Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, April 20, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 12



 Mountain Views News Saturday, April 20, 2013 



Dear Savvy Senior:

What retirement planning resources can you recommend 
to women? I’m 58 years old, divorced and living 
on a tight budget and need all the help I can get. 
Financially Challenged

Dear Challenged:

When it comes to planning for retirement, most 
Americans could stand to brush up on their financial 
knowledge a bit, but it’s especially important for unmarried women. Here’s what you should know. 

Retirement Struggles

It’s an unfortunate reality that most unmarried women – whether they’re divorced, widowed or never 
married – face much greater financial challenges than men in retirement. 

Why? Because women tend to make less money (about 78 cents for every dollar a man makes) and 
have shorter working careers (due to raising children and/or caring for aging parents) than men. And 
less money earned usually translates into less money saved and a lower Social Security benefit when 
you retire. 

In addition, women also live an average of five years longer than men which requires their retirement 
income to stretch farther. And, according to studies, women tend to be less knowledgeable and more 
intimidated about financial issues than men, which means they don’t always handle their money as 
well as they should.

Because of these issues, it’s very important that women educate themselves on financial matters. Listed 
below are some good resources that can help. 

Financial Education 

A good place to start is with the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement, a nonprofit organization 
dedicated to financial education for women. At you can read and download for 
free a wide variety of easy-to-understand publications on retirement planning, money management, 
saving and investing, as well as Social Security, health care, annuities and more. If you don’t have a 
computer or Internet access you can call 202-393-5452 and order hard copies of their publications 
and have them mailed to you for a few dollars. 

Another resource you should tap into is, a U.S. government website dedicated to financial 
literacy and education that provides free information, resources, publications, financial calculators, 
checklists, budgeting worksheets and more, to help you make informed decisions. You can also 
call 888-696-6639 and order a free “My Money” tool kit that includes a variety of publications on 
saving, investing and getting the most for your money. 

The Employee Benefits Security Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Labor is another 
agency that offers a variety of publications including the 62-page booklet “Taking the Mystery Out of 
Retirement Planning,” and “Women and Retirement Savings” brochure. You can see them online at, or call 866-444-3272 and have them mailed to you for free. 

Also visit, a website developed by the Employee Benefit Research Institute that offers 
the Ballpark Estimate retirement planning worksheet, more than 100 online calculators, brochures, 
savings tips and links to resources to help you manage your finances. 

Social Security Help

You also need to get up to speed on Social Security. To help with this, the Social Security Administration 
has an online resource specifically designed for women that covers how marriage, divorce, 
widowhood, work, caregiving and other life or career events can affect your benefits. It also offers 
information on SSI, Medicare benefits and provides calculators to help you figure out your future 
earnings at different retirement ages. You can access this information at, or call 800-
772-1213 and order their free pamphlet entitled “What Every Woman Should Know.” 

Financial Advice

If you need some hands-on help, consider getting a financial assessment or tune-up with a fee-only 
financial advisor. Costs for these services will vary from around $150 to $300 per hour, but it can be 
very beneficial to help you set-up a retirement plan you can follow. See or garrettplanningnetwork.
com to locate an advisor in your area.

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

FYI - Arthritis and Arthritis Friendly Products…(Excerpts from

 For anyone who suffers from arthritis, the daily pain involved makes it a very viable topic. There 
are many steps to take to make arthritis tolerable and to help the sufferer and their families.1) The 
first step of course, is to confer with your doctor and set up a specific treatment plan. That plan 
should include low-impact exercise into your routine every day as they can give you more freedom 
of movement. Some exercises you can do to stay limber include walking, swimming or bicycling. 2) 
If you’re not getting enough sleep at night, plan for a long nap in the afternoon.3) Keep in touch with 
your doctor on about different options for treating your arthritis symptoms. 4)Make sure you take 
your medications the way they are prescribed. If you are not experiencing the benefits you should 
be don’t stop taking the medication. Sometimes it can take several days, weeks or months for the 
medication to work the way they’re supposed to. If you are still concerned, talk to your doctor. 

 When you suffer from arthritis, the little things—buttoning a blouse, opening a jar, gripping a 
pen—can be very difficult. Fortunately, there are scores of devices available—mostly based on simple, 
ergonomic designs that provide the assistance you need to carry on your everyday pursuits inside 
and outside the house. Anything from a long-handled hair washer; scrub brush and sponge kit; a 
jar opener, shoe horn, button opener down to a playing card shuffler! There are so many web sites 
to visit you’ll want to get started…The Arthritis Foundation itself: The Disability 
Products site: Products for the Disabled: http://products.disabled- This only tips the iceberg…Let us know about a product that you find especially helpful 
for you and maybe someone else will benefit. Call me, Pat Birdsall at 626.355.7290.Thanks! 

