June 15, 2010: The decommissioned aircraft carrier Ex-USS Forrestal departs Naval Station Newport for a three-day cruise to Philadelphia. The first of the supercarriers, Forrestal was commissioned Sept. 29, 1955, and was in service for more than 38 years. (U.S. Navy/Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Melissa F. Weatherspoon)
USS Forrestal, the Navy's first supercarrier, to be scrapped in 1 cent deal
By Joshua Rhett Miller
Published October 24, 2013
Here's a penny for your thoughts: A scrap metal company got one red cent from the Navy to take its first supercarrier, the decommissioned Forrestal, off its hands.
The U.S. Navy turned over the 1,067-foot behemoth to a Texas company, All Star Metals, to be dismantled, scrapped and recycled, giving the firm the sum of one penny for its trouble, Navy officials announced. It's an inauspicious fate for a ship with a colorful - and tragic - history. It's perhaps best known for a 1967 incident in which stray voltage triggered an accidental explosion that struck a plane on the flight deck whose cockpit was occupied by a young John McCain. A chain reaction of blasts and fires ultimately killed 134 men and injured more than 300.
But its rich past and nearly four decades of service are not enough to spare it. The Navy tried to donate the historic ship for use as a memorial or a museum, but no "viable applications" were received.
"It's something that the Navy is caught between a rock and a hard place," said Ken Killmeyer, historian for the USS Forrestal Association and a survivor of the 1967 incident. "They have to have these vessels no matter how big or small they are, and they use them as you would your car until they're no longer financially viable. So, they decommission them."
The company plans to tow the aircraft carrier from its current location at the Navy's inactive ship facility in Philadelphia to its facility in Brownsville, Texas. All Star Metals gets the proceeds and a penny but now must pay for moving and dismantling the ship, according to a Navy press release.
Named for James Forrestal, the former Navy secretary and the first U.S. Secretary of Defense, the carrier was lauded as the "biggest ship ever built" by Popular Science, which detailed it in its August 1954 issue. More than 16,000 engineers, draftsmen and builders worked on the ship, which took an estimated $217 million - nearly $2 billion in today's dollars - to build. Readers were amazed to learn that the ship featured enough air-conditioning equipment to cool New York City's Empire State Building two-and-a-half times over. It launched on Dec. 11, 1954.
"Her 3,500 crewmen will use nearly twice as much water as the eight big boilers that feed her main turbines," Popular Science reported. "To supply both needs, her water tanks must store nearly 400,000 gallons."
The July 29, 1967, incident occurred while the ship was in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam War. Stray voltage triggered a rocket to launch from an F-4 Phantom on the flight deck, ultimately striking an armed A-4 Skyhawk piloted by then-Lt. Cmdr. John S. McCain III, who would later spend five years as a POW, serve in the U.S. Senate and run for president. A chain reaction of fires and explosions ensued, causing a day-long fire aboard the ship's deck, which was packed with planes. In addition to the deaths and injuries, 21 aircraft were damaged. The incident prompted changes within the Navy to damage control and disaster response training, as most of the sailors who were trained as firefighters were reportedly killed during the initial blast, forcing the remaining crew to improvise its rescue efforts.
After seven months of repairs, the ship later returned to sea for more than two decades before ultimately being decommissioned in 1993. It was stationed in Newport, R.I., until 2010, when it was moved to Philadelphia's Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility, where more than 20 decommissioned naval vessels are reportedly being stored for possible foreign sale transfer, donation or artificial reefing.
Meanwhile, Navy officials say the award of contracts for two other conventional carriers, the ex-Saratoga and ex-Constellation, are also pending and are contingent upon facility security clearances.
Messages seeking comment from Sen. McCain, R-Ariz., were not immediately returned early Wednesday, but Killmeyer, who survived the fire as a 20-year-old sailor, told FoxNews.com that the sale marked a "sad day" for all Americans.
While the ship could have made an excellent educational tool, Killmeyer said the "very costly" process to maintain massive aircraft carriers was difficult to overcome.
"If they're not painting them or working on it somehow, it's an odd day because they're always maintaining something to keep them afloat," Killmeyer told FoxNews.com. "The weather plays havoc on their exterior no matter what climate they're in. The biggest expense is maintenance."
