Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, November 21, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 11


Mountain View News Saturday, November 21, 2020 



HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …November Birthdays*

Flo Mankin, Alberta Curran, Carmela Frontino, Kathy Wood, Lena Zate, Joe 
Pergola, Janice Kacer, Valerie Howard, “Mike” Ruggles, Joan Ruggles, Lois 
Stueck, Jean Wood, Shirley Yergeau, Pat Krok, Irene Nakagawa, Anna Ross, Mary 
Steinberg, Mary Bowser, Susan Clifton, Mary Higgins, Kim Buchanan, Leigh 
Thach and Sue Quinn. * To add your name to this distinguished list, please call the 
paper at 626.355.2737. YEAR of birth not required

Dear Savvy Senior:

With my local Social Security offices being closed due to 
COVID-19, what is the best way to apply for my Social 
Security retirement benefits? Approaching 62

Dear Approaching,

Because of the pandemic, all Social Security field offices across the country have been closed since 
March, so you can’t just walk-in, talk to a counselor and apply for benefits in person right now. But 
there are other ways to claim your benefits that are much easier and quicker. Here’s what you should 

How to Apply?

The easiest and most convenient way to apply for your Social Security benefits during the pandemic 
is to do it yourself online at It usually takes around 15 minutes to complete the 
application, as long as you’ve gathered all of the required information and documentation (more on 
that at the bottom of the column). You can also save your application as you go, so you can take a 
break at any time.

If your situation is complicated or you’re uncomfortable using the Internet to apply, you can have a 
Social Security employee assist with the process via telephone. To make an appointment call 800-772-
1213. (If you’re hearing impaired, you can call 800-325-0778.) The phones are monitored Monday 
through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. At the time of your appointment, the representative will call you.

If you start to complete the online application form but find that it’s too confusing or complicated, call 
the agency and set up a phone appointment.

Once you have submitted your application, a representative may contact you with updates or questions 
about your application. You can also check the status of your application by signing in to your 
“my Social Security” account at

When to Apply?

You should file one or two months before you want benefits to begin, but if you’re the worrying type, 
you can do it up to three or four months before. It takes a little time to process the paperwork, so 
by putting in your application a few months early, you can fix any problems that come up without it 
interfering with your starting date.

It’s also worth noting that if you start receiving your Social Security retirement benefits before age 65, 
you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, and you’ll receive your Medicare 
card about three months before your 65th birthday. It will include instructions to return it if you have 
work coverage that qualifies you for late enrollment.

But if you decide to delay your retirement benefits, you’ll need to sign up just for Medicare at age 65, 
which you can also do at or over the phone at 800-772-1213.

Need Information

In order to apply for Social Security benefits online or over the phone, you’ll need to be able to document 
some information about your identity and work history. So before applying, have the following 
information handy:

• Your Social Security number.

• Your birth certificate (original or certified).

• Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not born in the United States.

• A copy of your U.S. military service papers if you had military service before 1968.

• A copy of your W-2 forms and/or self-employment tax return for last year.

• Your bank information (including your account number and the bank routing number)
where you want your benefits direct deposited to.

For a complete checklist of what you’ll need to complete your application, see

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.


CHAIR YOGA Every Monday and Wednesday, 10-10:45 am Chair yoga with Paul is coming back! Class will 
begin on Monday, August 10th and will be held in the Covered Pavilion in Memorial Park in front of the Senior 
Center. Please join us for some gentle stretching, yoga, balance exercise and overall relaxa-tion. Class size is limited 
so please call 264-8923 to reserve your spot. 

HAWAIIAN AND POLYNESIAN DANCE CLASS Every Friday, 10-10:45 am Class will also meet in the Cov-
ered Pavilion in Memorial Park in front of the Senior Center. Join the class with instructor Barbara as she leads 
you through the art of Hula. Please call 264-8923 with any questions. 

Classes will maintain a distance of 6 ft between participants. ALL participants must be wearing masks for the 
duration of the class. All equipment used will be sanitized after each use before it is stored. Each participant is 
responsible for providing their own water, masks and needed equipment or sup-plies for each class. Please call the 
Community Services Department at 355-5278 with any questions or concerns.


Wednesday, October 21, 11:00 am. Please join me as we try our hands at making Wooden Owl Orna-ments. This 
will be a new type of program as we create our masterpieces via Zoom to ensure all of our safety. I will have all the 
supplies individually packaged and ready for pickup on Monday, October 19th pickup will be between 10:00 am-
2:00 pm. I will have enough supplies for 10 participants. Reservations are required so please call 355-5278 x 704 
to secure your spot. Please note that this is an ONLINE class that will be held via Zoom. We will not be meeting 
in the Hart Park House Senior Center.


 Do you have any ideas for programming? Is there a class or club you would like to see in our Senior Community? 
Please call or email Lawren Heinz with ideas or questions. 626-355-5278 x 704

 City staff are monitoring email communication daily, and although employees are minimizing direct engagement 
and interfacing less with the community, please note that voice messages, emails, and social media responses are 
being addressed in the most efficient and timely manner. If at any time additional information is needed, please 
contact City Hall Administrative Services at (626) 355-7135, Monday-Thursday from 7:30a – 5:30p, as they are 
taking messages and e-mailing the appropriate per-son. For messages that may trickle in otherwise, please note 
our team is remotely checking voicemail daily at the Community Services Department, (626) 355-5278 x702.


The City of Sierra Madre is following these procedures to provide current communication in light of COVID-19 
and keep the Senior Community and families informed of essential information and resources. City staff are 
monitoring email communication daily, and although employees are minimizing direct engagement and practicing 
social distancing in the community, please note that voice messages, emails, and social media responses are 
being addressed in the most efficient and timely manner.

