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NEWS FROM NARFE

NARFE wishes everyone a happy Thanksgiving
NARFE
NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin wishes a happy Thanksgiving to federal employees and retirees everywhere, and especially to NARFE members. "Thanksgiving is a time to count our blessings," says Beaudoin. "Mine certainly include all NARFE members, proud of their federal service and willing to recruit others to join us in persuading Congress to respect the high calling of public service." Beaudoin urges NARFE members to use this time before lawmakers return to Capitol Hill on Dec. 2 to send NARFE's new Letter to the Editor, detailed below.
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Harness the power of the press, send a letter to your editor
NARFE
Letters to the Editor (LTEs) influence both public and elite opinion. LTEs are clipped by congressional offices, and put the NARFE name and brand before readers and potential members. Since members of Congress have left Washington, not to return until Dec. 2, NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin urges Association members to use this time to send our new Letter to the Editor. Go to NARFE's Legislative Action Center by clicking here. After inserting your ZIP code, you will be provided a template for contacting daily and weekly papers in your area. Let the public know know that threats to federal employees and retirees are a real and present danger.
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FEDERAL BENEFITS QUESTION OF THE WEEK


FERS annuity
NARFE
Question: My wife was under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and left federal service after 10 years. Is she eligible for a pension and, if so, at what age? Is her annuity based on the high-three years and length of service?
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FEDERAL UPDATE


Report: Expect sequestration to hit much harder in 2014
Government Executive
Less severe cuts, deferred costs and temporary solutions mitigated sequestration's effect in its inaugural year, but will not help lessen the impact in 2014, according to a new report. The Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, said the tactics federal agencies used to reduce furloughs in fiscal 2013 are, in many cases, no longer available. In fact, they will largely accentuate the severity of the cuts this time around.
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TSP hardship withdrawals hit record high
Federal Times
Hardship withdrawals from the Thrift Savings Plan set a record last month, as thousands of participants tapped their retirement accounts during the 16-day partial government shutdown, according to figures recently released.
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Bill would ensure blue-collar feds get 1 percent pay raise in January
Federal News Radio
A new bill recently introduced by Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., would ensure blue-collar federal employees receive the same scheduled pay increase in January as General Schedule employees.
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Which agencies were hit hardest by shutdown furloughs?
The Washington Post
The furloughs that took place during the recent 16-day government shutdown hit agencies unevenly. A new graphic from a website that describes itself as "a guide to master's degrees in accounting" shows which employees were affected most.
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Budget officials: Across-the-board cuts are the 'lazy' way out
Government Executive
Federal budget officials are turning against across-the-board spending cuts in favor of a more refined approach, a new survey finds. Only 8 percent of respondents to a 2013 survey of federal budget professionals conducted by the American Association for Budget and Program Analysis and Grant Thornton said they would prefer to achieve spending reductions by making broad cuts and protecting all their programs. Another 14 percent said they supported across-the-board cuts but would chop some programs more than others.
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FINANCES


HARP changes put refinancing in reach of more homeowners
Leader-Courier
When the federal Home Affordable Refinance Program launched in 2009, millions took advantage, but many other homeowners found they couldn’t qualify to refinance their underwater mortgages. Today, significant enhancements have made the program more accessible for homeowners and a great opportunity to lower payments or build equity faster.
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HEALTH


10 tips for healthy holidays
The Boston Globe
Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations have hit the store shelves, right next to the sale-priced Halloween candy, which can only mean one thing: The holiday season is officially here. It also means we're entering a perfect storm of candy binges, holiday parties, decadent meals and all kinds of seasonal indulgences. Unfortunately, this time of year brings about a lot of poor nutritional and fitness practices, at least until New Year's resolution time rolls around again. This article gives some time-tested tips for staying healthy over the holidays.
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SECOND CAREERS


Retire, then work — what boomers face in later years
The Boston Globe
There was a time when Tom Sadowski thought he'd stop working after turning 65 earlier this year. But he’s put off retirement for at least five years — and now anticipates continuing to work afterward. In an illuminating sign of changing times and revised visions of retirement, baby boomers such as Sadowski not only are delaying their retirement plans, they're also embracing the fact that retirement won’t necessarily mark a complete exit from the workforce.
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TRAVEL


Tips for stress-free family holiday travel
USA Today
Along with seeing friends and family, the holidays mean crowded airports and packed roads. The American Automobile Association predicts that 43.4 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from their homes to celebrate this Thanksgiving. Millions more will be flying and driving over the Christmas break. Lessen the aggravation by maintaining your sense of humor, allowing extra time for everything, and by following these stress-busting strategies.
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CONSUMER TIPS


Identifying home refinancing scams
WKYT-TV
Do you need to refinance a home or business? Here's something you should know. There are conmen out there who will try to steal your money. Here is how you can figure out who is legitimate and who is not.
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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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