 2012

NARFE National Convention will feature Berry, Causey
NARFE
With convention season winding down for NARFE's state federations, attention is turning to the Association's 32nd Biennial National Convention, which will be Aug. 26-30 in Reno-Sparks, Nev. John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management, will deliver the keynote address. Noted print and radio journalist Mike Causey, senior correspondent at Federal News Radio, also will be a featured speaker. For information about the NARFE National Convention, go to www.narfe.org. More

How to change tax withholding
NARFE
Question: I have written to the Office of Personnel Management to increase the monthly tax withholding from my annuity. It has been almost a month, and I've not received a response. Do you have any advice?More

Senate panel approves benefits for same-sex partners of federal employees
The Washington Post
A Senate committee approved legislation allowing same-sex partners of federal employees to receive employment benefits. The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee passed the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act with a bipartisan voice vote. It must be approved by the full Senate and the House before enactment.More

Phased retirement plan falls out of defense bill
The Washington Post
The House has set aside a proposal to allow federal employees to phase into retirement, a plan some see as an innovative cost-saving measure that could also allow older staff members the opportunity to help train younger ones.More

USPS moves ahead with closings, staff reductions
Federal News Radio
The nearly bankrupt U.S. Postal Service is moving ahead with plans to close dozens of mail processing centers and cut thousands of jobs, saying it can no longer wait as Congress remains deadlocked over how to help. At a news briefing, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said the agency's mail processing network had simply become too big, given declining mail volume and its mounting debt. It will now consolidate nearly 230 plants, including 48 this summer, but will stretch out the remainder over a longer time frame in 2013 and 2014. More

Coping with rising retiree medical costs
CBS MoneyWatch
A recent report from Fidelity Investments estimates that a 65-year-old couple retiring in 2012 would need about $240,000 in today's dollars to cover medical expenses throughout their retirement. This represents a 4 percent increase over the 2011 estimate of $230,000. Since 2002, Fidelity's estimate has increased every year except in 2011 (when the one and only decrease was due to a one-time adjustment that reflected changes in Medicare). These changes reduced out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs.More

Kicking up the spice may help your heart
Men's Health via msnbc
Hitting the gym is a great way to keep your heart healthy. But what about breaking a sweat during dinner? Eating spicy foods may protect your heart against disease, according to new research presented at a recent meeting of the American Chemical Society. Scientists from the Chinese University of Hong Kong studied the effects of capsaicinoids, a compound that gives chili peppers, jalapeños and cayenne peppers their kick, on hamsters.More

Taking care of aging parents
The Boston Globe
As baby boomers head into their golden years, many are finding they not only have to plan for their own retirement but for the care of their aging parents as well. Americans are living longer, which also means they face more physical and mental challenges. "The fact that parents are living longer makes it more and more likely that children are going to have to have some presence," said Bob Mauterstock of Brewster, Mass., a retired financial adviser who has written a book about planning for the care of aging parents.More

How to handle an employment gap
U.S. News & World Report
Many of us have had periods in our work history when we were not employed. That might be due to going back to school, raising children, illness or job loss. While it might not seem like an issue from the job-seeker's perspective, it can send up red flags to employers. Gaps in your employment history without explanation make potential employers question those periods before having the chance to meet you. Here's how to handle an employment lapse.More

For some, it takes a 'village'
The Boston Globe
Ten years ago, Susan McWhinney-Morse had no desire to leave her longtime Beacon Hill home in Boston just because she and her husband were retired and growing older. Today, McWhinney-Morse, 78, still lives at her home, partly because she and other neighborhood residents helped start Beacon Hill Village, a nonprofit support group designed specifically to help older people stay in their homes and communities.More

Best affordable beach resorts
Travel+Leisure
Escapism looks a little different for everyone, but most people would agree that a reasonable price tag spells relaxation almost as much as a hammock and a cold one. Travel+Leisure rounded up their favorite affordable beach resorts worldwide, each checking in between $50 and $250 per night.More

5 ways to tame impulse spending
IndexCreditCards.com via Fox Business
Impulse spending is a death knell to a budget and often a precursor to mounting credit card debt. Yet it's a tough tiger to tame — on the prowl even when the economy is at its worst. Is impulse spending wreaking havoc with your finances? Here are five ways to tame the habit.More