February, 2016
       Volume XVII, Issue 1

        Meeting and Luncheon
                    11:30 a.m. Wednesday February 22, 2017
     Memorial United Presbyterian Church
             343 W. Ankeny Mill Road, Xenia, Ohio
    Program Speaker: Brittany O’Diam Horseman, O’Diam & Stecker Law Group, Inc.


February Speaker
Our speaker for the Greene County Retired Teachers’ Association at the February 22 meeting will be Brittany O’Diam Horseman.  Brittany is an elder law attorney whose practice is in Beavercreek in the O’Diam & Stecker Law Group, Inc.  She specializes in estate planning, tax planning, wills VS trusts, Medicare, long-term care planning, etc.  As an elder law specialist, she will touch on what is timely for our seniors today.

Upcoming speakers
We work hard to bring in speakers who have topics that we think are of interest to our membership.  Memorial Presbyterian Church provides us with a centrally located place that has adequate space and parking, is handicapped accessible and has a sound system available for us.  The kitchen helpers provide us a good lunch and their profits go to a church project that helps in the community.  We meet only four times a year.  It is a great opportunity for you to join with people who share common likes and concerns.  It is also a time to learn what is happening that might impact  you in both the retirement system and the legislature.  Please mark your calendars and plan to attend!  We need you in the seats at meeting.  Low attendance looks like low interest in what we are doing and we do not think that is the case.  Be there!
May 24 speaker will be Bob Stein, Chair of the STRS Board, speaking on the topic of what is happening at STRS and how that might impact retirees.
On August 23 the Greene County Council on Aging will join us to talk about services available to seniors in Greene County.
November 15 speaker will be Mark North, Superintendent of Fairborn City Schools, joining us to talk about what is happening in Fairborn Schools.

A HAPPY NEW YEAR  to all from  President Bill Wright and the Board of Directors!!!

Our kitchen crew

Serving us our meal faithfully, the Westminster United Presbyterian Church luncheon crew is, left to right:  Raylene Ellsberry, Mary Randall Quinn (newly volunteering to head up the luncheon activity at the church for our group), Judy Martin, Linda Howey, Barb Cooper, and Jenny Boggs.  Absent from the picture is Sarah Pettit, who faithfully served as head of this group for the past 39 years, and was needed at home at this time.  GCRTA began meeting for lunch at the church in 1977 and deeply appreciates the time, effort, and good meals we enjoy four times each year!  Wonderful job, ladies!!!


Great decorations
Complementing our great luncheon meals are our great table decorations, done each quarter by GCRTA member Pam Wehby.  Thanks, Pam!!

Breaking news 
A third Scholarship will be available this year!!!!  Instead of two scholarships, GCRTA will be able to grant 3 $1,000 scholarships in 2017.   Please also remember to bring your scholarship donations to the February Luncheon/Meeting as this is the month for collection (or send your money in with your luncheon reservation).
First Banking Days for STRS Benefit Checks in 2017:
Tuesday, JAN 3  Monday, MAY 1  Friday, SEP 1      
Wednesday, FEB 1  Thursday, JUN 1  Monday, OCT 2
Wednesday, MAR 1  Monday, JUL 3  Wednesday, NOV 1
Monday, APR 3  Tuesday, AUG 1  Friday, DEC 1

Be alert for Sales and Email Scams
Unfortunately, the holidays are marred by an increase in fraudulent activity.  STRS Ohio wants to remind you that STRS Ohio will never blindly solicit or request personal/confidential information from members via the Internet, email, phone, mail or home visit.  If you are contacted and asked to disclose personal information like your Social Security number, date of birth, account information or other confidential information, it is likely some type of “phishing” scam by a hacker or third party trying to obtain sensitive information about you.  STRS Ohio recommends you never provide confidential information to any individual or site where you did not initiate the contact by typing in the website’s address, or by calling or visiting the specific organization.  If in doubt about an email, unsolicited phone call or visitor related to STRS Ohio, contact the Member Services Center toll-free at 888-227-7877.
          Linda Beaver
Possible need for Benefit Plan design changes
Educators pay a portion of their salary into the retirement system and then after many years of working, we plan to draw a check from that system.  STRS takes our money and they invest it and count on a good rate of return as well as a certain amount of inflation.  They also count on the pay of those who are in the work force to continue to increase as well as the number of people in the work force to grow.
Salaries are not growing as much as expected.  Inflation is lower and investments are not as good as hoped.  In addition to all that, we as a group are living  longer and drawing more than expected.  Something must happen in order for us to remain solvent.  The STRS Board is studying the options.  We are monitoring that process along with ORTA.
          Linda Beaver
Need for more new members
If you know of any recently retired teachers who taught or live in Greene County, please send me their names, addresses and phone numbers.  I will invite them to join our organization and attend our February Meeting/Luncheon.  This spring our Community Representatives from each school district in Greene County will gather the names of
those teachers who will be retiring in June.  Each new retiree will be receiving an invitation to join our organization and attend our August Meeting/Luncheon.  I can be contacted at phone number 937-305-1935 or email   Thanks for your help.

       Jim Beaver, Membership Committee
Information and Protective Services

Greetings to all members.  We have 2016 well behind us and I, for one, am now looking forward to spring.  As the Chairman of Information and Protective Services, it is my duty to write a small article each newsletter that might keep you safe or make your life a bit easier.  The nemesis I chose to tackle this quarter is “the unwanted phone calls.”  They are annoying, disruptive, and can be dangerous.  What’s a person to do?  There are many ways to tackle this problem, but I will share two that have worked for Paul and me.  First, we have Caller ID.  Most all phones come with Caller ID now.  If we don’t know who is calling, we simply don’t answer the phone.  If they really want us, they leave a message and then we decide if we want to call them back or not.  During election season, it was amazing how many phone calls we did not answer.  What a relief!
Once in a while, a phone call gets through asking for money RIGHT AWAY.  That RIGHT AWAY is a huge clue that you are being scammed.  Do not send money or give out any bank account or credit card numbers.  But as soon as  you hang up, call the local police or the Attorney General.  Mike DeWine has a team that works on these phone calls non-stop.  Even if they don’t know how to stop them, his office will give good advice about the best way to avoid the scam.  The Attorney General’s phone number is 800-282-0515.  Remember, these crooks are very tricky.
               Stay safe out there!  Virginia Pinkerton
GCRTA Luncheon Reservation (for luncheon Wednesday, February 22, 2017)
Please reserve ____________ lunch(es) @ $12 each  _____Prospective Member
Name(s): ________________________________________________________________
 Luncheon cost:  ___________  Please bring unused stamps to the
       meeting if you can donate!!!!!!!!
Scholarship Donation:  ___________
    Total:  ___________
In order to get an accurate count of the number of lunches needed, all luncheon reservations are due by Thursday, February 16 to:
 Fay Sesslar, 80 N. Limestone St., Jamestown, OH 45335
Please make checks payable to GCRTA.  Those without a reservation will pay $14.