Killmeyer, now 67, said he can still smell the "total devastation" aboard the ship and the broken sense of security felt by the crewmen, who thought they were much safer at sea compared to their counterparts on land.
"As crewmembers, we relive July 29, 1967, every time we hear a loud, unexplained noise, whether you're at the beach or you're in your office," Killmeyer said. "Or, some people are affected by certain odors. When you smell flesh burnt from jet fuel, it kind of stays with you forever. You can't get away from it."
|The ins and outs of reverse mortgages
By Steve Santiago * Bankrate.com
For homeowners 62 years and older, a reverse mortgage may seem like an excellent way to tap into home equity, generating much-needed retirement income. After all, the loan typically doesn't have to be repaid as long as the last surviving borrower lives in the home or until the home is sold.
Unlike conventional "forward" mortgages, where you make a monthly payment to the lender, a reverse mortgage lender issues you money that is generally not taxable and does not affect Social Security or Medicare benefits.
"For a person 62 years of age or older who wants to utilize his home to supplement cash flow and doesn't have to worry about budgeting to pay it back, it's a pretty interesting product," says Bob Walters, chief economist at Quicken Loans in Livonia, Mich.
But before rushing out to apply for a reverse mortgage, be aware that this type of loan has several downsides. Closing costs and fees can be steep, and if you are thinking about leaving your home in two to three years, this is not a financially prudent way to extract money from your home. In that case, a home equity loan is likely a cheaper option.
Chances are excellent that a reverse mortgage will be a better deal for the lender than for you. Consider these basics about reverse mortgages before you ink the deal.
- Types of reverse mortgages.
- How much can you borrow?
- Interest rates.
- Insurance costs, other fees.
- The service fee set-aside.
- How to extract money.
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or call National Car Rental at 1-800-CAR-RENTŪ and reference the Contract ID # on the National Car Rental page at the time of reservation. Go National. Go Like a Pro.
|Renew Memberships Online
t the request of our members, RAUS is pleased to provide the ability to renew their membership online and pay by credit or debit card. Just go to our website at www.raushome.com
and click on the Online Dues Renewal
If you are considering converting to a Lifetime Membership, click on the Membership
button and select Life Membership
ocial media is a part of daily life, so what happens to the online content that you created once you die? If you are active online you should consider creating a statement of how you would like your online identity to be handled, like a social media will. You should appoint someone you trust as an online executor. This person will be responsible for the closure of your email addresses, social media profiles, and blogs after you are deceased. Take these steps to help you write a social media will (download a social media will template in Excel format
- Review the privacy policies and the terms and conditions of each website where you have a presence.
- State how you would like your profiles to be handled. You may want to completely cancel your profile or keep it up for friends and family to visit. Some sites allow users to create a memorial profile where other users can still see your profile but can't post anything new.
- Give the social media executor a document that lists all the websites where you have a profile, along with your usernames and passwords.
- Stipulate in your will that the online executor should have a copy of your death certificate. The online executor may need this as proof in order for websites to take any actions on your behalf.
- Check to see if the social media platforms have account management features to let you proactively manage what happens to your accounts after you die. For example, Google's Inactive Account Manager allows you to manage how you want your online content to be saved or deleted. This feature also lets you give permission for your family or close friends to access the content you saved on Google websites after you die.
It's unfortunate how many people believe that estate planning is only for wealthy people. People at all economic levels benefit from an estate plan. Upon death, an estate plan legally protects and distributes property based on your wishes and the needs of your family and/or survivors with as little tax as possible.
A will is the most practical first step in estate planning; it makes clear how you want your property to be distributed after you die.
Writing a will can be as simple as typing out how you want your assets to be transferred to loved ones or charitable organizations after your death. If you don't have a will when you die, your estate will be handled in probate, and your property could be distributed differently than what you would like.
It may help to get legal advice when writing a will, particularly when it comes to understanding all the rules of the estate disposition process in your state. Some states, for instance, have community-property laws that entitle your surviving spouse to keep half of your wealth after you die no matter what percentage you leave him or her. Fees for the execution of a will vary according to its complexity.
Rules To Remember When Writing A Will
- In most states, you must be 18 years of age or older.
- A will must be written in sound judgment and mental capacity to be valid.
- The document must clearly state that it is your will.
- An executor of your will, who ensures your estate is distributed according to your wishes, must be named.
