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  (10/4/2018)
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  (9/6/2018)
• MOAA National Award Cash Bonus to the Chapter
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  (8/2/2018)
• Chapter Wins Another 5-Star Level of Excellence Award from MOAA National
  (8/1/2018)
• July 2018 News From MOAA National
  (7/6/2018)
• SOUTH CENTRAL FLORIDA CHAPTER WINS MOAA GRANT OF $5K, DONATES FUNDS TO THE COUNTY VETERANS COUNCIL
  (6/21/2018)
• MOAA "Storms the Hill"
  (4/20/2018)
• Chapter Wins 5-Star Communications Awards
  (4/20/2018)
• April 2018 News From MOAA National
  (3/20/2018)
• March 2018 News From MOAA National
  (2/28/2018)
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  (1/22/2018)
• January 2018 News From MOAA National
  (12/22/2017)
• December 2017 News From MOAA National
  (11/23/2017)
• November 17 News From MOAA National
  (10/26/2017)
• SOUTH CENTRAL FLORIDA CHAPTER WINS MOAA GRANT AND DONATES FUNDS TO THE COUNTY VETERANS COUNCIL
  (10/2/2017)
• October News from MOAA National
  (9/26/2017)
• Chapter Wins 5-Star Level of Excellence Award from MOAA National
  (8/1/2017)
• News From MOAA National for July 2017
  (7/21/2017)
• June 2017 News from MOAA
  (6/22/2017)
• MOAA Awards Ceremonies for JROTC Cadets
  (5/12/2017)
• May News from MOAA
  (5/3/2017)
• Chapter Wins MOAA Communications Awards
  (5/2/2017)
• March News From MOAA
  (3/15/2017)
• Restaurants for upcoming dinner/socials
  (2/18/2017)
• February News from MOAA
  (2/1/2017)
• New Chapter Personal Affairs Director
  (1/21/2017)
• January News From MOAA National
  (1/1/2017)
• Salvation Army Toy Drive Completed
  (12/14/2016)
• Chapter Participates in Veterans Day Parade
  (11/18/2016)
• Chapter Awarded MOAA National 5-Star Level of Excellence Rating
  (8/2/2016)
• Membership Meeting Venue and Date Change
  (6/13/2016)
• JROTC award winner pictures
  (5/8/2016)

FCOC Current Newsletter

Apr 2019 Communiqué

Read →

5/2/2019  May 2019 News From MOAA National

4/5/2019  April 2019 News from MOAA National

3/7/2019  March 2019 News From MOAA National

1/6/2019  January 2019 News From MOAA National

12/6/2018  December News From MOAA National

11/1/2018  November 2018 News From MOAA National

10/4/2018  October 2018 News From MOAA National

9/6/2018  September News From MOAA National

9/6/2018  MOAA National Award Cash Bonus to the Chapter

8/2/2018  August 2018 News from MOAA National

8/1/2018  Chapter Wins Another 5-Star Level of Excellence Award from MOAA National

7/6/2018  July 2018 News From MOAA National

6/21/2018  SOUTH CENTRAL FLORIDA CHAPTER WINS MOAA GRANT OF $5K, DONATES FUNDS TO THE COUNTY VETERANS COUNCIL

4/20/2018  MOAA "Storms the Hill"

