Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, July 2, 2016

MVNews this week:  Page A:11

Mountain Views-News Sunday, July 2, 2016 11THE GOOD LIFE THE GOOD LIFE 


Dear Savvy Senior,
Who all is eligible for Social Security survivor benefits?
My ex-husband died last year at the age of 59, and I
would like to find out if me, or my two kids – ages 13
and 16 – that we had together are eligible for anything?
Divorced Widow 

Dear Divorced, 
If your ex-husband worked and paid Social Securitytaxes, both you and your kids may very well be eligiblefor survivor benefits, but you need to act quicklybecause benefits are generally retroactive only up tosix months. Here’s what you should know.

Under Social Security law, when a person who hasworked and paid Social Security taxes dies, certainmembers of that person’s family may be eligible forsurvivor benefits including spouses, former spousesand dependents. Here’s a breakdown of who may beeligible.

Widow(er)’s and divorced widow(er)’s: Survivingspouses are eligible to collect a monthly survivorbenefit as early as age 60 (50 if disabled). Divorcedsurviving spouses are also eligible at this same age,
if you were married at least 10 years and did notremarry before age 60 (50 if disabled), unless themarriage ends.

How much you’ll receive will depend on how muchmoney (earnings that were subject to Social Securitytaxes) your spouse or ex-spouse made over theirlifetime, and the age in which you apply for survivorsbenefits. 

If you wait until your full retirement age (which is66 for people born in 1945-1956 and will graduallyincrease to age 67 for people born in 1962 or later),
you’ll receive 100 of your deceased spouses or ex-
spouses benefit amount. But if you apply between age60 and your full retirement age, your benefit will besomewhere between 71.5 – 99 percent of their benefit.

To find out what percentage you can get underfull retirement age visit 

There is, however, one exception. Survivingspouses and ex-spouses that are caring for a child (orchildren) of the deceased worker, and they are underage 16 or disabled, are eligible to receive 75 percent ofthe worker’s benefit amount at any age.
Unmarried children: Surviving unmarried childrenunder age 18, or up to age 19 if they’re still attending 

high school, are eligible for survivor benefits too.
Benefits can also be paid to children at any age if theywere disabled before age 22 and remain disabled. Bothbiological and adoptive children are eligible, as wellas kids born out of wedlock. Dependent stepchildrenand grandchildren may also qualify. Children’sbenefits are 75 percent of the workers benefit.

Dependent parents: Benefits can also be paid todependent parent(s) who are age 62 and older. Forparents to qualify as dependents, the deceased workerwould have had to provide at least one-half of theparent’s financial support.

But be aware that Social Security has limits onhow much a family can receive in monthly survivorsbenefits – usually 150 to 180 percent of the workersbenefit. 

You also need to know that in addition to survivor 
benefits, surviving spouses or children are alsoeligible to receive a one-time death benefit of $255. 

Maximizing StrategiesSocial Security also provides surviving spouses andex-spouses some nice strategies that can help boostyour benefits. For example, you could take a reducedsurvivor benefit at age 60, and could switch to yourown retirement benefit based on your earnings –
between 62 and 70 – if it offers a higher payment.

Or, if you’re already receiving retirement benefitson your work record, you could switch to survivorsbenefits if it offers a higher payment. You cannot,
however, receive both benefits. 

You also need to know that if you collect a survivorbenefit while working, and are under full retirementage, your benefits may be reduced depending on yourearnings. 

For more information, visit orcall 800-772-1213. 

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 showand author of “The Savvy Senior” book. 

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


You gotta love Sierra Madre and its small town 
atmosphere. People know each other, or at least 
recognize each other, and little happens without 
acquaintances finding out about it. That being 
said, I hope I’m not in the Sierra Madre police 
blotter this week. Let me explain.

 It started innocently enough. I was visiting 
my parents when my mom asked me to do them 
a favor. Their neighbors a couple of doors down 
had gone out for the day and asked Mom and Dad 
to walk their dog (we’ll call her Sprinkles) once 
in the morning and then again in the afternoon. 
Would I mind hopping over and taking Sprinkles 
around the block? “Sure,” I said, confident of 
my dog walking abilities. So I took the key and 
went over. Something didn’t seem right as I 
entered. Sprinkles was 

eyeing me warily from 

situation Dad was walking 

the couch and barked 

over, buttoning up his 

a couple times. She 

shirt (remember, this 

seemed conflicted as to 

interrupted his workout). 