- It is not necessary to notarize or record your will but these can safeguard against any claims that your will is invalid. To be valid, you must sign a will in the presence of at least two witnesses.
Choose an Executor
An executor is the person who is responsible for settling the estate after death. Duties of an executor include:
- Taking inventory of property and belongings
- Appraising and distributing assets
- Paying taxes
- Settling debts owed by the deceased
Most important, the executor is legally obligated to act in the interests of the deceased, following the wishes provided by the will. Here again, it could be helpful to consult an attorney to help with the probate process or offer legal guidance. Any person over the age of 18, who hasn't been convicted of a felony, can be named executor of a will. Some people choose a lawyer, accountant or financial consultant based on their experience. Others choose a spouse, adult child, relative or friend. Since the role of executor can be demanding, it's often a good idea to ask the person being named in a will if he or she is willing to serve.
If you've been named executor in someone's will but are not able or do not want to serve, you need to file a declination, which is a legal document that declines your designation as an executor. The contingent executor named in the will then assumes responsibility. If no contingent executor is named, the court will appoint one.
Review Your Estate Plan
Once you've completed a will, it's a good idea to review it from time to time, and consider changes if:
- The value of your assets change
- You marry, divorce or remarry
- You have a child
- You move to a different state
- The executor of your will dies or becomes incapacitated or your relationship changes
- One of your heirs dies
- The laws affecting your estate change
Keep Us Accurate|
To be sure your benefits are properly recorded, please advise the association when you change your name or address. If you receive inaccurate membership cards or other correspondence, we want to know. We do not mind reissuing membership cards.
From USA.gov & Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
ersonal budgeting, while not particularly difficult, tends to carry a negative connotation among many consumers. Sticking to a few basic concepts helps to avoid several common pitfalls of budgeting.
A budget should have a purpose or defined goal that is achieved within a certain time period. Knowing the source and amount of income and the amounts allocated to expense events are as important as when those cash flow events occur.
The more complicated the budgeting process is, the less likely a person is to keep up with it. The purpose of a personal budget is to identify where income and expenditure is present in the common household; it is not to identify each individual purchase ahead of time. How simplicity is defined with regards to the use of budgeting categories varies from family to family, but many small purchases can generally be lumped into one category (Car, Household items, etc.).
The budgeting process is designed to be flexible; the consumer should have an expectation that a budget will change from month to month, and will require monthly review. Cost overruns in one category of a budget should in the next month be accounted for or prevented. For example, if a family spends $40 more than they planned on food in spite of their best efforts, next month's budget should reflect an approximate $40 increase and corresponding decrease in other parts of the budget.
"Busting the budget" is a common pitfall in personal budgeting; frequently busting the budget can allow consumers to fall into pre-budgeting spending habits. Anticipating budget-busting events (and under-spending in other categories), and modifying the budget accordingly, allows consumers a level of flexibility with their incomes and expenses.
Budgeting for irregular income
Special precautions need to be taken for families operating on an irregular income. Households with an irregular income should keep two common major pitfalls in mind when planning their finances: spending more than their average income, and running out of money even when income is on average.
Clearly, a household's need to estimate their average (yearly) income is paramount; spending, which will be relatively constant, needs to be maintained below that amount. A budget being an approximate estimation, room for error should always be allowed so keeping expenses 5% or 10% below the estimated income is a prudent approach. When done correctly, households should end any given year with about 5% of their income left over. Of course, the better the estimates, the better the results will be.
To avoid running out of money because expenses occur before the money actually arrives (known as a cash flow problem in business jargon) a "safety cushion" of excess cash (to cover those months when actual income is below estimations) should be established. There is no easy way to develop a safety cushion, so families frequently have to spend less than they earn until they have accumulated a cushion. This can be a challenging task particularly when starting during a low spot in the earning cycle, although this is how most budgets begin. In general, households that start out with expenses that are 5% or 10% below their average income should slowly develop a cushion of savings that can be accessed when earnings are below average. Whether this rate of building a cushion is fast enough for a given financial situation depends on how variable income is, and whether the budgeting process starts at a high or low point during the earnings cycles.
If your budget shows you have more expenses than income, there are many ways to get out of trouble. Remember, everyone has different priorities. You will have to make the decisions that are right for you.