4/20/2018  Chapter Wins 5-Star Communications Awards

3/20/2018  April 2018 News From MOAA National

2/28/2018  March 2018 News From MOAA National

1/22/2018  February 2018 News From MOAA

12/22/2017  January 2018 News From MOAA National

11/23/2017  December 2017 News From MOAA National

10/26/2017  November 17 News From MOAA National

10/2/2017  SOUTH CENTRAL FLORIDA CHAPTER WINS MOAA GRANT AND DONATES FUNDS TO THE COUNTY VETERANS COUNCIL

9/26/2017  October News from MOAA National

8/1/2017  Chapter Wins 5-Star Level of Excellence Award from MOAA National

7/21/2017  News From MOAA National for July 2017

6/22/2017  June 2017 News from MOAA

5/12/2017  MOAA Awards Ceremonies for JROTC Cadets

5/3/2017  May News from MOAA

5/2/2017  Chapter Wins MOAA Communications Awards

3/15/2017  March News From MOAA

2/18/2017  Restaurants for upcoming dinner/socials

2/1/2017  February News from MOAA

1/21/2017  New Chapter Personal Affairs Director

1/1/2017  January News From MOAA National

12/14/2016  Salvation Army Toy Drive Completed

11/18/2016  Chapter Participates in Veterans Day Parade

8/2/2016  Chapter Awarded MOAA National 5-Star Level of Excellence Rating

6/13/2016  Membership Meeting Venue and Date Change

5/8/2016  JROTC award winner pictures
Chapter Newsletters

Jan 2019
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Apr 2019
May 2019



February 2018 News From MOAA

1/22/2018

Putting FY2018 All Together
President Donald Trump signed the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this past Tuesday afternoon in a ceremony in the White House. The final bill authorizes a defense budget of $700 billion for DoD. Total authorized funding in the legislation calls for $634 billion in the base budget with an additional $66 billion approved in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding.

Congress approved the legislation in November, but congressional leadership did not send the bill on to the president until December in hopes Congress would be able to reach consensus and vote to raise the defense spending caps imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011, which the FY 2018 NDAA exceeds, and pass a defense appropriations bill. 

This still remains an issue even though the president has signed the NDAA. His signing serves to put further pressure on Congress to pass a defense budget, but Congress needs to act now if the NDAA is to serve its intended purpose.

Instead of passing a budget, Congress has, at this point, passed a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government only through Dec. 22 and is in the process of negotiating another CR that basically “kicks the can” down the road into January or February.

This state of play does nothing to serve the nation and the troops and their families. Further, stopgap strategies do not allow DoD to manage their readiness requirements or plan ahead for the next mission in this challenging and dynamic security environment. 

Congress' most important responsibility under the Constitution is to provide for the common defense of the nation - with that in mind, the nation needs Congress to pass a defense budget that fully funds the FY 2018 NDAA. Doing so will enable the necessary programs that support both the troops and readiness. However, without a budget, support again will be marginalized, leaving our nation short of the requirements called for in the NDAA.

MOAA has put out recent calls to action and supporting “On Watch” columns to our membership asking them to contact their congressional representatives to urge them to pass a defense budget, not a CR. We need you to do this again, before another CR is passed.

 

5 key policy decisions in the FY 2018 NDAA that affect you - but won't happen without a budget

A 2.4-percent active duty pay raise: This pay raise, equal to the Employment Cost Index (ECI), helps keep troops' pay competitive with private-sector wages. The administration originally requested a 2.1-percent raise - MOAA influenced Congress through a very effective and successful campaign to fully support the higher pay increase. This is the highest pay increase for troops since 2010. Even with this pay increase, a 2.6-percent pay gap remains because of capped pay raises in FYs 2014, 2015, and 2016. MOAA is focused on maintaining active duty military pay at the ECI and eliminating this pay gap over the next few years.

 

Unchanged Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) calculation: The Senate tried for the second year in a row to tweak the calculation for BAH in a way that would have negatively impacted servicemembers, particularly dual military families. BAH is a component of each individual servicemember's earned compensation, so MOAA worked this issue hard with Congress to maintain the calculation as it currently is in law and will continue to do so on behalf of troops and their families.

 

TRICARE: Despite yearlong efforts to prevent TRICARE fee increases, the final NDAA included progressive year-over-year increases in pharmacy copayments. Beneficiaries will see steady increases in their cost shares across all medication tiers, which will save DoD more than $2.1 billion by 2022 and fund improvements in military readiness and the Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance (SSIA). Most of the increases will be through the retail pharmacy sector, but beneficiaries still can obtain medications atmilitary pharmacies for free. The new fees will include mail-order generic prescriptions as well. By 2026, costs are projected to top off at $14 for a 30-day supply of a generic medication at a retail pharmacy and a 90-day supply by mail. Further, a 30-day supply of a nongeneric medication at a retail pharmacy will be $48, and a 90-day supply by mail will hit $44.

 

Additionally, outside of the NDAA provision, the Defense Health Agency has introduced a new TRICARE fee structure that will be applied to the new TRICARE Select option. Increased fees also will apply to the existing TRICARE Prime option. Beneficiaries can view these changes at https://tricare.mil/About/Changes/Costs.

These changes to the TRICARE fees and program options will take effect Jan. 1, 2018.

More troops authorized: The FY 2018 NDAA authorizes an additional 20,000 troops - much needed by the services in the current and projected national security environment. The Army will increase by 7,500, the Navy by 4,000, the Marine Corps by 1,000, and the Air Force by approximately 4,100. Reserve forces across-the-board will grow by about 3,400. MOAA strongly supported in our advocacy efforts on the Hill these much-needed increases by DoD.

