NARFE NewsWatch
Mar. 12, 2013

Contact Congress on Tuesday, March 12: Every call counts!
NARFE leaders from across the country who are attending the Association's Legislative Training Conference will carry NARFE's message to Capitol Hill March 12, as they meet with their elected officials and their staff. The message: Federal employees and retirees already have contributed more than $100 billion toward deficit reduction, and should not be targeted for additional sacrifice. Enough is enough!

In a call to action to all Association members, NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin stated: "If you are not attending NARFE's Legislative Training Conference, you can amplify NARFE's voice by telephoning your representative and senators on Tuesday, March 12, using the toll-free number and step-by-step instructions provided here. The stakes are high. I ask you to do your part in defending your earned benefits."More

Changing beneficiary designations
Question: I need to make changes in my beneficiary designations for the Federal Employees Retirement System and life insurance. Is it possible to do this online? If not, where do I get the necessary forms?More

Federal workers to rally again on Capitol Hill
The Washington Post
One of the nation's largest federal-employee groups plans to rally on Capitol Hill against cuts affecting the federal workforce, marking the third time in as many months that such a gathering has taken place. Members of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association are scheduled to meet in the Capitol building for a series of speeches from labor leaders and a bipartisan pair of lawmakers in advance of the organization's March 12 Advocacy Day.More

60,000 Customs, Border Patrol agents face furloughs
Federal Times
Some 60,000 U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and other employees will be furloughed for up to 14 days, according to notices recently issued. The furloughs could begin April 21 and last through the end to the fiscal year in September, according to the notice, which attributes the move to across-the-board budget cuts that began taking effect March 1.More

Days of sequester: The week-1 roundup
The Washington Post
Since deep spending cuts took effect across virtually all areas of government, the first impacts of budget slashing are starting to show. For one thing, the Obama administration canceled all tours of the White House, effective March 9. Republicans called the move a public-relations ploy aimed at drawing attention to the reductions, but the White House said the Secret Service couldn't fulfill its core mission while hosting visitors under the so-called sequester.More

Why the Senate Democrats' budget will be vague
Government Executive
The GOP has long hoped that by prodding the Senate majority to produce a budget, it could force Democrats to commit to paper some unpopular political choices on spending cuts and health care programs. But if Republicans want specifics this spring, they'll have to wait. The Senate Democrats' budget, scheduled for release soon, is expected to offer only broad outlines of many of the party's usual talking points, leaving Republicans with little new political ammunition in the ongoing fiscal war.More

How much money can you take out in retirement?
How much can I pull from my investments to live on when I retire? This question haunts retirees and those thinking about life after work. Where will you get income in retirement? Most people think: By cashing in the investments I've accumulated during my working life. But even if you have a lot of money saved, cashing in will not always work.More

Use care on calcium, healthy older women told
The Associated Press via Arizona Daily Star
Popping calcium and vitamin D pills in hopes of strong bones? Healthy older women shouldn't bother with relatively low-dose dietary supplements, say new recommendations from a government advisory group. Both nutrients are crucial for healthy bones, and specialists advise getting as much as possible from a good diet. The body also makes vitamin D from sunshine. If an older person has a vitamin deficiency or bone-thinning osteoporosis, doctors often prescribe higher-than-normal doses.More

Lifelong attitudes and practices shape encore careers
The Capital
Pete DeVries is a Naval Academy graduate, Class of '69. He spent 25 really interesting years in the Navy — including 16 years as a carrier-based naval aviator in anti-submarine warfare and other assignments, such as commanding officer of the Navy’s dolphin training facility in Hawaii. So, when Pete retired from the Navy in 1994, it was natural for him to explore new projects — which he did, taking his accumulated knowledge and experience to a second, third and fourth encore career, with others yet to come.More

Best places to retire based on national well-being index
The Huffington Post
Though one-third of boomers today say they are interested in aging in place, there are still some who have plans to pull up stakes and move to greener pastures — whether that's retiring overseas or staying in the U.S. There's a number of factors that go into retirement planning — affordability and cost of living, access to a variety of lifestyle options, closeness to family and friends. But while retirement calculators and Internet research can help you get a sense of the answers to these questions, general well-being may be little harder to quantify.More

Do you really need to get a travel vaccine?
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
There are a handful of places on earth you literally can't visit without getting vaccinated, and a wide array of countries where a few recommended shots could be the difference between a dream vacation and a medevac.More

Scammers' new target: Your cell phone
If you've got a mobile phone that receives text messages, chances are you've been hit with the latest scam from the bad guys: smishing. "Smishing" is the text message form of the phishing scams that have become so prevalent in emails. They're text messages that promise free prizes or gift cards, iPhones or cheap mortgages if you simply click on a site. And consumers can be very vulnerable to them because they're coming to what many consider the last bastion of spam-free interaction — the personal phone.More