Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, January 4, 2014

MVNews this week:  Page 10



Mountain Views News Saturday, January 4, 2014 



Dear Savvy Senior;

My pastor recently suggested that I get informed 
on my elderly parents’ financial situation and 
end-of-life plans so I can be better prepared when 
something happens to them. What’s the best way 
to handle this and what all do I need to find out? 
Apprehensive Daughter

Dear Apprehensive:

Most adult children don’t know much about 
their parents’ financial situation or end-of-life 
plans, but they need to. Getting up to speed on 
your elderly parent’s finances, insurance policies, 
long-term care plans and other information is 
important because some day you might have to 
help them handle their financial affairs or care, or 
execute their estate plan after they die. Without 
this information, your job becomes much more 

Have the Talk

If you’re uncomfortable starting up a conversation 
like this with your parents, see TheConversationProject.
org for guidance. It’s also a good 
idea to get your siblings or other family members 
involved. This can help you head off possible hard 
feelings, plus, with others involved, your parents 
will know everyone is concerned. 

When you meet with your parents, you’ll need 
to sit down and create several lists of important 
information, find out where they keep key documents 
and how they want certain things handled 
when they die or if they become incapacitated. 
Here’s a checklist of areas you need to focus on. 

Personal Information

• Contacts: Make a list of names and 
phone numbers of close friends, clergy, their 
doctors, lawyer, accountant, broker, tax preparer, 
insurance agent, etc. 

• Personal documents: Find out where 
they keep their Social Security card, marriage 
license, military discharge papers, etc.

• Secured places: Make a list of places 
they keep under lock and key or protected 
by password, such as online accounts, safe 
deposit boxes, safe combination, security 
alarms, etc. 

• Service providers: Make a list of the 
companies or people who provide them 
regular services like utility companies, lawn 
service, etc. 

• Medical information: Make a copy of 
their medical history (any drug allergies, 
past surgeries, etc.) and a list of medications 
they take.

• Pets: If they have a pet, what are their 
instructions for the animal’s care? 

• End of life: What are their wishes for 
organ or body donation, and their funeral 
instructions? If they’ve made pre-arrangements 
with a funeral home get a copy of the 

Legal Documents

• Will: Do they have an updated will or 
trust, and where is it located?

• Power of attorney: Do they have a 
power of attorney document that names 
someone to handle their financial matters if 
they become incapacitated?

• Advance directives: Do they have a living 
will and a medical power of attorney that 
spells out their wishes regarding their end-
of-life medical treatment?

Financial Records

• Income and debt: Make a list of their 
income sources such as pensions, Social Security, 
IRAs, 401Ks, investments, etc. And 
do the same for any debt (mortgage, credit 
cards, medical bills, etc.) they may have. 

• Financial accounts: Make a list of 
the banks and brokerage accounts they 
use (checking, savings, stocks, bonds, mutual 
funds, IRAs, etc.) and their contact 

• Company benefits: Make a list of any 
retirement plans, pensions or benefits from 
their former employer including the contact 
information of the benefits administrator. 

• Insurance: Make a list of the insurance 
policies they have (life, long-term care, 
home, auto, Medicare, etc.) including the 
policy numbers. 

• Property: Make a list of the real estate, 
vehicles or other properties they own, and 
where they keep the deeds and titles. 

• Credit cards: Make a list of all their 
credit and charge cards, including the card 
numbers and contact information. 

• Taxes: Find out where they keep copies 
of past year’s tax returns. 

For more information, call the Eldercare Locator 
at 800-677-1116 and ask them to mail you a free 
copy of their publication “Let’s Talk: Starting the 
Conversation about Health, Legal, Financial and 
End-of-Life Issues,” or you can read online at eldercare.

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

 By Pat Birdsall


I’ve wanted to do this for years but I thought that perhaps it didn’t belong in this column. Upon 
reflection, it does… I’m sure I’m also speaking on behalf of those who have basked in the glow of 
the seasonal and simple holiday lights high on the hill behind us. They cast a reassuring glow over 
everything below and can be seen for miles. They are provided by a very generous soul, a man that I 
consider a friend. 

George Enyedi…George, thank you so much for making the holiday season brighter for all… not 
only by the display of lights, but more importantly, with the spirit of the season. Happy New 
Year to you and thanks so very much!


HELPFUL HINT: Keep your cleaning supplies organized and harsh chemicals away from 
children by putting them in an 18 or 24 pocket shoe organizer. They are inexpensive and fit over 
almost any door. Great for the garage too!


FOR YOUR FUNNY BONE - I was in the express lane at the grocery store quietly 
fuming. Completely ignoring the sign, the woman ahead of me had slipped into the check-out line 
pushing a cart piled high with groceries. Imagine my delight when the cashier beckoned the woman 
to come forward, looked in the cart and asked sweetly, “So which six items would you like to buy?” 
Wouldn’t it be great if that happened more often?~ 

 ~ ~

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! … January Birthdays

Mary Tassop, JudyWebb-Martin, John Johnson, Mary Bickel, Marlene Enmark, Ross Kellock, 
Ruth Wolter, Sue Watanabe, Sandy Thistlewaite,Bobbi Rahmanian, Fran Syverson, Shirley 
Wolff, Judy Zaretzka and Becky Evans

* 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: One resolution I have made, and always try to keep, is this; to rise 
above the little things. ~ John Burroughs ~ F.M. Knowles


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 Balance Class: Every 3rd Monday for 11:00 am to 11:45 am with Shannon Vandevelde. A 
variety of balance exercises are practiced; all ability levels are encouraged and welcomed. 

