Published For RAUS MembersWinter 2012
In This Issue
The Fiscal Cliff
List Your Military Reunion
Sodium and High Blood Pressure
Online Renewal
10 Tips for Taxpayers
History of the New Year
Keep Us Accurate
Your Health
Member Dues
About RAUS
Quick Links...
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Fiscal Cliff
The Fiscal Cliff and How it Affects Military Families 
By Maranatha Bivens, Communications Editor, National Military Family Association  

The fiscal cliff refers to the effect of a number of laws which, if unchanged, could result in mandatory and automatic tax increases and spending cuts in 2013 to reduce the budget deficit.  But first, some background.

In August 2011, the national debt hovered at almost 15 trillion dollars, and in a compromise to raise the debt ceiling, Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011. The Budget Control Act required $900 billion in tax cuts over 10 years (that's 15% a year) and called for a Super Committee to find additional savings, split between Defense and non-Defense. Unfortunately, the Super Committee failed to agree on those savings and so, the Budget Control Act requires automatic spending cuts of $1.2 trillion over 10 years, of which $600 billion would come from the defense budget. In a process known as sequestration, the money would be held by the Treasury instead of given to agencies.  Its effects will directly impact the lives of military families.

Subject to Cuts

Most DoD accounts will face up to 9.4% in cuts equaling 54.67 billion dollars every year for the next 10 years and military service members and their families will see the immediate impact. Among the items to be cut are:
  • Spending accounts for the war in Afghanistan
  • Operations and Maintenance budgets: Think of everything that happens on your military installation-family programs, training, equipment, facility maintenance, DoD schools. All are funded out of Operations and Maintenance accounts.
  • Defense Health Program accounts: Fewer funds available for DoD to purchase medications, pay civilian doctors for care, and operate military hospitals and clinics will affect access to care for military families.
  • Commissaries: Budget cuts to commissary operating funds could lead to staff reductions, restricted hours, and possibly some store closures. 
By law, some items are not subject to the sequestration cuts.
  • Military pay and allowances accounts are exempt; however, sequestration will increase pressure to cut the DoD civilian workforce, most of which is funded out of those Operations and Maintenance accounts that are subject to cuts.
  • Military retiree pay
  • TRICARE for Life
  • Social Security payments
  • Medicare: except for 2% reduction in provider payments
  • Medicaid grants to states
  • Federal civilian pensions, health care, and pay rates 
The only federal agency to be 100% exempt from any budget cuts is the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Read the full article.
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List Your Military Reunion on the RAUS Website for Free

Contact us to send reunion information. Include dates of reunion, website link (if any), location of reunion, who is invited, additional information about the reunion, and contact information.

Just go to our website at and click on the Communications button
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Sodium The Truth About Sodium and High Blood Pressure
From Bottom Line Newsletter
If your blood pressure is high, chances are your doctor will tell you to watch your sodium intake. Unfortunately, that advice is not always correct.

You see, it's not sodium intake per se that aggravates high blood pressure Rather, it's an excess of sodium in relation to potassium.

Sodium and potassium are 2 of the body's major electrolytes - the minerals that conduct electrical flow in the body. Together, they regulate cell membrane activity, nerve transmission and fluid retention.

But when you get too much sodium and not enough potassium, you get high blood pressure You cart also get muscle cramps, fatigue, irritability, confusion, muscle weakness, abdominal bloating and even heart disease.

So how much sodium and potassium should you get? The ideal ratio is to get 5 times as much potassium as sodium in your diet. Unfortunately, the typical American diet is backward - providing twice as much sodium as potassium!

Does this mean you need to take potassium supplements? Actually, you'll get better results by eating 3 servings a day of delicious high-potassium foods. These include bananas, apricots, avocados, cantaloupe, figs, seedless raisins, beans, potatoes, winter squash and unsalted tomato sauce. Enjoy!
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Renew Memberships Online
At 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 and click on the Online Dues Renewal button.

If you are considering converting to a Lifetime Membership, click on the Membership button and select Life Membership.

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Tax Clock 10 Tips for Taxpayers 
By Kay Bell * 

It's said the only constant in life is change, and that's definitely the case with taxes. That was made very clear during the tax debates associated with the "fiscal cliff." But all the tax-rate-increase and spending-cut chaos that accompanied fiscal cliff discussions is just part of the picture. Here are 10 tips for taxpayers in 2013.

Tip 1: Get ready to wait
Remember the delays in 2011 when some taxpayers had to wait until mid-February to file their returns because of the late passage of tax laws? Expect the same in 2013. Whether Congress passes new tax laws late in the year or even after the end of a calendar year, the Internal Revenue Service needs time to reprogram its computers to account for the changes. Former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman, who completed his term just before the presidential election, warned about delays as far back as March 2012. In November, acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller wrote to the leaders of the House and Senate tax-writing committees, alerting them that the filing of tax returns by as many as 69 million taxpayers could be delayed, some possibly as late as March 2013, because of procrastination by Congress. Most of the inconvenienced taxpayers would be those affected by the alternative minimum tax.

Read more tips at
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A History of the New Year
A move from March to January
by Borgna Brunne, 

The celebration of the new year on January 1st is a relatively new phenomenon. The earliest recording of a new year celebration is believed to have been in Mesopotamia, c. 2000 B.C. and was celebrated around the time of the vernal equinox, in mid-March. A variety of other dates tied to the seasons were also used by various ancient cultures. The Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Persians began their new year with the fall equinox, and the Greeks celebrated it on the winter solstice.

Early Roman Calendar: March 1st Rings in the New Year

The early Roman calendar designated March 1 as the new year. The calendar had just ten months, beginning with March. That the new year once began with the month of March is still reflected in some of the names of the months. September through December, our ninth through twelfth months, were originally positioned as the seventh through tenth months (septem is Latin for "seven," octo is "eight," novem is "nine," and decem is "ten."

January Joins the Calendar

The first time the new year was celebrated on January 1st was in Rome in 153 B.C. (In fact, the month of January did not even exist until around 700 B.C., when the second king of Rome, Numa Pontilius, added the months of January and February.) The new year was moved from March to January because that was the beginning of the civil year, the month that the two newly elected Roman consuls-the highest officials in the Roman republic-began their one-year tenure. But this new year date was not always strictly and widely observed, and the new year was still sometimes celebrated on March 1.

Julian Calendar: January 1st Officially Instituted as the New Year

In 46 B.C. Julius Caesar introduced a new, solar-based calendar that was a vast improvement on the ancient Roman calendar, which was a lunar system that had become wildly inaccurate over the years. The Julian calendar decreed that the new year would occur with January 1, and within the Roman world, January 1 became the consistently observed start of the new year.

Read more:  A History of the New Year -
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UpdateKeep 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.
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Your Health
3 Can't-Fail Fitness Strategies for the New Year

Two of the most popular New Year's resolutions are always "lose weight" and "exercise more." It's all about getting fit in 2013: slimming down, toning up and building that beach body that will last the whole year round.

Now here's the hard part: actually doing it. The rigors of getting in shape are what stop some people in their tracks and still more a few weeks or months down the road. Fortunately, there are simple fitness strategies that can keep you going strong even on your darkest, couch-potato days. Here are three can't-fail fitness tips for the new year:

1. Small Steps, Big Picture: Lifelong fitness is a journey, not a sprint, so treat it as such by defining your "Big Picture" (goals) and then focusing on how you'll get there, day by day. If your goal is to get six-pack abs, it won't happen overnight; if your goal is to lose 10 pounds while tightening things up, the scale won't change dramatically by morning. But whatever your fitness goal, it will happen over time if you focus on the big picture while taking small, progressive, determined steps to get there.

Tip: Don't miss a workout unless you absolutely have to (e.g., you're sick), and never take off because "I just don't feel like going to the gym." Instead, schedule mini-breaks (2-3 days off) every month or so to stay refreshed and avoid burnout. And don't be afraid to be flexible; brainstorm as many ways to exercise as possible so you can mix things up on any given day. Sick of the treadmill? Then take a brisk walk / jog around the neighborhood. Raining all day? Then do jumping jacks, lunges and other muscle-toning, fat-burning activities in your garage or basement.

2. Singular Focus, Group Support: Let's face it: Your friends, family and co-workers can encourage you to get fit, lose weight, etc., until they're blue in the face, but until you believe you can do it and challenge yourself to make it happen, it won't happen. Focus and determination are what keep you going, even on the days when you don't want to go anywhere but back to bed. That said, you also need a circle of support to help you through the rough patches that are sure to crop up on your journey to a fitter, healthier you. Whether it's a loyal workout partner, a "You can do it!" e-mail or a personal trainer, find someone - or better yet, multiple people - who can accompany you on your quest.

Tip: Track your workouts online. Many gyms offer online support, as do GPS apps such as Endomondo. And Facebook can be a great way to share your ongoing fitness experiences and get the support you need. The more you invest yourself and those around you in your journey, the less likely you'll be to just "give it up" in a moment of weakness / frustration and revert back to your motion-limited, fit-less ways.

3. Less Chore, More Routine: While exercise, like life, requires a certain amount of variety to keep it from getting boring, there's also great value in routine, particularly when it replaces the sense that what you're doing is a chore. For many people, transitioning fitness from chore to healthy routine is the key step in embracing it as a part of their life, rather than a temporary diversion or annoyance. It's not about having to do it; it's about wanting to do it.

Tip: Calendar all your workouts for a given week / month and schedule reminders that pop up on your phone / computer. Before you know it, "Go to the gym" will be just another part of your daily routine, not something you agonize over day after day or "forget" about because it's not a priority. And by the way, if you schedule other important events / dates in your life as well, you'll develop a well-rounded, functional routine that keeps you in your personal loop and maximizes efficiency. It's about organizing your life so fitness -and everything else you value - fits in.
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Membership 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.
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About RAUS

    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


RAUS Eligible Defense Departments






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DONALD T. RUCK, President 

Retired Association for the Uniformed Services, Inc.


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