Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, May 19, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:2




Mountain Views-News Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Jeff’s Book Pics By Jeff Brown


BETTER by Jon Meacham

Pulitzer Prize–winning 
author Jon Meacham helps 
us understand the present 
moment in American politics 
and life by looking back at 
critical times in our history 
when hope overcame division 
and fear.Our current climate 
of partisan fury is not new, 
Meacham shows us how 
what Abraham Lincoln called the “better angels of 
our nature” have repeatedly won the day. Painting 
surprising portraits of Lincoln and other presidents, 
including Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, 
Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry 
S. Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. 
Johnson, and illuminating the courage of such 
influential citizen activists as Martin Luther 
King, Jr., early suffragettes Alice Paul and Carrie 
Chapman Catt, civil rights pioneers Rosa Parks 
and John Lewis, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and 
Army-McCarthy hearings lawyer Joseph N. Welch, 
Meacham brings vividly to life turning points in 
American history. He writes about the Civil War, 
Reconstruction, and the birth of the Lost Cause; the 
backlash against immigrants in the First World War 
and the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s; 
the fight for women’s rights; the demagoguery of 
Huey Long and Father Coughlin and the isolationist 
work of America First in the years before World War 
II; the anti-Communist witch-hunts led by Senator 
Joseph McCarthy; and Lyndon Johnson’s crusade 
against Jim Crow. Each of these dramatic hours in 
our national life have been shaped by the contest to 
lead the country to look forward rather than back, to 
assert hope over fear—a struggle that continues even 
now.While the American story has not always—or 
even often—been heroic, we have been sustained 
by a belief in progress even in the gloomiest of 
times. In this inspiring book, Meacham reassures 
us, “The good news is that we have come through 
such darkness before”—as, time and again, Lincoln’s 
better angels have found a way to prevail.


by Emma Seppala

In This book founder of 
Fulfillment Daily and science 
director of the Center for 
Compassion and Altruism 
Research and Education at Stanford University 
Emma Seppälä draws upon the latest scientific 
research on resilience, willpower, compassion, 
positive stress, creativity, and mindfulness to reveal 
the connection between happiness and success, and 
how to achieve both. Featuring practical strategies 
we can use in our daily lives, The Happiness Track 
will show you the fulfilling, rewarding, and anxiety-
free life that is within your reach.


From the bestselling author 
of Everything I Never Told 
You, this riveting novel 
that traces the intertwined 
fates of the picture-perfect 
Richardson family and 
the enigmatic mother and 
daughter who upend their 
lives.In Shaker Heights, a 
placid, progressive suburb 
of Cleveland, everything is 
planned – from the layout 
of the winding roads, to 
the colors of the houses, to 
the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. 
And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena 
Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by 
the rules.Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and 
single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble 
with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house 
from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become 
more than tenants: all four Richardson children are 
drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries 
with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the 
status quo that threatens to upend this carefully 
ordered community.When old family friends of the 
Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American 
baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically 
divides the town--and puts Mia and Elena on 
opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, 
Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s 
past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and 
devastating costs. Little Fires Everywhere explores 
the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, 
and the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the 
danger of believing that following the rules can 
avert disaster.Named a Best Book of the Year by: 
People, The Washington Post,Esquire, Southern 
Living, The Daily Beast, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, 
NPR, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Audible, 
Goodreads,Book of the Month, Kirkus Reviews, and 
many more! The 3 reviews and from Amazon.Com


Your children are your pride and joy. It is no surprise 
that at some point or another, every parent likely 
becomes concerned about who will care for a minor 
child or children if one or both parents die or are 
incapacitated. From a financial perspective, many 
parents turn to life insurance in an effort to take care 
of their family in the event of death. While it is true 
that life insurance is a particularly helpful financial 
tool to protect your loved ones, it is just as important 
to consider how to leave the proceeds to your minor 
children. Beyond this, you should also consider how to 
incorporate your retirement money (IRAs and 401(k)s) 
into your overall estate plan.

 Once you decide to purchase life insurance you will 
name a beneficiary of the death benefits. You also name 
a beneficiary on your retirement accounts. But, if you 
fail to have a system in place and your children are 
minors at the time they inherit these assets, the court 
will appoint a conservator to “watch over” a minor 
person’s money. This process requires attorneys’ fees, 
court proceedings, supervision from the court, and will 
generally limit investment options -- all costs and delays 
that will not help your children, but rather cost them 
a significant percentage of their inheritance. Another 
downside? Whatever’s left when the child turns 18 will 
be handed over, without any guidance or boundaries. 
This can impact college financial aid opportunities 
as well as open a ready opportunity for irresponsible 
spending that most parents would never intend.

