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Colorado Springs, CO, Main Office City Carrier Terry Butterfield

Colorado Springs, CO, Main Office City Carrier Terry Butterfield

After a 46-year career, Colorado Springs, CO, Main Office City Carrier Terry Butterfield decided to hang up his satchel and enjoy a well-earned retirement.

To honor their friend and colleague, coworkers gave Butterfield a delicacy-filled potluck and a special cake. They also presented him with a special keepsake item that everyone had a chance to enjoy.

City Carrier Lisa Moran designed a unique Every Door Direct Mail mailpiece that the team sent to Butterfield’s customers announcing his retirement. The celebratory card also detailed a number of historic facts representative of the time when he first joined the Postal Service.

terry-butterfield-retirement-133a

In addition to the appetizing send-off, Postmaster Sam Reed presented a 46-year award, certificate of appreciation and a Postal Proud T-shirt to Butterfield. NALC Branch 204 President Mark Robbins and Vice President Jon Meyer also presented a certificate of appreciation, while union representative Lisa Childs presented him with a framed flag.

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Bitter-sweet retirement

Salina, KS, City Carrier Jimmy Nuss

Salina, KS, City Carrier Jimmy Nuss

When Salina, KS, City Carrier Jimmy Nuss announced his plans to retire, his co-workers experienced a bitter-sweet moment. Though they were thrilled for Nuss’s chance to explore a new chapter in his life, they would miss his exuberant personality.

To honor his time in service at the Salina Post Office and cheer the time they shared together, employees held a memorable office celebration. While co-workers appreciated Nuss’s enthusiasm for his job, his customers are no less energetic about his service.

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As an example of his commitment to customers throughout his career, Nuss related a story during his retirement party about a customer who suffered from cancer. Instead of seeking a cure, she wished to spend a few moments visiting with Nuss. He was moved by the sentiment and granted the customer her request. Later, he received a letter and poem from the customer expressing her appreciation for Nuss taking time to visit with her.

Carriers’ Actions Go Viral

Left: Sandy, UT, City Carrier Assistant Ron Lynch and 12-year-old Mathew Flores are interviewed on FOX News Channel's FOX & Friends after a groundswell of online interest in Lynch's plea for book donations for his young customer. Right: Glendale, AZ, City Carrier Mike Raymer talks with reporters about his letter to customers on his route after the handwritten note was posted online and went viral.

Left: Sandy, UT, City Carrier Assistant Ron Lynch and 12-year-old Mathew Flores are interviewed on FOX News Channel’s FOX & Friends after a groundswell of online interest in Lynch’s plea for book donations for his young customer. Right: Glendale, AZ, City Carrier Mike Raymer talks with reporters about his letter to customers on his route after the handwritten note was posted online and went viral.

The Thanksgiving edition of Your Postal Podcast features two letter carriers whose thoughtful actions and words ended up “going viral” online.

You’ll hear how a Sandy, UT, carrier who discovered a boy reading advertising mail near a mailbox was able to influence hundreds of people to ship books to the youngster.

You’ll also meet a Glendale, AZ, carrier who notified his customers about his plans to retire via a heartfelt letter — and his message ended up getting posted online and drawing reactions of praise from around the world.

To listen to this edition, go to: http://yourpostalpodcast.com or click here.

Letters to Customers Go Viral

Glendale, AZ, City Carrier Michael Raymer

Glendale, AZ, City Carrier Michael Raymer

“I’m not high-tech. I write letters – I write letters to my mom and to my brothers and sisters,” said Glendale, AZ, City Carrier Michael Raymer.

After 20 years of service to USPS, Raymer is retiring at the end of this month. He wanted to share his deep appreciation for the opportunity to provide customers with dedicated service, so he wrote a letter to each one along his route.

“It has been a privilege and a pleasure to have been your letter carrier for the past thirteen and a half years,” Raymer said in his letter.

One of his customers posted the letter to Reddit, and soon afterwards, Raymer’s kind words went viral.

In his interview with local media, Raymer talked about the one thing he’ll miss the most about his job.

“I’m just going to miss the people – these people are so kind and we all get along. I hope I’ve made a difference and I’ve left an impression on somebody,” said Raymer.

In the sharing of his letter with Reddit, and the many people who have since read it world-wide, customers indirectly had the opportunity to tell Raymer just how much they’ll miss him.

Growth for Future Generations

South Salt Lake City Carrier Bob Fowler

South Salt Lake City Carrier Bob Fowler

South Salt Lake City Carrier Bob Fowler has worked for the Postal Service for more than 31 years. Throughout his time in uniform, he has been the highest sales leads producer at his office. Why does he work so hard to expand the business? His philosophy is simple.

Although Fowler has worked for the Postal Service for many years and is getting ready to retire soon, many of his fellow employees are not. He believes that the future of USPS is in growing the package business, and he is doing everything he can to earn revenue by submitting leads for businesses along his route as well as others he comes into contact with.

Fowler cares deeply about the future of the Postal Service and wants to make sure his coworkers have the same opportunity to enjoy their own retirement, as he will soon be enjoying his.

Postmaster General to retire in 2015

Pat Donahoe

Pat Donahoe

The Postal Service Board of Governors announced last week that Postmaster Donahoe said he believes the Postal Service is headed in the right direction, but still has a long way to go. “The organization has a lot of momentum right now, and we’re doing a lot to innovate and improve the way we serve the public and our customers,” Donahoe said. “The nature of delivery is changing dramatically and the Postal Service will continue to be an important part of those changes.”

Under his leadership, the Postal Service launched several new mailing products and enhancements including Every Door Direct Mail which has generated more than $1 billion in new revenue. Donahoe also guided the organization’s shipping and package strategies to capitalize on the rapid increase of e-commerce.  In the last few years, the Postal Service has seen double digit growth each year in its package business.

