OPM's Berry grilled by lawmakers on pay freeze
The federal government should not impose an across-the-board employee pay freeze or cut, according to think tank analysts who believe civil servants on average receive compensation more generous than that of their private-sector counterparts. President Barack Obama has called for an overall two-year pay freeze for federal employees, but such measures "would unfairly penalize those federal employees who are not overpaid while still leaving others with premium wages," said James Sherk, senior policy analyst in labor economics at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington. More
How to deal with inflation risk in retirement
The Republic Share
In 1960, the median value of a home in the United States was $11,900. Today, some 50 years later, you'd be hard pressed to buy a decent car for that amount, given that the average price in 2010 was close to $30,000. And in 50 more years, you might find it impossible to buy a car for $170,000, which was the median sales price of a single-family home in the United States in 2010. Inflation is one of the most insidious risks Americans will face in retirement. More
Obama: 2-week CRs are 'irresponsible'
President Barack Obama said he opposes funding government operations with multiple continuing resolutions and wants to see a resolution funding agencies for the rest of fiscal 2011. "We can't keep running the government based on two-week extensions. That's irresponsible," Obama said in a news briefing. More
Coffee may reduce stroke risk
USA Today Share
Drinking coffee appears to offer protection against stroke, a major study of women concludes. Women in the study who drank more than a cup of coffee a day had a 22 percent to 25 percent lower risk of stroke than those who drank less, according to findings reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer. More
Remodeling now to avoid accessibility problems later
The New York Times Share
On a visit to her friends' home in France last fall, Nancy Carlin of Naples, Fla., admired the elegant shower room. When she returned, Carlin, 60, asked a contractor to redo the master bath in her courtyard villa using a similar curbless, doorless design. "Since I only wanted to do this once, I figured I'd make it accessible for when I'm older," said Carlin, a retired teacher. Having witnessed the mobility challenges that her ailing parents and her late husband had with stairs, bathtubs and narrow doorways in her former home in Basking Ridge, N.J., she started "thinking about remodeling so you would never have to move out of your house," she said. More
10 ways to work for yourself
In a crummy economy where jobs are scarce, Scott Gerber, author of "Never Get A Real Job," believes that the only way to secure your employment and financial future is to start a company. "The resume-driven society says, 'if we work hard and go to school, we'll get a job and be OK.' That traditional thinking no longer applies," says Gerber. "Now, more than ever, you need to be entrepreneurial to be successful; you need to create a job to keep a job." More
5 steps to transitioning to a great retirement
MarketWatch (commentary) Share
Research suggests that most Americans don't want to retire to a life of just hitting a tiny white ball around a well-manicured lawn. Instead, they want do something after they retire from their primary career. Trouble is, many Americans don't know how to go about it. They don't know what steps to take to figure out what to do next in their lives. More
Traveler beware — fuel scams ahead
Chicago Tribune Share
Unless the price of oil suddenly drops, you can expect to see higher travel bills in coming weeks and months. And, all too often, those increases will be disguised as "surcharges" and hidden during most or all of the purchase process. You've already seen reports about the five rounds of airfare hikes the big lines announced just since the first of the year. Most final increases were a bit less than originally announced because some of the big low-fare airlines didn't go along with the full amounts. But the fact is that fares this summer are likely to be a lot higher than they were last summer. More
Why retailers prefer 'ship to store' over plain old shipping to the customer's home
During the past winter holiday shopping season, free shipping was a big trend. Retail giant Walmart, for instance, offered free shipping on some 60,000 items. Now, instead of continuing to expand free shipping services, Walmart is ramping up its "ship-to-store" program, in which shoppers order merchandise online that they'll later pick up in a store location. Why? More
A NARFE member asks about obtaining Social Security benefits as a CSRS Offset retiree
Question: I am a CSRS Offset annuitant, meaning that when I rejoined the federal government I paid into Social Security as well as the Civil Service Retirement System. I turned 62 in January and just received a letter from the Office of Personnel Management that my CSRS annuity was being reduced, but it made no mention of Social Security at all. What happened? More
'Protect America's Heartbeat' website launched by NARFE
NARFE has launched a website for its "Protect America's Heartbeat" campaign — an aggressive national communications and advocacy campaign to fight back against attacks on federal employees' and retirees' benefits and reputations. NARFE is urging all federal employees and retirees to go to the site, www.ProtectAmericasHeartbeat.org, to sign a petition to Congress and to tell the story of their own public service. More
NARFE says information on federal pay presented at congressional hearing was 'grossly misleading'
NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin labeled as "grossly misleading" information on federal employee pay that was presented March 9 at a hearing by the House Oversight Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy. "During continued tough economic times, we cannot allow this bad data to turn our federal employees into national scapegoats," Beaudoin said. More
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