What payments should I make first if I don't have enough money to pay for all my bills?
- First, pay off your necessary household expenses, such as rent or mortgage, utilities, and food, first. You need to pay your rent or mortgage to ensure you don't get evicted or have your property foreclosed upon. Think about the health and safety of your family when making these types of decisions.
- Many utilities, such as the telephone company, electric company, and gas company, have programs to lower your bill if you qualify. If you think you need assistance, contact your utility company.
What should I do if I can pay off my monthly household expenses, but am having trouble paying off my loans?
- Pay off the loan with the highest interest rate first to save on interest payments.
- Talk to your creditor. Your creditor may be willing to reduce your payments or change the terms to accommodate your situation. Some creditors might offer extensions, smaller payments over a longer period of time. Some creditors might accept partial payments.
- Get a debt consolidation loan. Be cautious of this option. If loan fees and interest rates are too high, it may not be the best option for you.
- Get professional advice. Reputable credit counselors can help you deal with your financial problems. Some organizations charge little or nothing for their services.
- Be cautious of companies that promise to fix your credit problems right away. Credit repair can be a long process that might take several years.
Tools are helpful for constructing a personal budget. Regardless of the tool used, a budget's accuracy is only as good as the accuracy of the updated budget data; an old budget that does not reflect actual income or expenses is of little use to a current budget. Computer generated budgets have become commonly used as they replace the need to rewrite and recalculate the budget every time there is a change.
Once a budget is constructed and the proper amounts are allocated to their proper categories, the focus for personal budgeting turns to following the budget. As with allocation, there are various methods available for following a budget.
Budget Box System
- The budget box is a small box with dividers for each day of the month, with one divider for each day of the month.
- When you receive a bill, check the due date and place it behind the divider that represents the bill's due date.
- As you receive income, pay all bills that are due.
- If you have access to a personal computer, you can create your own spreadsheet.
- You may also want to purchase a personal finance program. They are available for less than $75.
- Using a computer to manage your finances is relatively simple. Once you set up the system, updating information is quick and easy. It is important to enter transactions frequently to truly understand your financial position.
Expense Envelope System
- This tool is useful if you pay your bills in cash each month.
- Make an envelope for each expense category, such as rent, gas, electricity, and food.
- Label the envelope with the name of the category, the amount, and the due date.
- When you receive income, divide it into the amounts to cover the expenses listed on the envelope.
- Pay bills right away so you will not be tempted to spend the money on something else.
Identity Theft Protection Service For RAUS Members
AllClear ID is the technology leader in the identity protection and credit monitoring market. The patented identity protection technology developed by AllClear ID makes it simple for you to protect your identity, and easy to take action if your personal information is compromised. RAUS members will enjoy a 20% discount off the regular monthly rate.
Just go to our website at www.raushome.com
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button and select Technology & Security
. From there, go to the AllClear ID login page and input the following Activation Code: "raus". This will allow you to register and receive the discounted rate.
|AGE RANGE||LIFE DUES|
|40 or less||$325|
|41 to 45||$300|
|46 to 50||$275|
|51 to 55||$250|
|56 to 60||$225|
|61 to 65||$200|
|66 to 70||$175|
|70 and up||$100|
Annual dues are $10 per year. Discounts apply for multiple year memberships: 3 years for $25 and 5 years for $40. Like memberships are available based on the age of the member at the time of the Life conversion. A Life Membership is exempt of dues increase and covers both the member and the spouse.
We are a non-political military association organized in 1970 to secure quality benefits for our members at rates only available to groups. Qualified retired and active members of the United States armed forces and related departments may join.
Membership benefits include discounts and perks, self-help and financial calculators, time-savings and educational resources, along with TRICARE Supplement, CHAMPVA Supplement and other insurance products.
RAUS is partnering with other organizations to establish a long term win-win relationship based on mutual benefits and information available to military families.
For more information, visit our website at www.raushome.com.
RAUS Eligible Defense Departments
* AIR FORCE * ARMY * MARINES * NAVY * NATIONAL GUARD *
* COAST GUARD * NOAA * CIVIL AIR PATROL *
* PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE * COASTAL & GEODETIC SURVEY *
* ACTIVE & RETIRED * OFFICERS & ENLISTED *
DONALD T. RUCK, President
Retired Association for the Uniformed Services, Inc.
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