Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, December 15, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 14



 Mountain Views News Saturday, December 15, 2012 



Dear Savvy Senior:

What are the financial issues that come with remarrying later in life? I’ve been seeing a wonderful man 
for two years, and we’ve been talking about marriage, but I want to make sure we understand all the possible 
financial consequences before getting hitched. 
Single Senior

Dear Single:

That’s a great question. Getting remarried later 
in life can actually bring about a host of financial 
and legal issues that are much different and more 
complicated than they are for younger couples just 
starting out. Here are some common problem areas 
you need to think about, and some tips and 
resources that can help. 

Estate planning: Getting remarried can have a big effect on your estate plan. Even if your will leaves 
everything to your kids, in most states spouses are automatically entitled to a share of your estate – 
usually one-third to one-half. If you don’t want to leave a third or more of your assets to your new 
partner, get a prenuptial agreement where you both agree not to take anything from the other’s estate. 
If you do want to leave something to your spouse and ensure your heirs receive their inheritance, a 
trust may be the best option.

Long-term care: You may be surprised to know that in many states, spouses are responsible for each 
other’s medical and long-term care bills. This is one of the main reasons many older couples choose 
to live together instead of marrying. Staying unmarried lets you and your partner qualify individually 
for public benefits, such as Medicaid (which pays nursing home costs), without draining the other 
one’s resources. But, if you do remarry and can afford it, consider getting a long-term care insurance 
policy (see to protect your assets. 

Real estate: If you’re planning on living in his house or vice versa, you also need to think about what 
will happen to the house when the owner dies. If, for example, you both decide to live in your home, 
but you want your kids to inherit the place after you die, putting the house in both names is not an 
option. But, you may also not want your heirs to evict him once you die. One solution is for you to 
give your surviving husband a life estate which gives him the right to live in your property during his 
lifetime. Then once he dies, the house will pass to your heirs.

Social Security: Remarriage can also affect the benefits of many divorced or widowed seniors (especially 
women) who receive Social Security from their former spouses. For instance, getting remarried 
stops divorced spouse’s benefits. And getting remarried before age 60 (50 if you’re disabled) will cause 
widows and widowers to lose the right to survivors benefits from their former spouse. Remarrying 
at 60 or older, however, does not affect survivors benefit. For more information, see 

Pension benefits: Widows and widowers of public employees, such as police and firemen, often receive 
a pension which they can lose if they remarry. In addition, widows and widowers of military 
personnel killed in duty may lose their benefits if they remarry before age 57, and survivors of federal 
civil servants that receive a pension will forfeit it if they remarry before 55. If you’re receiving one of 
these benefits, check your policy to see what the affect will be.

Alimony: If you are receiving alimony from an ex-spouse, it will almost certainly end if you remarry 
and might even be cut off if you live together. 

College aid: If you have any children in college receiving financial aid, getting married and adding a 
new spouse’s income to the family could affect what he or she gets. 

To get help with these issues, consider hiring an estate planner who can draw up a plan to protect both 
you and your partner’s interests. Also see, a contributor to this column and a 
great resource on many other legal topics. 

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.
org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

 By Pat Birdsall


If you are separated from the people you love during this holiday season, here are a few things that 
can help you find happiness and perhaps some joy!

1) Write letters to each of the people you miss, whether they are living or not, write them a letter. 
Tell them how much you appreciate them, and how much you wish they could be with you during 
the holidays. 2) Give a gift to charity. No matter how broke you may be, you can come up with some 
amount to give to a charity. 3) Write as many letters as you can to military personnel who are serving 
in Iraq, Afghanistan, or some other faraway places. Tell them how much you appreciate their service 
and thank them for it. 4) Call everyone you miss on Christmas morning and just wish them a Merry 
Christmas. Hearing their voices can be remarkably satisfying. 1-800-806-1191.

There are many spaces left for new plaques at the Veteran’s Memorial Wall. If you or a 
friend, family member or neighbor served in any of the United States military branches 
the criteria for inclusion is simple: You must have lived in Sierra Madre for at least one 
year sometime in your life and have a picture of yourself in uniform. Please call Dave 
Loera, Commander of VFW Post 3208, to be included and for more information: 
(626) 355-3382. We’d be proud to have you!

You can help: This week the Veteran’s group is: Operation Freedom Paws. 

I was watching CNN Heroes of the Year, last Saturday evening and all ten selected are doing phenomenal 
things. However, one of them stood out for me…Her name is Mary Cortani and she created Operation 
Freedom Paws. She initially wanted to stop the appalling number of veteran’s suicides, but somehow, it 
has now become her life’s work. She thought pairing a veteran with a shelter dog who has been trained 
to sense the apprehensions and tensions the veteran is feeling, and calm them, would benefit both the 
veteran and the shelter dog. Her idea is working! The web site is uplifting and guaranteed to bring a tear 
to your eye…Please visit: 


HELPFUL HINT: Cleaning bathtubs: Use a cheap shampoo and a scrub brush. If you have 
difficulty bending over, use a long-handled brush.



