NARFE NewsWatch
Aug. 19, 2014

Act now! Choose your own advocacy adventure
This summer, senators and representatives are spending more time in their home states and districts, meeting with constituents and campaigning for office. It's not too late for NARFE members to take advantage of this ideal opportunity to interact with their legislators and candidates. August is "NARFE Grass-Roots Advocacy Month." If you're unsure where or how to start, use the new "Choose Your Own Advocacy Adventure" flowchart on NARFE's homepage. Complete a new chart for each representative, senator and candidate for those offices. The NARFE Legislative Department staff is willing and eager to assist, so don't hesitate to contact them at

33rd NARFE National Convention opens Sunday in Orlando, Florida
OPM Director Katherine Archuleta will give the convention keynote address at Monday's general session. In addition to conducting association business and electing national and regional officers, delegates will attend training sessions on membership and marketing, grassroots advocacy, and service officer practices. NARFE will post daily bulletins from the National Convention on the NARFE convention page beginning Monday, Aug. 25. Click on the convention logo on the home page. You also can follow the convention on Twitter and Facebook.More

Health benefits
Question: I retired under the Civil Service Retirement System, and my wife is retiring from teaching next year. Can I add her to my Federal Employees Health Benefits Program plan at that time, or am I required to add her during Open Season?More

Van Hollen: Feds need to watch budget, pension talk come September
Federal News Radio
When Congress returns to work after its five-week break, federal employees will have plenty to keep an eye on, especially the continuing resolution that will fund the federal government in 2015. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., ranking member of the House Budget Committee, told "In Depth with Francis Rose" recently that he hopes his Republican colleagues will agree to a budget deal and avoid a repeat of the "shameful" government shutdown of 2013.More

Phased retirement: How Washington is leading the way
Gwendolyn Ross will turn 66 in November, but she isn't ready to retire. A deputy comptroller for the U.S. Coast Guard in Miami Beach, Florida, she hopes to work until she's 70 — but she would like to cut back her hours. "I have some health issues that require a lot of visits to the doctor, and I'd love to have more time to visit my family in Michigan," she says. At the same time, she needs to keep working to prepare for retirement. "As I get closer to it, I realize I'm not as financially ready as I thought I would be when I was younger. The time went by really quickly."More

Despite revenue gains, Postal Service loses another $2 billion
Government Executive
The U.S. Postal Service lost $2 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2014, which ended June 30, though mail revenues actually grew $424 million over the same period last year. First-class and standard mail volume continued to decline, but an emergency rate increase implemented in January — as well as the sustained boost in package business — helped to offset the losses. More

Half of Senate calls for end to proposed postal cuts in bipartisan letter
The Washington Post
Half of the Senate has called for a one-year hold on the U.S. Postal Service's plans to close mail-processing plants, saying the move should come as part of any legislation to avoid another government shutdown. Fifty senators signed a bipartisan letter to top members of the House and Senate appropriations committees opposing USPS plans for closing up to 82 plants and eliminating up to 15,000 jobs starting next year.More

Brokers lure soldiers out of low-fee federal retirement plan
John Turner suspected that brokers were encouraging federal workers to ditch their top-flight retirement plan. So he went under cover. The former U.S. Labor Department economist called representatives at companies such as Bank of America Corp., Charles Schwab Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. He identified himself as a potential client grappling with what to do with his own nest egg.More

Getting in shape after 50: Three exercises that reverse aging
If you haven't exercised in years, it's time to get moving! You lose balance, core strength and overall muscle strength every year if you don't do something about it. Even if you're 50, 60 or 70, you can start to reverse these changes with a few simple moves. Do these three exercises three times a week, and add on other exercises as you get more fit.More

Luggage tips that will make you a happier flier
Consumer Reports
How big? How many? How heavy? How much? These are the four key questions for understanding airlines' byzantine luggage rules. Unfortunately, there's no universal standard — each airline sets and enforces its own rules. Your best bet? Check with your airline before you pick and pack your bag every time you travel. To cover all your bases, look for answers to these four questions.More

Your second career: Finding work after retirement
Business Insider
Finding yourself after retiring from your career can be very exciting; it is a new beginning. With this new chapter of your life, you will get to take a look at things that really make you happy and what you are passionate about. Whether you need the extra income, or you need the personal contact with others, you owe it to yourself to pick the best fit for you at this time in your life.More

Top tips for buying your teenager a used car
The Arizona Republic
It's that time of the year for empty-nesters-to-be: the time when college students rev up to drive off to their institutions of higher learning. Before you buy them a used car for their journey, choose carefully. Don't just buy the first car for sale in your neighborhood.More