HELPFUL HINT: To get the built-up residue off your shower head, tie a baggie of vinegar 
around it and leave it there over night. The residue will be gone and the labor expended is nil. 

*This really does work! Klutz that I am, I’ll just tell you to be careful when you attach the baggie to the 
shower head. I don’t think I need detailed information here, do I?



 Stevie Wonder meets Tiger Woods and mentions that he, too, is a golfer. “When I tee off,” the blind 
musician explains, “I have a guy call to me from the green. My sharp sense of hearing lets me aim.” 
Tiger’s skeptical, but when Stevie suggests that they play for $100,000 Tiger readily accepts, figuring 
it’s the easiest 100 grand he’ll ever make. “So, when do you want to play?” Stevie shrugs, “Pick any 


“You know when you’re getting old?” my friend asked. “I give up,” I said. “When you tell your friends 
you’re having an affair and they ask, “Is it catered?”

 ~ ~ ~

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! … April Birthdays


 Howard Rubin, Mary Harley, Bette White, Dorothy White, Doris Behrens, Freda Bernard,

Beth Copti, Terri Cummings, Marilyn Diaz, Virginia Elliott, Elma Flores, Julia Gottesman, 
Betty Jo Gregg, Barbara Lampman, Betty Mackie, Elizabeth Rassmusen, Maria Reyes, Anne 
Schryver, Chrisine Bachwansky, Colleen McKernan, Sandy Swanson, Hank Landsberg and 
to my friend, Ken Anhalt, a very special 90th birthday wish to you!

* 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: 

 No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. ~ Edward R. Murrow


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

Free Blood Pressure Testing: On the 2nd Tuesday of the month 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.

Free Income Tax Assistance: Wednesdays through April 10th from 1:00 pm-2:00 pm. Don 
Brunner is available to all seniors for income tax consultation. Appointments are a must- Call 
(626) 355-7394 to make yours.

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 Birdsall at 626.355.7290.

Lunch & Learn: Wednesday, April 24, 2013- 12:15 – 1:15

Topic: Collecting, Cluttering, Hoarding. The items that gather, as we age, often mean more than just 
the objects alone could to anyone else. These objects represent memories, travels, friends, love and 
more. Join the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) as they provide an 
informative presentation on hoarding. LACDMH staff will distinguish between collecting, cluttering 
and hoarding, and emphasize the need for treatment for those who have a significant problem.


Palm Springs Follies Palm Springs, California

 Date: Thursday, April 25, 2013 Time: 8:30 am-6:00 pm

 Meeting Location: Hart Park House Senior Center

 Cost: $63.00 (does not include lunch)

Upon arrival in Palm Springs participants can shop and lunch at nearby stores and restaurants all 
within walking distance of the theater. The Palm Springs Follies is a Broadway-caliber celebration 
of the music, dance and comedy of the 40s, 50s, and 60s with a cast old enough to have lived it! The 
performance begins at 1:30 pm and is approximately 2 1/2 hours in length. Excursion price includes 
transportation, driver’s tip and a ticket to the Follies. Participants are asked to bring additional 
money for shopping and lunch. Some walking is involved.

California Science Center Los Angeles, Ca. 

Date: Friday, May 17, 2013 Time: 9:30 am- 3:30 pm

Meeting Location: Hart Park House Senior Center

Cost: $16.00 (Does not include lunch)

Join us on a visit to the California Science Center, the west coast’s largest hands-on science center! 
The trip will include a tour of the Space Shuttle Endeavor exhibit, which showcases images and 
artifacts that relate to the shuttle program in California where the orbiters were built. After the 
tour enjoy the IMAX presentation “The Blue Planet,” which features footage taken by crews during 
five space shuttle missions. In between the tour and IMAX presentation participants will have the 
chance to lunch as well as an opportunity to visit the rest of the Science Center. Participants may 
bring their own lunch or purchase lunch at the Science Center Café. 

Save the Dates!

Friday, June 28, 2013- Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)

Friday, July 12, 2013- Pageant of the Masters (evening excursion)

*Registering for Excursions can be done in person at the Hart Park House Senior Center and the 
Community Recreation Center or online at Cash, checks, and credit 
cards are accepted. Make checks payable “City of Sierra Madre”. Payment must be made at the time 
of reservation.


Senior Movie Program: FREE movies are shown on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month. 
The films, one contemporary and one vintage, are chosen by the seniors themselves. April’s selections:

April 3- Splash (1985) Directed by Ron Howard

A man is reunited with a mermaid who saves him from drowning as a boy and falls in love not 
knowing who or what she is. Starring Tom Hanks & Daryl Hannah- Rated PG Start time: 1:00pm, 
run time: 111 minutes.