A boy, climbing a forbidden tree, tore his pants. His furious mother removed his pants in order to 
mend them and sent her son to his room for the rest of the day as punishment. Fifteen minutes later, 
she heard a noise in the basement. Thinking he had sneaked out, she called out- “You bad boy, are you 
down there without your pants?” A man’s deep voice came up from the cellar- “No, ma’am, I’m just 
reading the electric meter!” Contributed by Loyal Camacho in 2005 for Senior Moments

 ~ ~ ~

Two neighbors appeared in court, each woman accusing the other of causing trouble in their building. 
“Let’s get the evidence,” the judge said in an effort to end their bickering. “I’ll hear the oldest woman 
first.” The case was dismissed for lack of testimony.




… December Birthdays…

Pat Karamitros, Joan Hufnagel, Marie Pedersen, Mary Alice Cervera, Carole Horejsi, Shirley 
Anhalt, Mignon Grijalva, Helen Reese, Levon Yapoujian, Toni Buckner, Bonnie Garner, Lottie 
Bugl, Pat McGuire, Sheila Woehler, Arlie Hahn, Nan Murphy, Eleanor Hensel, Sylvia Curl, 
Elizabeth Levie and Gayle Licher. *To add your name to this distinguished list, please call the paper 
at 626.355.2737. YEAR of birth not required.


Quote of the Week: There is no greater loan than a sympathetic ear. ~ Frank Tyger ~


ACTIVITIES: Unless listed differently, all activities are at the Hart Park House (Senior

 Center) 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre

YMCA San Gabriel Valley Intervale Senior Café: Monday-Friday at 12:00 Noon

(Participants are urged to arrive no later than 11:45 A.M.) 

All seniors 60 and up can take part in the lunch program. There is a suggested donation of $2.00 
for those 60 and over and $3.75 for non-senior guests. Daily reservations are necessary as space is 
limited. Please call 24 hours in advance...626.355.0256


The Intervale Lunch Cafe will be

closed for the holidays on the

following days:

Monday, December 24th

Tuesday, December 25th

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Free Blood Pressure Testing: On the 2nd Tuesday of the month from 11:00 am-12:00 pm: A nurse 
from Methodist Hospital, Arcadia volunteers to do the readings. No appointment necessary.


Bingo: Every Tuesday afternoon from 1:00 pm- 3:00 pm Cards are only .25c each! 

Free Chair Yoga: Every Wednesday morning from 11:00 am-11:45 am Volunteer Teryl Willis offers 
this class that focuses on senior yoga techniques. It is geared toward gentle movements, breathing 
techniques and balance improvement. No reservations are necessary.

Free Legal Consultation: Pasadena attorney Geoffrey Chin volunteers on the 2nd Wednesday of the 
month. He focuses on estate planning, trusts, wills, probate, conservatorships and business law. 
*Appointments are a must! Please call: 626.355.7394 to make yours. * Conflicting court schedules 
can occasionally cause cancellations.

Birthday Celebrations: The 2nd Thursday of the month the Senior Center celebrates the birthdays of 
our patrons at 12:30 pm. Please join us for free cake and ice cream and “celebration.” (The cakes are 
provided due to a generous donation from the Sierra Madre Civic Club.)

Game Day: Every Thursday at 1:00pm. Poker is usually the game of choice, or should I say chance? 
Board games and other card games are also available. Outside, on the patio, a beautiful, one-of-a-
kind chess table is anxious for players.


Free Strength Training Class: Every Friday from 1:00 pm -1:45 pm Conducted by long-time 
volunteer Lisa Brandley. The class utilizes light weights for low-impact resistance training. 
Weights are provided by the Sierra Madre Senior Center. It’s a great way to stay in shape and to 
socialize with your peers. (Gossip included)

Senior Citizens Club: Every Saturday-at the Hart Park House (Senior Center) Brown bag lunch at 
11:30am; Club meeting at Noon; Bingo 12:30- 3:30 pm Only .25c per card… For more information 
call Pat at 626.355.7290

NEW! On the Move Physical Therapy- Join local physical therapist, Shannon 
Vandevelde, at the Senior Center on Monday, December 17th from 11:00 AM to 12:00 
PM for a free consultation. Shannon will be volunteering her time once a month to 
help seniors identify any possible physical therapy needs as well as providing basic tips. 
To make an appointment call the senior services desk at (626) 355-7394. 


