NARFE NewsWatch
Feb. 1, 2011

Federal workers surprised by Obama proposal to reorganize agencies
Federal Times
Management and union leaders expressed surprise at President Obama's announced plan to reorganize government and impose a five-year domestic spending freeze. Carol Bonosaro, president of the Senior Executives Association, which represents the government's top career executives, said that, while a reorganization of agencies may be worthwhile in the long term, "you know for certain in the short run there are going to be costs to do that."More

Social Security fund will be drained by 2037
Bloomberg Businessweek
The Social Security fund is on track to run out of money by 2037. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) calculates that this year alone Social Security will collect $45 billion less in payroll taxes than it pays out in benefits. The CBO says the fund will continue to operate in deficit each year until it's drained.More

Freshman lawmaker, put in charge of work force panel, says cuts are a must
The Washington Post
Let's begin with a cautionary tale on governmental efficiency and how not to impress the new chairman of the subcommittee that oversees the federal workplace. Freshman Rep. Dennis A. Ross, R-Fla., was moving into his still-barren office in the Cannon building on Capitol Hill when workers came to install a television. When Ross begins the story with "We had what we thought was a TV," it's a sure sign of bad news to come.More

Are positive emotions good for your health in the later years?
Medical News Today
The notion that feeling good may be good for your health is not new, but is it really true? A new article published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, reviews the existing research on how positive emotions can influence health outcomes in later adulthood. "We all age. It is how we age, however, that determines the quality of our lives," said Anthony Ong of Cornell University, author of the review article. The data he reviews suggest that positive emotions may be a powerful antidote to stress, pain and illness. More

Why the 'smug marrieds' have reasons to be thankful
WebMD Health News
"The course of true love never did run smooth," as one of Shakespeare's characters observes, comparing a relationship to the meandering of a river. However, for people who manage to turn their love affairs into long-term, successful relationships, it seems the benefits to mental and physical health are enormous. People in stable relationships live longer than singletons, according to a review of evidence in the latest edition of Student British Medical Journal.More

Some boomers 'retire' to jobs that allow them to help others
USA Today
After college, Pat Daly wanted to "save the world" by working with children, but the money wasn't there. So she went into investment banking, became a director of her firm and opened offices around the world. Along the way, Daly got involved in philanthropy, took a course in fundraising and began to volunteer. Daly is part of the growing "encore careers" movement — an effort to match older workers who can't or don't want to retire with public service jobs that benefit society.More

For many entrepreneurs, life begins at 50
There's a lot of chatter these days about how eagerly Gen Y is embracing entrepreneurship. But you don't hear nearly as much about the other demographic that's also pursuing business ownership, driven more by purpose than passion. There's been a surge of people aged 50-plus starting businesses, and it's happening for a number of reasons. But today's driving factor, according to a recent survey, appears to be "financial need."More

When not to buy an airline ticket
The Wall Street Journal
Shoppers looking for the cheapest airfare can learn something from stand-up comedians: It's all about timing. Ticket prices are highest on weekends, on average, according to online travel agencies, fare trackers and airline pricing executives. When's the best time to buy? Travel experts have long said Tuesday is when sales are most often in place, which is true. More

Paying the price for Valentine's Day chocolate
Consumer Reports
The average person will spend $116.21 on traditional Valentine's Day gifts this year, according to a survey from the National Retail Federation, a trade group. After several years of cautious spending, consumers are ready to shell out 11 percent more than last year. Nearly $70 will be spent on a significant other or spouse; the rest is spent on friends, classmates, teachers, co-workers and even pets.More

A NARFE member asks about postponing annuity
Question: I am under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and will reach my minimum retirement age (MRA) in July. I will have 20 years of service. I plan to take a deferred annuity at age 60. Will I be eligible to receive coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) at age 60, with the government picking up a portion of the premium?More

NARFE announces members-only online retirement planning calculator
In an effort to provide its members with the latest tools to plan their retirement, NARFE, in partnership with Economic Systems Inc., is announcing the availability of a members-only, online self-study retirement seminar and retirement benefits calculator.More