Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, June 3, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:10

Mountain Views-News Saturday, June 3, 2017 10 THE GOOD LIFE 

Dear Savvy Senior,
Can you recommend any services that help preretirees 
decide when to start drawing their Social 
Security benefits? My wife and I are approaching 
retirement age and want to carefully weigh our 
options to make sure we’re maximizing our benefits. 

Approaching Retirement 

Dear Approaching,
Deciding when to begin collecting your Social 
Security benefits could be one of the most 
important retirement-income decisions you’ll 
make. The difference between a good decision 
and a poor one could cost you tens of thousands 
of dollars over your retirement, so doing your 
homework and weighing your options now is a 
wise move. 

What to Consider 

As you may already know, you can claim Social 
Security any time between the ages of 62 and 70, 
but each year you wait increases your benefit by 5 
to 8 percent. But there are other factors you need 
to take into account to help you make a good 
decision, like your health and family longevity, 
whether you plan to work in retirement, along 
with spousal and survivor benefits.

To help you weigh your claiming strategies, you 
need to know that Social Security Administration 
claims specialists are not trained or authorized to 
give you personal advice on when you should start 
drawing your benefits. They can only provide 
you information on how the system works under 
different circumstances. To get advice you’ll need 
to turn to other sources. 

Web-Based Help

Your first step in getting Social Security 
claiming strategy advice is to go to
myaccount to get your personalized statement 
that estimates what your retirement benefits will 
be at age 62, full retirement age or when you 
turn 70. These estimates are based on your yearly 
earnings that are also listed on your report. 
Once you get your estimates for both you and 
your wife, there are many online tools you can 
turn to that can compare your options so you can 
make an informed decision. 

Some free sites that offer basic calculations 
include AARP’s Social Security Benefits 

Calculator (,
the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s 
Planning for Retirement tool (ConsumerFinance.
gov/retirement) and SSAnalyze that’s offered by 
United Capital (
But if you want a more thorough analysis 
check out Maximize My Social Security 
( or Social 
Security Choices (,
which both charge $40. These services, which are 
particularly helpful to married couples as well as 
divorced or widowed persons, will run scenarios 
based on your circumstances and show how 
different filing strategies affect the total payout 
over the same time frame. 

Personal Advice 

If you want human help, there are specializedfirms and financial advisors that can advise you too.

One such firm is Social Security Solutions 
(, 866-762-7526).
They offer several levels of web-based and 
personalized service (ranging from $20 to 
$500) including their $125 “Advised” plan that 
runs multiple calculations and comparisons, 
recommends a best course of action in a detailed 
report, and gives you a one-on-one session with 
a Social Security specialist over the phone to 
discuss the report and ask questions. 

Or, you can get help through a financial planner. 
Look for someone who is a fee-only certified 
financial planner (CFP) that charges on an hourly 
basis and has experience in Social Security 
analysis. To find someone, use the National 
Association of Personal Financial Advisors 
online directory at, or try the Garrett 
Planning Network (GarrettPlanningNetwork.
com), which is a network of fee-only advisers that 
charge between $150 and $300 per hour. 

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. 


What has two to three sides, is 
loved by all children, and althoughit moves amazingly fast, never goesanywhere? If you haven’t guessedwhat I’m talking about you mustnot hang around with kids much.

spinners have taken the world

of these, but I don’t think 

by storm!

he shelled out hundreds of 

No doubt you’ve seen 

dollars for it. 

this new trend. It seemed 

 Although spinners feel

to spring up overnight and 

nice in your hand, one

instantly permeated the 

article pointed out that the

whole youth landscape. I first 

bearings quickly become 

became aware of them about 

dirty after frequent use. 

two months ago when one of

The spinner begins to 

my 5th grade students popped

feel “gritty,” has more of a

one on my desk and waited

wobble to its spin, and starts

for me to look impressed.

to slow down. The author 

“Wow. That’s cool. What does 

described how this gradual

it do?” I asked. In response

decline causes some people

he stopped its spinning and

to experience anxiety. They

started it again.

feel compelled to constantly

So, what exactly does afidget spinner do? As the name implies, it spins. But 
that’s not all it does! It can spin on the tip of your 
thumb. It can spin between your thumb and index 
finger. It can spin in your right hand. It can spin in 
your left hand. You get the idea…

