NARFE NewsWatch
Sept. 27, 2011

Senate passes continuing resolution to fund government until Nov. 18
Federal Times
A partisan fight over federal disaster assistance ended abruptly Sept. 26 when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency has enough cash to make it to the end of the fiscal year, which is Sept. 30. The Senate then voted 79-12 to approve a stopgap spending bill to keep the government running until Nov. 18. The passed measure includes $2.65 billion to allow FEMA to respond to natural disasters in fiscal 2012, which begins Oct. 1.More

Troubled long-term care program shelved, staff cut
The Associated Press via The Washington Post
The Obama administration has shelved a financially troubled long-term care insurance plan. Officials recently said the staff has been cut and it's an "open question" if the program will be implemented. Known as CLASS, the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program was created under President Barack Obama's health care law as a voluntary long-term care insurance program for workers.More

OPM paying $600 million to dead people
Federal News Radio
The Office of Personnel Management has paid more than $600 million to deceased annuitants in the last five years. Efforts to stop the flow of improper payments from the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund have not worked, said OPM Inspector General Patrick McFarland in a new report. The payments since 2006 have averaged $120 million annually. OPM has taken a number of steps to address the problem, including an annual computer match between its list of annuitants and the Social Security Administration's death records, McFarland said.More

Retirees should think twice about paying off the mortgage
The countdown to retirement is on for millions of baby boomers and, thanks to a lifetime of diligent saving, some have amassed enough wealth to pay off their mortgages and live debt-free. Conventional wisdom says it's best to pay off your mortgage before retirement; but given the low-interest rate environment and the need to preserve cash in an unstable economy, that strategy is no longer absolute.More

Cities that will help you stay active in retirement
It's really a no-brainer that the more active you are in retirement, the longer you'll live. While there are fitness steps you can take in retirement, you do not have to join a health club or buy a ton of equipment to turn your home into a mini-fitness club. On the theory that it helps to be in a conducive environment, Forbes fashioned a list of what they think are the 25 best cities for an active retirement.More

14 great family websites
It's a big Internet out there. And someone has to browse it. provides a list of 14 websites that are educational, entertaining and family-friendly.More

5 ways to rejuvenate your resume
In a competitive job market, we have to do everything we can to make our resumes more attractive to hiring managers. This can be difficult for older workers, who fear that even if there's no bias (subconscious or conscious) against job seekers on the mature side of 40, a resume may make them look overqualified for the positions they want. Here are five ways to make your resume more youthful, so you can score the interview — and make an impression with your experience and enthusiasm, instead of your assumed birth date.More

The most affordable European countries for American travelers
USA Today
Spending rough economic times on someone else's turf can mean bargains — or at least affordability — for American visitors. The September issue of Budget Travel magazine features the top 10 value destinations for American travelers to Europe this fall, based on price comparisons of hotels, public transportation, lunch and other expenses between 2007 and 2011. More

Get to know your debit card
There are many secrets about your debit card you probably don't know. Debit cards vary from bank to bank, so depending on your financial institution, some cards have different rules and protections. With that in mind, here are some things you may not have known about your debit card.More

A NARFE member asks whether there will be a COLA in 2012
Question: Will there be a cost-of-living increase next year for federal annuities and Social Security benefits? More

OPM to announce FEHBP 2012 premiums today
The Office of Personnel Management is expected to announce 2012 premiums for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program today. As soon as the information is available, NARFE will post reaction to the announcement and a link to the premiums on the Association's website. More