whether I was a friend 

Officer Ford radioed in to 

or foe. Here was a 

the station, “I’m here with 

“stranger” in her home, 

the responsible party, the 

but when I picked up 

dog-walker.” “You’re that 

the leash she started 

girl who jogs, right?” he 

licking my ankles. 

asked. “Yes,” I said. “You 

Then I heard it --ding

don’t have any ID on you, 

-ding--ding. Mom’s 

do you?” “No, sorry.” 

instructions hadn’t 

“Okay, what about you?” 

included anything 

he asked Dad. “John 

about disabling the 

Hopkins, [727 Grove]” 

alarm system, so I 

Dad answered. “So you 

hoped maybe it would 

live here, too?” he asked 

just go off on its own.

me. “No, I’m at [23 

 As the dings grew 

Highland].” “That’s what 

into blaring sirens I 

I thought,” he replied, 

returned the leash to 

probably remembering 

its hook by the door. 

the neighborhood watch 

Sprinkles looked 
disappointed. I picked up their phone to call the 
police, but there was no dial tone. Not having my 
purse, cell phone, or anything except their key, I 
locked up the house and returned to my parents.

 Mom was juicing when I got back. “That was 
fast!” she remarked. “Well, not really,” I said, “I set 
off the alarm.” “You did what?” Dad asked. He’s an 
avid exerciser, and was in the middle of his routine 
at the time. “Yes, that’s that loud sound you’re 
hearing. Maybe if I call them they can cancel the 
alarm.” I tried both of their numbers, but was onlyable to leave a message. Then I called the cops.

Let me tell you, the Sierra Madre police are 
on top of things! Not that I call different police 
stations and compare response times, but they 
answered immediately. However, the Post alarm 
system is apparently even faster. “I’m calling 
because I accidentally set off my neighbors’ 
security alarm,” I explained. “I just wanted to let 
you know so you wouldn’t have to send anyone 

out.” “What’s your address?” the lady asked. 
“Um, well, I live on [Highland], but I’m at my 
parents’ on [Grove].” “We already have a unit 
there.” Shoot! “Can you go out and talk to them?” 
“Sure...” I said. “What are you wearing?” she 
asked. “A yellow sweatshirt.” There was a pause. 
“And blue shorts.” Okay, please don’t literally 
shoot! “On my way.”

 There was not one, but two police SUVs parked 
at the corner. My neighbor across the street was 
talking to them as I trotted up. I waved and he 
smiled good-naturedly, probably wondering why 
this silly lady was choosing this moment to say hi. 
I recognized Officer Ford from the neighborhood 
watch meeting I had attended shortly after my 
husband and I moved to [Highland]. By the time 

I finished explaining the 

meeting. “So, your 
name’s Hopkins?” he asked. “No, ‘C.’ Spelled 
‘T-S-E.” Dad started chuckling, “You can read 
all about this in the paper! Look, Katie, now 
you have a story for this week. What paper is it 
again?” Dad asked. “Mountain Views News.” 
“Oh,” Officer Ford said, “I’ve seen it but I don’t 
read it all the time.” “It’s called ‘This & That.’ My 
editor named it.” I replied “So, I’ll look for Katie 
Tse then” he said. “Well, they have me as Katie 
Tse on my column, but in the list of contributors 
I’m ‘Katie Hopkins.’” He looked slightly weary 
of this conversation. “Just look for the cartoon 
rabbit” Dad said.

 And so that was my run-in with the law last 
weekend. Officer Ford, if you’re reading this, 
I promise to never break and enter into my 
neighbors’ house again without their provision 
of the pass code. To my neighbors on [Grove], 
my apologies to you and Sprinkles, I’m sure it 
would’ve been a great walk! 


HAPPY BIRTHDAY! ….July Birthdays 

Nina Bartolai, Mary Lou Caldwell, Louise Neiby, Eunice Banis, Betty Hansen, 
Christine Durfort, Shahrzad Azrani, Jeanne Borgedahl, Janet Cox, Dorothy 
Montgomery, Bess Pancoska, Janet Swanson, Linda Thunes, Barbara Watson, Pat 
Alcorn, Karma Bell, Alice Clark, Dorothy Jerneycic, and Betty Dos Remedios. 
* To add your name to this distinguished list, please call the paper at 626.355.2737. YEAR of birth 

not required but you must be over 60. 