What I didn’t realize is that even adults are 
supposedly into this fad. I thought only my 
elementary school students got a kick out of feeling 
plastic or metal whirl around on their skin, but 
there’s a big market for high-end spinners, some 
priced into the hundreds of dollars! Of course 
adults have to justify laying down that kind of cash 
for something 5th grade boys collect. That’s why 

spinners are being repackaged as “stress release toys” 
that “enhance focus,” suitable for treating everything 
from office boredom to ADHD. Some of them are 
made of industrial grade titanium with enough 
ceramic bearings to build a small car. My personal 
favorites are the ones that light up. Even one of 
my kids at school has one 

reassess the quality of theirspinners, thus heightening the stress that the spinnerwas originally meant to relieve! And this is preciselywhy you need to buy a complete spinner cleaning kit.
You owe it to your mental health.

Now, it may sound as if I’m condemning spinnersand people who use them. Nothing could be farther 
from the truth! It’s true, I could come up with a 
hundred things I’d spend time and money on before 
I’d invest in a fidget spinner, but I shouldn’t knock it‘till I’ve tried it. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get just ashooked as my middle school students. Personally,
I’m waiting for them to come out with spinners thatspit fire. That would be cool! 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …June Birthdays* 

Joanne Thrane, Nellie Haynes, Dorothy McKay, Theresa Daley, Donna Doss, Mary 
Carney, Carol Handley, Marilyn McKernan, Pat Fujiwara, John Shier, Beth Smith-
Kellock, Ann Disbrow, Joan Ellison, Anne Montgomery, Trini Ornelas, Martha 
Spriggs, Pat Starkey, Kathleen Coyne, Suzanne Decker, Jacque Persing, Jeanne Peterson 
and Grace Sanders 

* To add your name to this distinguished list, please call the paper at 626.355.2737. 
YEAR of birth not required 

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

Hawaiian & Polynesian Dance Class: Every Tuesday morning from 10a.m.
to 11a.m. Join instructor Barbara Dempsey as she leads you in the art of Hula. 
Bingo: Every Tuesday beginning at 1:00p.m. Cards are only $0.25 each! Everyone is welcome to join.
May be canceled if less than five people. 

Free Blood Pressure Testing: 2nd Tuesday of the month from 11a.m. to 12p.m. No appt. is necessary. 

Brain Games: Thursdays, 10:30a.m. to 11:30a.m., improve your memory and strengthen your 
brain. Activities facilitated by Senior Volunteers. 

Free Legal Consultation: Wednesdays from 10:30a.m. to Noon. Attorney Lem Makupson isavailable for legal consultation. He specializes in Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Estates, and Injury.
Appointments are required by calling 626-355-7394. 

Senior Club: Meets every Saturday at the Hart Park House Senior Center. Brown Bag Lunch at 

Tax Assistance: Every Wednesday beginning on February 1st through April 12th from 1:00p.m.
to 2:00p.m. - Don Brunner is available for income tax consultation. Appointments are required by 
calling 626-355-7394. 

Chair Yoga: Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:00 to 11:45a.m. with Paul Hagen. 3rd Monday of eachmonth, a variety of balance exercises are practiced. All ability levels are encouraged and welcomed! 

*A suggested donation of $5 at one of the classes is requested, but is not required. 

Case Management: 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 Hart Park HouseOffice at 626-355-7394. 

Birthday Celebrations: Every 2nd Thursday of the month at the Hart Park House, share some freebirthday cake provided by the Sierra Madre Civic Club. 

Game Day: Every Thursday starting at 12:00p.m. Come join this group of Seniors in a poker game. 
Other games are offered to all. Please note time change. 

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

Stress, Resilience, Positivity: Finding Balance - by The Kensington Sierra Madre Four Tuesdays,
March 7 - 28th from 2:00 - 4:00p.m. Register by calling 213-821-6919 or 213-821-6908. 


Thursday, May 25th from 10:30a.m. – 11:30a.m. at the Hart Park House! 

Just in time for spring! Join us in making a silk flowers planter. All supplies will be provided. Let’s getcreative... Please call the Hart Park House, 626-355-7394, to make your reservations. 
Invite your friends and family for some arts and crafts fun and take home your planters for the season 

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