April 17- Mildred Pierce (1945)

After her cheating husband leaves her, Mildred Pierce proves she can become independent and 
successful, but can’t win the approval of her spoiled daughter. Starring-Joan Crawford. Not rated. 
Run time is 111minutes.

Start time: 1:00 PM in Sierra Madre’s City Council Chambers, 232 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., SM


 Sometimes it’s nice to be “the only one.” The only one who earned a perfect A 
on a test. The only one who swam faster than the other 30 guys. The only one who 
stole someone’s heart. Yes, singling someone out can be flattering or romantic. But, 
there are times when the words “You’re the only one!” can cause disdain. Let me tell you about my 
cousin, Sandy.

 In junior high, Sandy “won” a live turkey at a school dance. Later, it was learned that the whole 
turkey contest was rigged as a prank on Sandy’s sister, who was a new teacher at her school. Apart 
from that, Sandy has never been “lucky.” But she’s been “the only one” so many times.

 When my Aunt Linda went to be with the Lord, Sandy buried her at a local cemetery. Of course, 
the passing of a beloved one is hardly the time you want to be bothered with the clerical errors of 
others. It started out as a simple mistake. “We never received your check,” one of the cemetery’s staff 
members told Sandy. Well, she told her that she’d sent it in already and gave her the check number. 
Sandy then had the bank cancel that check because the cemetery staff had apparently lost it. So, 
she sent another check. This one must’ve been sucked into the black hole of missing checks as well, 
because the same staff member felt compelled to PERSONALLY visit Sandy to collect the money 
--implying that she was trying to skirt the payment!

 Insulted, but not deterred, Sandy wrote out yet another check, which miraculously cleared and was 
quickly processed. The situation would have been annoying enough if it had ended there --but oh 
no... Then the cemetery staff found the previous two checks. “Oops!” they apologized. “You’re the 
only one this has ever happened to!”

 Sandy’s dealings with them seemed to have reached an irritating climax, but there’s more. A few 
days after the burial, Sandy visited her Aunt Linda’s grave. Surprise is a mild word for her reaction 
when she saw that in place of her mother’s headstone was that of an Armenian man who had passed 
a week earlier than my aunt! The cemetery gave their signature response, “So sorry! You’re the only 
one who’s had this happen!” No, somewhere there’s an Armenian family wondering where their 
patriarch’s headstone is.

 Sandy’s next big case of being the only one 
picked by the fickle finger of fate occurred 
when she was undergoing surgery to remove 
a small cancerous tumor in her breast. Every 
day I thank God that He delivered her from 
this nightmare. The whole story is too long for 
this article. Suffice it to say that Sandy received 
treatment worthy of a malpractice lawsuit 
at the incompetent hands of the surgeon 
recommended to her. A “routine” operation 
turned into a critical condition in which Sandy 
could have bled to death due to a vein severed 
by the hospital’s “top” breast surgeon. In 
defense, the oncologist tried to placate Sandy 
by telling her “Your veins are abnormal. That’s 
why (doctor who shall remain nameless) 
severed that vein. We’ve never seen a vascular 
system like yours!” Please! What’s Judge 
Judy’s line? “Don’t pee on my shoe and tell me 
it’s raining.” Even if Sandy had an aberrant 
vein or too, any experienced surgeon should 
have been skilled enough to deal with it!

 Her latest brush with being “the only one” 
occurred during her brief (three day) membership at Weight Watchers. I don’t know what compelled 
her to join again. She’s been a WW member before. But in recent years she’s just followed a basic plan 
of eating healthier and exercising consistently. (Such ideals are more attainable when you’re retired, 
which Sandy is.)

 Nevertheless, she paid her monthly fee online, which entitles her to weekly meetings. She went to 
one of these meetings, in which the leader talked about the virtues of all their new, techie gadgets such 
as codes you can scan with your phone, and an electronic points calculator. Sandy is one of many 
people in her generation who haven’t embraced this new, touch screen era of high tech equipment. 
When she tried out the points calculator, it didn’t work, even for her husband (who is tech savvy). 

 So Sandy went back to her local WW site and asked for a refund for the useless points calculator. 
The woman attending her told her how odd that was, since she was “the only one who’s had problems 
with it!” In true poetic justice, the woman took another points calculator off the shelf and tried to 
make it work. Nothing happened. She took a second one and fiddled with it for a while. Still, it 
remained lifeless. “This is so funny!” she exclaimed. “You’re the only person who’s had this happen 
three times!”