ACTIVITIES: Unless listed differently, all activities are at the 
Hart Park House (Senior Center) 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre

 YWCA San Gabriel Valley - Intervale Senior Cafe 

Seniors 60 years of age and up can participate in the YWCA Intervale daily lunch program held 
at the Hart Park House Senior Center. Meals are served Monday through Friday at 12:00 pm 
and participants are encouraged to arrive by 11:45 am. Meals are a suggested donation of $3.00 
for seniors 60 and over or $5.00 for non-senior guests. Daily reservations are necessary, space is 
limited. Please reserve your lunch by calling 626-355-0256. 

Hawaiian and Polynesian Dance Class: Every Tuesday morning from 10:00 - 11:00am. Join 
instructor Barbara Dempsey as she instructs you in the art of hula. 

Bingo: Every Tuesday beginning at 1:00pm. Cards are only $0.25 each! Everyone is welcome to 
join. May be cancelled if less than 5 people. 

Free Blood Pressure Testing: 2nd Tuesday of the month from 11am to 12pm. No appt. is 

Brain Games: Thursday, June 16, 10:30 - 11:30am. Improve your memory and strengthen your 
brain. Activities facilitated by senior volunteers. 

Free Legal Consultation: Wednesday, June 15th from 10:30am to Noon. Attorney Lem 
Makupson is available for legal consultation. He specializes in Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Estates, 
and Injury. Appointment are required by calling 626-355-7394. 

Sing-A-Long: Music brings joy to the soul. Come join us Thursday, June 9, 10:30 - 11:30am. No 
music skills needed! This month: “Silly Folk Songs”. 

Balance Class: Monday, June 20, 11:00 - 11:45am with Paul Hagen. A variety of balance exercises 
are practiced; all ability levels are encouraged and welcomed. 

Chair Yoga: Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:00 to 11:45 am. A suggested donation of $5 at one 
of the classes is requested, but is not required. 

Case Management: Meets the 2nd Thursday of the month. Case Management services are 
provided by the YWCA and provide assistance in a variety of areas. Appointments are required 
and can be scheduled by calling the HPH Office at 626-355-7394. 

Birthday Celebrations: Every second Thursday of the month at the Hart Park House. The free 
birthday cake is provided by the Sierra Madre Civic Club. 

Game Day: Every Thursday starting at 12:00pm. (Please note the time change.) A regular group of 
seniors play poker. Other games available for use. 

Free Strength Training Class: Every Friday from 12:45pm to 1:30pm with Lisa Brandley. The 
class utilizes light weights for low impact resistance training. All materials for the class are 

Senior Club: Every Saturday at the Hart Park House Senior Center. Brown bag lunch at 11:30am. 
Club meeting at noon. Bingo 12:30-3:30pm. Annual Membership is only $10.00. 

Lunch and Learn - Thursday, June 23 - 12:30 - 1:00pm 

 Did you know 1 out of 5 people 65 or older is eligible for a SilverSneakers membership! This 
active adult wellness program is offered through many Medicare plans. Increase your energy 
and your overall well-being is possible with SilverSneakers. A representative from Healthways 
SilverSneakers will give a brief presentation about this wonderful benefit and find out if your 
health plan offers the SilverSneakers Fitness program. If you are interested in having lunch with 
the Senior Lunch Café before the presentation please call 626-355-0256 to make a reservation. 




Date: Wednesday, July 20
Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm
Meeting Location: Hart Park House
Cost: $17.00 (Does not include lunch) 
Description: Ride in style in the enclosed Lake 
Arrowhead Queen paddlewheel boat. Experience the beauty and excitement of a narrated tour 
of Lake Arrowhead aboard the elegant Arrowhead Queen. The splendor and serenity of Lake 
Arrowhead’s lush forest, sparkling water and blue skies glide by, as you sit back and enjoy close-up 
of exquisite lakefront homes and learn about the fascinating history of the lake. Lunch is on your 
own around Lake Arrowhead Village. Participants should bring money for lunch and souvenirs. 
Level of walking: Medium. 
Please call the Hart Park House 626-355-7394. 


SENIOR CINEMA • 1st & 3rd Wednesday Shown at the Hart Park House Senior Center 

MR. HOLMES (2015) 

An aged, retired Sherlock Holmes deals with early dementia as he tries to remember both his final 
case and a mysterious woman whose memory haunts him. He also befriends a fan, the young son 
of his housekeeper, who wants him to work again. Starring Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Hiroyuki 
Sanada. Start time: 1:00pm (run time 1h 44m). 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: