Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, September 26, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 10


Mountain View News Saturday, September 26, 2020 



Sadly, the owner 
is in hospice 
and the family is 
unable to care for 
this well-behaved 
sweetheart, born 
2013. Our dog 
coordinator says: 
Princess just had a vet visit to check her out and she 
is in perfect health, weighing in at only 16 pounds. 
From what I know, she is a little snuggle bunny. 
There are no cats in the family, due to allergies but 
I’m told they were feeding a stray in the yard and 
Princess showed no interest in chasing it. She is not a big barker - will bark when someone 
comes to the door or if someone comes into the yard (just like she supposed to do, right?). She 
is spayed, housebroken, has all her shots. Just sounds like the ideal pet. She is physically located 
in Moreno Valley but someone would be glad to bring her to Pasadena or wherever to be met. 
Please Share! Adoption information is on our website’s Adoption Procedures page, and here 
is the application:…. Thank you.


[Nyerges is the author of “Til Death Do Us Part?” a book about death and the many ways 
to deal with the death of a pet or loved one. The book is available as a Kindle download, 
or from the Store at]

When a loved one dies, the close survivors often express regret that they didn’t 
spend more time with the departed, or tell them that they loved them. Time 
flies, of course, and life always presents us with so many things to do. It’s easy 
to put off what’s important in life.

I also deeply love and value my pets, and have always considered them very much a part of the 
family. As a child, I remember when our family dog Pariah was old and sick. I could no longer 
walk him, but I would go into the back yard to pet him and feed him. Then one day when I came 
home from school, my father told me that he “took care of” Pariah. “What? Where is he?” I exclaimed. 
My father calmly told me that the local pet hospital “euthanized” Pariah. “What does 
that mean?” my teenage-self replied. “Does that mean he’ll be home soon?”

“No,” my mother chimed in with a somber tone. “The doctor put him to sleep. He was dying.” My 
mother tried to hide her tears. I was shocked, and ran to my room.

I was stunned! How could they do that.

Later, after my father was asleep, my mother – who grew up on a farm – explained that she used 
to see animals die all the time. “We just tried to make them comfortable,” she told me. “Animals 
know they are dying. They usually want to be around their people to feel safe, and not in a cold 
hospital where they don’t know anyone.”

That was her way of telling me that she didn’t agree with my father’s decision. I was sad for a long 
time, and vowed that I would never again do that to any pet of mine – and I’ve kept that vow life-
long, despite the inconveniences that come with assisting a person or pet in death. I’ve watched 
pets – cats, dogs, one pig – get old, stiff, and slow, and then they find a spot to go and die. I’ve 
learned to accept this as part of The Way.

I was saddened by what a friend recently told me. His father, who lives alone, has had a cat for 
over 10 years. The cat became sick and old and was on its deathbed. The father – in his 80s – now 
seemed indifferent to this animal that once was a close friend. He wanted the cat to be taken to 
a vet and “put to sleep.” Fortunately, the cat died in peace on its bed in its home. But I was saddened 
that a person could be such a fair-weather friend because the dear pet was now dying.

All of life is precious, and we need not push the death process. It comes quick enough. Nor should 
we fear death.

I think the reason that so many people fear death, and want dying people out of sight-out of 
mind, is because they cannot get into the shoes of the dying person. The dying person usually 
wants to be around the people who they were close to in life and not in a sterile hospital. The current 
Covid-19 situation has certainly not helped in this regard.

(Yes, I know all situations are different, and sometimes the family simply cannot deal with the 
demands and pressures of the dying person).

The fact that we have grown so far from this very basic tenet shows how far we have strayed from 
out most fundamental roots. 

Pet of the Week

How is such a cute kitten still waiting for his forever 
home? Five-month-old Lentil is as adorable as any 
kitten and loves to lounge around and show off his pink 
toe beans. He’s also a big fan of toys and is very active. 
When he first came to us he was a little shy, but now 
he enjoys petting and being around people. Although 
it might take him a little time to come out of his shell 
around new humans, with a little patience, this guy will 
love you! This handsome guy is a true undiscovered gem 
of Pasadena Humane, so adopt him before someone else 

 The adoption fee for cats is $90. All cat adoptions 
include spay or neuter, microchip, and age-appropriate 

 New adopters will receive a complimentary health-
and-wellness exam from VCA Animal Hospitals, as 
well as a goody bag filled with information about how to care for your pet.

 View photos of adoptable pets at and make an appointment 
for a virtual adoption consultation. Adoptions are by appointment only.

 Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters by 
phone calls or email.



Although you may 
have just filed your 
2019 income taxes in 
July, now is the time to 
start thinking about 
your 2020 return due 
next April. While it’s 
always a good idea to 
be proactive when it 
comes to tax planning, it’s particularly important this year.

In addition to annual updates for inflation, the Coronavirus 
Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act 
provides individual taxpayers with several new tax breaks, 
most of which will only be available this year. The sooner 
you learn about the different forms of tax-savings available, 
the more time you will have to take advantage of them.

Here are 6 ways your 2020 return will differ from prior 

1.Waived RMDs

 You are typically required to take an annual required minimum 
distribution (RMD) from your IRA, 401(k), or other 
tax-deferred retirement account starting in the year when 
you turn 72, but the CARES Act temporarily waived the 
RMD requirement for 2020. The waiver also applies if you 
reached age 70. in 2019, but waited to take your first RMD 
until 2020, as allowed under the SECURE Act. 

 RMDs generally count as taxable income, so taking this 
waiver means that you may have lower taxable income in 
2020 and therefore owe less income taxes for 2020.

 However, there are a number of factors to consider, including 
the state of the market and your living expenses, 
when deciding whether or not to waive your RMDs. Given 
this, consult with your tax professional before making your 
final decision.

2.Higher standard deduction

If you do not itemize deductions, you can use the standard 
deduction to reduce your taxable income. Trump’s 
tax reform legislation nearly doubled the standard deduction 
starting in 2018, and it has increased even more for 
inflation since then. For 2020, the new standard deduction 
amounts include the following:

$12,400 for single filers

$24,800 for those who are married filing jointly

$18,650 for people filing as a head of household

3.Higher contribution limits for certain retirement

 Depending on the type of retirement account you are invested 
in, the maximum amount you can contribute may 
have increased this year. The contribution limit for a 401(k) 
or similar workplace-retirement plan has increased from 
$19,000 in 2019 to $19,500 in 2020. If you are 50 or older 
in 2020, the 401(k) catch-up contribution limit is $6,500, 
up from $6,000. 

 On the other hand, the amount you can contribute to a 
traditional IRA remains the same for 2020: $6,000, with 
a $1,000 catch-up limit if you’re 50 or older. However, if 
you made too much money to contribute to a Roth IRA 
last year, the maximum income limits for contributing to 
a Roth have increased, so you may be able to contribute 
in 2020.

In 2020, eligibility to contribute to a Roth IRA starts to 
phase out at $124,000 for single filers and $196,000 for 
married couples filing jointly. Those phase-out limits are 
up from 2019, which started at $122,000 for single individuals 
and $193,000 for married couples. 

4.New charitable deduction

 In most years, you are only able to deduct charitable donations 
on your income tax return when you itemize deductions. 
However, the CARES Act included a provision 
to allow everyone to claim up to a $300 “above-the-line” 
deduction for charitable contributions, if you take the 
standard deduction in 2020. This change was designed to 
encourage people to donate money to charity to help with 
COVID-19 relief efforts.

5.Adoption credit changes

 If you adopted a child this year, you can claim a higher tax 
credit on your 2020 return to cover your adoption-related 
expenses such as adoption fees, court and attorney costs, 
and travel expenses. The maximum credit amount for 2020 
is $14,300, which is an increase of $220 from last year.