Megan Brennan

Megan Brennan

Brennan will become the 74th PMG and the first woman to hold the job.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to take on this role at such an exciting time for the organization,” said Brennan. “The Postal Service plays a vital role in America’s society and economy and I’m looking forward to strengthening that role and meeting the demands of a rapidly evolving marketplace in the years ahead.”

Sleeping in for a Change

Sleeping in

The Blodgett Country Store is home to a variety of food and beverage items that satisfies the interests of the local community. A special feature at this particular business provides shoppers with a service most other stores don’t offer – access to an in-store Post Office.

Blodgett, OR, Postmaster Nan Sumners has worked at this particular location nestled within a small corner of the store for 23 years, the last 13 in her current position. She enjoys spending time with the people of Blodgett, which made her decision to retire tomorrow a more difficult one.

“I love working so close to home, and I enjoy the people,” Sumners said.

Her sentiment toward the local community is a mutual one and reflected in a profile of her in the Corvallis Gazette-Times on the eve of her retirement.

Sumners didn’t start her employment at the Country Store with the Postal Service, but rather at the store itself. Shortly thereafter, the former Postmaster and store owner recognized Sumners’ dedication to her work and asked her to become a relief worker for the Post Office in 1991. When a full-time employee left to pursue other interests 10 years later, Sumners took over the position. In 2001, when the Postmaster position became available, she gladly accepted the opportunity to take over the role.

While many changes have occurred since Sumners first began her employment at the Postal Service, the biggest change she witnessed has been the evolution of technology.

“Thirteen years ago, the books were done manually, and we didn’t use the credit card machine,” said Sumners.

Sumners doesn’t have any major plans for her post-working life, but she does intend to switch off the alarm and sleep in for a change.

58-Year Employee Retires

Dessie Richmond with family members.

Dessie Richmond with family members.

Shortly after his 85th birthday, Dessie Richmond made the decision to retire after enjoying a career that spanned 58 years at USPS. He began his service in 1956 as a custodian, and has spent his entire career at the Minneapolis Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC). During his time in Minneapolis, Richmond tried his hand at a variety of maintenance positions until he finally settled on the one he would retire from – supervisor of maintenance operations.

His fondest memory of the Postal Service is that he’s had steady work – the opportunity to come in every day, do his job, and be rewarded in a manner that met his needs. “When you’ve got a job, when you can pay your bills, the rest of your life just goes that much easier,” he said.

Richmond says he’ll miss the daily sharing of work, conversation and laughs with co-workers.

“I’ve stayed around because we have a really good crew here. These are folks who want to come in and do a good job.”

As he heads off into retirement, Richmond offers the following advice to his fellow employees. “Treat people with respect. I’ve always wanted to treat people the way I’d like to be treated and I think that’s worked well.

“It’s been a good career for me. I started out pushing a broom and got to work my way up a bit. That’s a pretty good deal.”

100 Percent Investment Returns

100 percent investment returns

There are very few investment vehicles in the world of finance that offer a 100 percent return on investment dollars. Despite the lack of assurances that investment money will grow substantially over time, there is one avenue of opportunity that offers a consistent 100 percent return on money set aside for retirement.

As defined benefits plans have undergone significant transformations over the years, many companies have added an incentive for employees to set aside their own funds for retirement. A company offering a match on investment dollars in a 401k retirement contribution plan, for example, will typically offer a percentage-based matching of an employee’s contributed funds. The process of company matching is, in effect, and instant return on investor’s money.

If an employer match is 5 percent of an employee’s wages, for example, an employee can contribute up to 5 percent of their base pay into the retirement fund and receive another 5 percent contributed by the employer. That’s a 100 percent return on investment money – an extremely difficult return to match in the stock market. Adding an amount less than 5 percent into a retirement account will still be matched by the employer, but the employee will effectively be leaving money on the table that could have been added to boost retirement account growth even faster.

Whenever an employer offers a contribution matching incentive in a 401k type of retirement plan, it’s important to take advantage of the instant return on investment dollars in order to increase the opportunity for a more secure retirement.

Harness the Power of the TSP for Greater Retirement Flexibility

Nest Egg

Retirement is the ability to voluntarily refrain from active employment while continuing to pay for financial obligations. While that goal is easy to imagine, the opportunity to reach it depends entirely on financial resources. For federal employees, that opportunity includes a significant advantage.

The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a private sector 401k equivalent for federal employees. The plan allows employees to contribute their own dollars into a retirement account with an agency matching contribution of up to 5% for members of the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS). Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) employees can also participate in the TSP, though they don’t receive matching contributions.

Contributions to the account can’t exceed $17,500 for 2013, though individuals 50 and older can make additional catch-up contributions of up to $5,500. There are two options when making contributions that affect how the money taxed – the traditional TSP and the Roth TSP.

The traditional TSP offers investors the chance to deposit money into the retirement account before taxes. When money is withdrawn from the account at retirement, the amount received is subject to taxation. Conversely, money contributed into the Roth TSP is taxed as it’s deposited. When money in the Roth is withdrawn at retirement, the amount disbursed is not generally subject to taxation.

There are various options to consider when investing in the TSP, but the only way to gain the advantages the program has to offer is to become a regular investor. It’ll not only make a post-working lifestyle a more affordable one, it could also increase peace of mind in knowing that the healthy next egg is there waiting to support the many retirement possibilities.

  • Hello, I'm Benny the Blogger: I'm the world's most famous postal employee. My hobbies are snappy quotes, kite flying and publishing. I was born Jan. 17, 1706, but don't call me old.

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