Free Blood Pressure Testing: Held Second Tuesday of the month from 11:00 am-12:00 pm: No 
appointment necessary.


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

Free Chair Yoga: New Hours: 11:00 to 11:45 Every Wednesday morning. Join Paul Hagen for this 
free class that focuses on senior yoga techniques. No reservation is necessary!

Free Legal Consultation: Pasadena attorney Lem Makupson 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. 

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.


Los Angeles Times & Printing Plant (Los Angeles, CA.)

Date: Friday, January 10, 2014

Time: 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Meeting Location: Hart Park House/Senior Center

Cost: $15.00 (does not include lunch)

With a daily circulation of more than one million readers, the Los Angeles Times is by far the most 
popular newspaper in the Southland. The publication’s headquarters, built in 1935, is situated on 
the outskirts of Downtown. The one-hour tour is an educational trip through the entire publication 
process as well as a history of this storied American newspaper. Following the Headquarters tour, 
the bus will take a short drive to the printing plant. During this 45-minute tour watch robots assist 
in the preparation of final copies of the paper for distribution. After the tours lunch will be enjoyed 
at a downtown restaurant. It is recommended that you bring $10 to $15 for lunch. Last day to 
register is Friday, January 3rd. Level of walking: Moderate

Save the Dates: Thursday, February 27, 2014

Feline Conservation Center (Rosamond, Ca.)Time: 9:00am to 4:00 pm

Cost: $15.00 (does not include lunch)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Whale Watching (Long Beach, Ca.) Time: 10:00am to 3:30 pm

Cost: $31.00 (does not include lunch)

*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.

KATIE Tse.....................This and That



 Happy New Year! I hope 2013 was a good year for you and that 2014 is starting 
well. Looking back over the year I have many things to thank and praise God for. 
Although we celebrate the beginning of a new year, it always seems bittersweet when 
bad memories sneak into our recollection of happy times. A new, fresh beginning 
lies ahead of us, but that also reminds us of the many years that are gone. New Year’s 
marks the end of the holiday season. The fun and games are over and now we must 
go back to work. (Thank God for our jobs!)

 New Year’s must be one of the most depressing holidays there is. And its date in the middle of 
winter, when everything is dark and dead, doesn’t exactly speak of new life and a fresh start. Besides 
funerals, New Year’s is probably the most likely time for many of us ponder our own mortality. It’s 
even worse than a birthday (for those who don’t like their birthdays). On your birthday, only you, 
your family and friends know another year has passed. On New Year’s, everyone around the globe is 
dwelling on it with you.

 Yes, I have many things to be thankful for, and I hope you do, too. However, no matter what great 
experiences we have, a deep part of us remains unsatisfied and longs for something better. The most 
wonderful meals only last as long as the food. The best vacations come to an end. The most loving 
relationships still involve some pain, despite our best efforts. New Year’s brings all this to a head. The 
fireworks fizzle. The champagne goes flat. The parade passes you by. And when the clock strikes 12, 
we are all the same people we were at 11:59 pm.

 When you get right down to it, New Years reminds us of death. Perhaps that is why we make such 
a celebration out of it --to distract ourselves. “Hey, all those other people look happy, I should, too” 
we think. But if death is just a part of life, why do we struggle with it so much? Even nature recoils 
at the face of death. Elephants mourn each other’s passing with an almost funeral-like ritual. Crows, 
parrots, dolphins, dogs, and other creatures show sorrow when one of their friends is gone. If death 
is part of nature’s perfect order, why haven’t we all evolved to happily accept it?

 How sad it is, to consider the people you love no longer existing. To think that, no matter how 
serene they are, when the lights go out, that is it. If that were the case, what hope would we have? Life 
becomes one long string of New Years, with its disappointments and everyone lying to each other and 
themselves that, “everything’s okay.”

 Thank God that it isn’t so! Through faith in Jesus, we will go on after death! And not just “go 
on,” we will be remade! That quiet longing you feel for something better is nothing compared with 
God’s overwhelming longing for you to know Him personally! That nagging disappointment you 
experience at the end of the party is nothing compared to God’s unwillingness for you to remain 
separated from His unconditional love for you! 

 He sent His Son to die so that you wouldn’t have to remain spiritually dead, and raised Him to 
prove that you, too, will be raised if you will only turn to Him! Thank God that He’s given us the 
guarantee in His Son that He will wipe away every tear from our eyes. We are going to a place where 
there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying: there shall be no more pain! There won’t even 
be night, because God will be our sun and dispel all darkness.

 Thank God that this truth is something to hold onto! It’s not a nice saying on greeting cards or a 
platitude that people tell each other at the holidays. It’s real! Thank God that New Years doesn’t have 
to just remind us of the passage of time! God is beyond the bounds of time and has promised the 
same for us!

 When you know this, New Years doesn’t have to be depressing at all. Really, if New Years is about 
a fresh start and a new life, it should be at Easter! Have a wonderful New Year and thank God!


Car+ HomeSavingsLet me show you how combining home and auto policies can really 
add up. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.®
Total average savings of $763*
*Average annual household savings based on national 2010 survey of new policyholders who reported savings by switching to State Farm.
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, State Farm Indemnity Company,
State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, State Farm General Insurance Company, Bloomington, ILJohn T Diehl, AgentInsurance Lic#: 0D756082525 N Lake Ave., Ste 2Altadena, CA 91001Bus: 626-791-9915