NARFE NewsWatch
Jan. 14, 2014

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Medicare Part B
Question: What happens if I don't take Medicare Part B as soon as I'm eligible? More

Federal government sheds almost 80,000 jobs in 2013
Government Executive
The federal government shed 2,000 jobs in December, ending 2013 with a net loss of 79,000 positions, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Federal agencies, excluding the U.S. Postal Service, lost 4,200 jobs in December, while USPS actually gained 2,200 employees in the month.More

Disabled veterans to be exempted from pension cuts
The Associated Press via Federal News Radio
A massive spending bill taking shape on Capitol Hill is likely to repeal a recently enacted pension cut for disabled veterans. Capitol Hill aides said Wednesday that the $1 trillion-plus omnibus spending bill measure will reverse a 1 percentage point cut to annual cost-of-living increases that was inadvertently applied to more than 63,000 veterans who have left the military due to injury or disability.More

Federal senior execs call for revised awards program
The Washington Post
The Senior Executive Association (SEA) is calling on the Obama administration to provide an alternative means of honoring top-ranking civil servants after last year's suspension of the Presidential Rank Awards, which carried a monetary prize.More

Spending bill grants 1 percent pay raise to blue-collar feds
Federal News Radio
The bipartisan spending bill recently unveiled grants a 1 percent pay raise to blue-collar federal employees. This is the first pay raise in three years for employees under the wage-grade system.More

The right neighborhoods for empty-nesters
Gentrification is back in a big way, with all its opportunity and risk. From Echo Park in Los Angeles to the Bishop Arts District in Dallas to Prospect Heights in New York, urban pioneers are reconfiguring scores of inner-city neighborhoods. Less obvious is just how, exactly, the aspiring urban homeowner or real-estate investor can find a neighborhood that is truly turning into a more livable place where housing values will rise over the long term — not just an overhyped area with no staying power.More

U.S. News ranks best diets for weight loss, healthy eating, more
U.S News & World Report
Resolving to shed weight or eat better? U.S. News can help. U.S News & World Report recently released the fourth annual Best Diets rankings — a collection of 32 in-depth diet analyzes, reviewed and rated by a panel of nutrition and health experts.More

Creating your career change resume
When going through a career change, one of the biggest challenges, after figuring out what you want to do, is how to present and market yourself for this new role. Think about it. If you spent 25 years in the real estate industry doing asset management work, and now want to work in software sales for a company that markets software to the real estate industry, how are you going to present yourself so the new industry and potential hiring manager find you appealing?More

Top 10 travel scams to look out for
Budget Travel via Fox News
Vacationers have always been targets for smart, enterprising crooks, and the farther you get from home, the easier it is to fall for popular vacation scams like the dropped baby, the fake fight and the I-need-five-euros-to-replace-my-lost-train-ticket. But these days, you are at risk for more than just some lost bills.More

BBB tips for joining a health club
Many of us start the New Year pledging to do things better. After weeks of holiday feasts and treats, getting in shape is generally one of the most common New Year's resolutions. While losing weight is always a laudable goal, Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota says it's also important to treat this decision like any other major purchase.More