6.New rules for early withdrawals from retirement

 If your finances were seriously impacted by the coronavirus, 
you may be in dire need of funds to cover your expenses. 
Thanks to new rules under the CARES Act, you now 
have more flexibility to make an emergency withdrawal 
from tax-deferred retirement accounts in 2020, without 
incurring the normal penalties.

 Ordinarily, permanent withdrawals from traditional IRAs 
or 401(k) accounts are taxed at ordinary income rates in 
the year the funds were taken out. And pulling out money 
before age 59 1/2 would also typically cost you a 10% 

 But thanks to the CARES Act, you can avoid the 10% 
penalty (if under 59 1/2) on up to $100,000 in coronavirus-
related distributions (CRDs) from your retirement 
account. You are also allowed to spread such distributions 
over three years to reduce the tax impact. Or better yet, 
you can opt to put this money back into your retirement 
account—also within three years—and avoid paying taxes 
on the money all together.

That said, emergency withdrawals are only available to 
those individuals with a valid COVID-19-related reason 
for early access to retirement funds. These reasons include:

Being diagnosed with COVID-19

Having a spouse or dependent diagnosed with 

Experiencing a layoff, furlough, reduction in hours, or 
inability to work due to COVID-19 or lack of childcare 
due to COVID-19

Have had a job offer rescinded or a job start date delayed 
due to COVID-19

Experiencing adverse financial consequences due to an 
individual or the individual’s spouse’s finances being affected 
due to COVID-19

Closing or reducing hours of a business owned or operated 
by an individual or their spouse due to COVID-19

Because early withdrawals can negatively impact your retirement 
savings down the road, if you are looking to take 
advantage of this provision, you should consult with your 
financial advisor first. Also note that employers are not required 
to participate in this provision of the CARES Act, 
so you’ll also need to check with your plan administrator 
to see if it’s available at your workplace.

Maximize tax-savings for 2020

While the deadline for filing your 2020 income taxes isn’t 
until April 15, 2021, with all of the new COVID-19 legislation, 
the earlier you start planning your taxes, the better. 
Let me know if you need support in clarifying how these 
new changes will affect your return and to implement strategies 
to maximize your tax savings for 2020 and beyond.

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

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 626.355.4000 or visit www. for more information.

All Things By Jeff Brown


It’s been six months since Zach got Covid, and he hasn’t yet recovered. Zach, a previously fit, 
healthy 33 year old attorney who’s the son of two good friends was never admitted to a hospital 
because of an acute shortage of ICU beds. But over two months of coronavirus hell, he developed 
pneumonia, struggled to breath, coughed constantly, shivered under three blankets, and barely 
slept or ate. His chest felt like it was on fire. 

“There wasn’t an inch of my body(truly)that wasn’t in excruciating pain” he recounted in a 
Facebook post last week. Despite sophisticated medical care and an endless battery of tests, 
his chest still aches, he’s breathless after a short walk and he’s too weak to work. Zach is one 
of a largely invisible legion of “long-haulers”-covid survivors who continue to suffer a host of 
mystifying maladies. Studies suggest that about three-quarters of those who get sick remain ill for 
months. No one knows if and when long-haulers will return to their pre-Covid selves. “for now, 
this is my new normal” Zach said.

Whenever I see people highly congregating without masks or social distancing, I think Zach and a 
younger member of The Week’s staff who is a long-hauler. Many younger Americans falsely assume 
that because most of the people Covid kills are over 70, they are safe.. In reality, the coronavirus 
makes some younger people very sick for reasons no one fully understands;Covid roulette is a 
high-risk game. Long-haulers like Zach would tell you that this nasty virus is not “a little flu” and 
that you don’t want it inside your body, attacking cells in your blood vessels,lungs,heart and even 
the brain. President Trump would have told you that, too, if you were speaking to him privately. 

The virus is “easily transmissible” and “a killer.” Trump told Bob Woodward back in April. “This 
rips you apart” That’s no lie. William Falk, Editor-in-chief of The Week

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