Lessens the “widows tax”: Congress included a provision in the FY 2018 NDAA that provides a permanent extension to the SSIA. Without congressional action, 67,000 military survivors would lose $2,100 in 2018 if the allowance expired in May, as it was set to, and over $3,700 a year after that. By extending the SSIA and indexing future increases to COLA, Congress shows it is making a good-faith effort to address the widows' tax. Next year, MOAA will go back to Congress and ask it increase SSIA above COLA to further reduce the widows tax.

 

MOAA follows the NDAA throughout the year as the main vehicle for many of our legislative priorities. If you're interested in other provisions in the bill, you can view the conference report summary here.

 

Avoiding Online Information Overload

As easy as it is to access information these days with your smartphone, tablet, or personal computer, it's equally easy to get swamped by it. Here are 10 tips for dealing with the glut of information: 

  • Periodically reevaluate your information sources to determine whether there are valuable new ones you should add and outmoded ones you should drop.
  • Filter the info-wheat from the into-chaff. With email, for instance, you can set up filters to automatically direct important messages into folders where they'll get your immediate attention.
  • Consider setting aside one or two times a day to check for new email messages rather than feeling compelled to check every few minutes. If people need to get in touch with you in a hurry, they can call, text, or stop by.
  • If you're searching for information on the web, save time by learning the advanced search procedures.
  • Don't forward joke or other irrelevant messages to those who might not have the time for them. Cc your own messages thoughtfully.
  • Keep your email messages to one screen when possible, and use an informative subject line. Use other technologies instead of email, such as the telephone, when you expect a lot of back-and-forths - it will be a lot quicker.
  • Selectively respond to email, and match the length of your response to how eager you are to converse. A short, polite response indicates you've received the other person's message but need to move on.
  • If you're involved in creating web pages, try to keep each page to a screen or two, and put the most important information up front. Break up pages with informative subheads so readers can get the gist of what you're saying with a quick scan.
  • When creating business documents, use executive summaries when possible. Choose clear, concise language to communicate, not bureaucratise to impress and confound.
  • Avoid time-wasting temptations. Surfing the web can be both valuable and the ultimate information timesink, with ever more intriguing but ever less relevant links beckoning you on.

 

An Introduction to Reverse Mortgages
This article is only an introduction to a financial product and not a recommendation. You must determine whether it suits your or your parents’ financial needs. 

A reverse mortgage is a home equity loan that can provide an extra source of income for seniors. Equity in a home represents the largest form of wealth for many seniors. Yet home equity wealth typically remains an untapped asset for most people in retirement. 

You may question why anyone would consider a loan when your finances are already tight. The reason is this loan does not require pay-off until the house is eventually sold and the loan is paid back from the proceeds. There are some regular payments for insurance, fees and taxes. 

Eligibility for a reverse mortgage starts at age 62. You qualify for greater amounts of equity as you age. There are several options for how you pay yourself from your equity. Be aware that interest is charged on the amount of equity you use and the interest builds as long as the loan amount remains outstanding. Considering the loan amount may be outstanding until the home is sold, interest could be compounding for a long time. 

These loans, like any financial product, have their good and bad points. You have to determine what amounts to good or bad in your situation. The highlights… 

Good points. You can use a major source of assets in retirement. You can create income stream or pay for major expenses that pop up in lump sums. You control how you receive loan payments and the amounts. The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (reverse mortgage) is highly regulated and overseen by the federal government specifically to reduce senior abuse—choose a government approved lender. By design, the pay-off cannot amount to more than the value of the home. Qualification is not based on income or credit status (although the borrower must have income enough to maintain the house and pay the required insurance and taxes). 

Bad points. Up-front loan costs. Sketchy loan companies. You must sell the home at some point, or pay-off the loan from other sources, so family, friends or charities inheriting the home have to deal with the reverse mortgage pay-off requirement. Someone living in the home, who is not a co-borrower, will have to move out when the borrower dies or stops living in the home (e.g. moves to assisted living). Make sure a spouse is a co-borrower. You could outlive your equity—depleting the income source. Medicaid eligibility could be an issue. 

Learn more at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) site, www.consumerfinance.gov, search “reverse mortgage” or talk to your lender.