 Senior Movie Program: Free Movies are shown on the 2nd and 4thWednesdays of 
the month. The films, one contemporary and one vintage, are chosen by the seniors 
themselves. This month’s selections are:

December 12- White Christmas (1954) An American Holiday musical film starring 
Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney. It’s about a successful song-and-
dance team who become romantically involved with a sister act who team up to save 
a failing Vermont inn. (Songs by Irving Berlin)

December 26- Mamma Mia (2008) a musical/romantic comedy film adapted from the 1999 
Broadway musical of the same name; based on the songs of pop group ABBA. Meryl Streep heads 
the cast, playing the role of single mother Donna Sheridan. Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan 
Skarsgard play the three possible fathers to Donna’s daughter, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried). Start time: 
1:00 PM in Sierra Madre’s City Council Chambers, 232 W. Sierra Madre Blvd.


 I try to keep my column friendly 
and non confrontational. But 
every now and then I get an 
urge to “let it rip” and air my 
thoughts on issues I wouldn’t 
usually discuss. “Issues,” might be too heavy a 
word to use in regards to this week’s topic --art, 
artists, and the wannabes that parade as artists.

 Don’t get me wrong. By no means do I 
claim to be an art expert. I used to dabble in it 
during high school and college. There remain a 
few scattered bits of trivia in the recesses of my 
mind, like the difference between Doric and 
Corinthian columns. But I’d be hard pressed to 
correctly answer any art question on Jeopardy. 
Nevertheless, I feel as if I have some small notion of what is good art and what is fodder for greeting 
cards and coffee mugs. Both my parents are artists (though they had actual “day jobs”). Their talent 
filtered down to me. And, while I’m not an artist, I do appreciate a nice painting or sculpture.

 Which brings me to my subject --those cheesy artists whose works grace greeting cards and velvet 
paintings. There are many, but one stands out in particular. We’ll refer to him as Kilroy. Why don’t 
I like him? In a word, his stuff is sappy. Yes, the man had a talent for perspective and lighting. But 
99.9% of his stuff had all the same hues of pink, yellow, and violet.

 I’d even pardon Kilroy if he had satisfied himself with just producing sappy paintings in his garage 
and selling them at art fairs and gas stations. But the man had to go and open franchised galleries 
featuring prints of his works. And then he had to hi-jack the Christian market, slapping his cottages 
and lighthouses on everything from Bible covers to blanket throws and coffin medallions. Now you, 
too, can cuddle up in the warmth of a Kilroy coverlet throw. And if that’s not enough to turn your 
stomach, you can also get snow globes, neck ties, night lights, and who knows what else stamped with 
similar saccharine-sweet images.

 The man is dead now, so I should be gentler on him. In many cases, artists starve their whole lives, 
only to receive recognition when they’re six feet under, (the only one that comes to mind is Van Gogh, 
but I’m sure there are others). The point is, they let their art speak for itself, rather than prostituting 
it on every commercial product they could find.

 I’ve always had the opinion that whenever the majority of people are crazy for something, it can’t be 
that great. I cite P.T. Barnum’s observation that “nobody ever lost a dollar underestimating the taste 
of the American public.” Case in point: there was a brief time (about a week) when I was interested 
in possibly reading the Harry Potter books. As soon as Hollywood, Oprah, and everyone else jumped 
on the Potter band wagon, I hopped off and haven’t looked back since. Maybe it’s a silly way of 
judging things, but it works for me. So, what I find even more surprising than Kilroy’s success are the 
individuals who like him.

 What typically happens is that I’ll be talking with someone, or listening to them on the radio, 
agreeing with everything they’re saying, thinking how intelligent and cultured they are. And then 
they say that they adore Kilroy’s paintings. Suddenly all the nice things I thought about them fizzle 
out with that one statement. What makes these situations even worse is when I’m with someone who 
shares my disdain for Kilroy. For example, my mom and I will be talking to an old family friend we 
think we know pretty well. The conversation goes along peachy until, usually from out of the blue, 
our friend says how great they think Kilroy’s paintings are. Instinctively, our guard goes up --we must 
repress our incredulous smirks and maintain a cool poker face. “Oh, yes,” we say, not daring to look 
at each other for fear of cracking up. “He is quite... prolific.” 


Since November, the Pasadena Social Security office is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. 
to 3:00 p.m. – a reduction of 30 minutes each weekday. In addition, beginning January 2, 2013, the office will close 
to the public at noon every Wednesday. 

 Most services do not require a visit. Applying for retirement, disability or Medicare benefits, signing up for 
direct deposit, replacing a Medicare card, obtaining a proof of income letter or a change of address or telephone 
number can be done online at or by calling 1-800-772-1213.Hearing impaired may call 
our TTY number, 1-800-325-0778.