How To Leave Assets?

 There are several ways in which you can structure 
your life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and 
overall estate plan to benefit your minor children in the 
most streamlined way possible. 

 First, instead of naming minor children as 
beneficiaries, use a children’s trust to manage and use 
the money for the benefit of your children. This lets you 
designate someone you think will manage the money 
well, rather than leaving it to the whims of the court. 

 Second, select and name a guardian to handle the 
day-to-day care for your children. This person can 
be different than the person managing in the money, 
which can sometimes work well depending on the 
amounts involved and the different skill sets needed to 
manage money versus raise children.

 Third, if you have a living trust, make sure you have 
properly funded the trust and aligned your retirement 
assets with the plan. If you do not yet have a trust, 
consider the benefits of one over will-based planning. 
Both types of plans will allow you to designate how 
much and when your children will receive the money, 
but a trust-based plan will allow you to do so without 
court involvement.

Benefits of a Trust

 Generally, parents list a minor child as the secondary 
or contingent beneficiary on life insurance and 
retirement accounts after first naming the surviving 
spouse as a primary beneficiary. This may work, as long 
as everyone dies in the “right” order and at the “right” 
time. But, it’s a gamble, and providing structure through 
a trust for these inheritances is a vastly superior option. 
Unlike guardianship or custodian accounts, where the 
proceeds must be handed over once the minor(s) turns 
a certain age, you can specify at which age your child 
receives the proceeds. This allows you to specifically 
designate how the money is to be used, so it will be 
available for important life events, while protecting 
your children from reckless spending. Ultimately you 
have more control with a trust, and your customized 
plan will provide the best protection for your family.

 If you have any questions about how to leave 
assets to your minor children -- whether it is a life 
insurance policy, a retirement account, or any other 
asset -- contact us today so we can help you explore the 
options available to your family, determine what tax 
implications will result, and advise you on the best 
structure that will protect your family’s needs.

 Dedicated to empowering your family, building 
your wealth and defining your legacy,

A local attorney and father, Marc Garlett is on a 
mission to help parents protect what they love most. 
His office is located at 55 Auburn Avenue, Sierra 
Madre, CA 91024. Schedule an appointment to 
sit down and talk about ensuring a legacy of love 
and financial security for your family by calling 
626.587.3058 or visit for 
more information.



The Pennyroyal Players will entertain the Retired Teachers on June 8.

The California Retired Teachers’ Association #71 
(CalRTA) will get a brief but vivid history lesson 
through song and story when the Pennyroyal 
Players of Palos Verdes present a “Romp Through 
the Revolutionary War.” Clad in period costumes 
and playing period instruments, the Players will 
entertain with “Yankee Doodle” and other songs that 
were morale-builders for the colonist armies. The 
performance takes its audience through the opening 
firing shot of the war to the signing of the Declaration 
of Independence over the British and finally the treaty 
of peace. 

 Together since 2003, the award-winning Pennyroyal 
Players have given over 1,000 performances of this 
musical and several others, including “Piecin’ It 
Together,” a story of the Western settlers told through 
the background of quilts. CalRTA #71 had the 
pleasure of seeing the quilt performance several years 

 The CalRTA #71 meeting will take place on Friday, 
June 8 at 11:30 am at the Senior Center Building in 
Arcadia Park (county park), 405 W. Santa Anita Ave., 
Arcadia, next to the Lawn Bowling Greens. The cost 
of the luncheon for members is $12. As an alternative 
to the hot meal of barbecued chicken, a tuna salad 
is available. For luncheon reservations, please call 
John Gera at (626) 286-0714 by June 1. The cost of 
the luncheon for those who pay at the door without 
reservations is $13.

 Membership in the California Retired Teachers’ 
Association is open to all retired educators, as well as 
to current educators and to any others interested in 
joining this active group. CalRTA’s motto is “Your 
Partner in Pension Protection.”


Told with humor and with important resonances to today, The Immigrant is based on a true story of a 
young Jew who fled the pogroms of Czarist Russia in 1909 and pushed his banana cart into the tiny Baptist 
community of Hamilton, Texas. Given shelter by a childless older couple, he sent for his wife, raised a 
family, and made this town his home. A moving story of parents 
and children, newcomers and natives, Christians and Jews, and the 
realization of the American Dream. Learn more and buy tickets at

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