If at any moment additional information is needed, please contact City Hall Administrative Services at (626) 355-
7135, Monday-Thursday from 7:30a – 5:30p, as they are taking messages and e-mailing the appropriate person.

 For messages that may trickle in otherwise, please note our team is remotely checking voicemail daily at the 
Community Services Department, (626) 355-5278 x702.

 Community Services Department will continue email communication with Senior residents and aging community 

 If you know of family members or neighbors who may benefit from accessing information electronically, and 
to receive the department’s Seniors Newsletter via email but may not otherwise have been included on an email 
group list, please send your request with email address to the following team members: Lawren Heinz Lheinz@ and Clarissa Lowe

 City Social Media will continue via Facebook as well as Instagram, and information sharing will include updates 
as details becomes available.

Mater Dolorosa - Sierra Madre Meal Pick-Up Program provides seal-packaged frozen meals, 5-per person 
every Thursday, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. at Hart Park House Senior Center 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. Donations 
are accepted. Call (626) 355-5278; x702 or 704. YWCA Intervale Meal Program - Effective 
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

YWCA has transitioned their distribution of take home meals at the Sierra Madre Hart Park House 
Senior Center to a home-delivery meal program. Participants previously reserved for meal pick-up 
as of Wednesday, 3/25/20 were informed that they would begin to have their meals delivered to their 
homes, beginning Wednesday, April 1, 2020 until further notice.




A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder


Last week in part one [
overlook-these-4-updates-to-your-estate-plan-part-1/], we discussed 
the first two changes you should make to your plan if you’re getting divorced: 
updating your beneficiary designations and power of attor-ney 
documents. Here in part two, we’ll cover the final updates to consider. 

3.Create a new will

Creating a new will is not something that can wait until after your divorce. In fact, you should create
a new will as soon as you decide to get divorced, since once divorce papers are filed, you may not be
able to change your will. And because most married couples name each other as their executor and the 
beneficiary of their estate, it’s important to name a new person to fill these roles as well.

When creating a new will, rethink how you want your assets divided upon your death. This most likely 
means naming new beneficiaries for any assets that you’d previously left to your future ex and his or 
her family. Keep in mind that California has community-property laws that entitle your surviving 
spouse to a certain percentage of the marital estate upon your death, no matter what your will dictates. 
So if you die before the divorce is final, you probably won’t be able to entirely disinherit your surviving 
spouse through the new will.

Yet, it’s almost certain you wouldn’t want him or her to get everything. With this in mind, you should 
create your new will as soon as possible once divorce is inevitable to ensure the proper individuals inherit 
the remaining percentage of your estate should you pass away while your divorce is still ongoing.

4.Amend your existing trust or create a new one

If you have a revocable living trust, you’ll want to review and update it, too. In addition to re-considering 
what assets your soon-to-be-ex spouse should receive through the trust, you’ll probably want to
replace him or her as successor trustee, if they are so designated.

And if you don’t have a trust in place, you should seriously consider creating one, especially if you 
have minor children. Trusts provide a wide range of powers and benefits unavailable through a will, 
and they’re particularly well-suited for blended families. Given the possibility that both you and your 
spouse will eventually get remarried—and perhaps have more chil-dren—trusts are an invaluable way 
to protect and manage the assets you want your children to inherit.

By using a trust, for example, should you die or become incapacitated while your kids are mi-nors, you 
can name someone of your choosing to serve as successor trustee to manage their money until they 
reach adulthood, making it impossible for your ex to meddle with their inher-itance.

Beyond this key benefit, trusts afford you several other levels of enhanced protection and con-trol not 
possible with a will. For this reason, you should at least discuss creating a trust with an experienced 
lawyer before ruling out the option entirely.

Post-divorce planning

During the divorce process, your primary estate planning goal is limiting your soon-to-be ex’s control 
over your life and assets should you die or become incapacitated before divorce is final. In light of this, 
the individuals to whom you grant power of attorney, name as trustee, designate to receive your 401k, 
or add to your plan in any other way while the divorce is ongoing are of-ten just temporary.

 Once your divorce is final and your marital property has been divided up, you should revisit all of 
your planning documents and update them based on your new asset profile and living situa-tion. From 
there, your plan should continuously evolve as your life changes, especially following major life events, 
such as getting remarried, having additional children, and when close family members pass away.

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 for more information.

It was one of those weeks. It 
seems that every week of mine 
is "one of those weeks." Just 
when I think everything was looking fine, I discovered 
I was looking in the wrong direction. I 
should know better than thinking.

Several problems developed with my vehicle, 
and I had to take it to the garage. Fortunately, 
when I took it in, it wasn't as serious as I thought 
it would be. Of course, I was happy about that, 
and as I drove my vehicle home, I sang one of 
my happy songs.

The next day, the vehicle had the issue again. 
I guess he heard me sing that happy song and 
was going to try to prove me wrong. I should've 
worn a mask while singing so he wouldn't understand 
what I was singing. When am I going 
to learn?

Oh well, it’s one of those weeks.

I took the vehicle back to the garage, and they 
solved the problem very quickly, which made 
me happy. Remembering the last time I brought 
the vehicle home, I did not sing my happy song, 
at least out loud.

When everything goes wrong, it is tough to be 
nice. Having a nice attitude takes a lot of work, 
and I must say it is beyond my pay grade.

It's not that I don't try to be nice, because I do. 
I guess one person's nice is another person's 
naughty. Why is it naughty seems much better 
than nice?

The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage always 
reminds me when I’m going somewhere, “You 
better be nice today!”

I remembered years ago, I asked her to define 
for me what nice really means. I won't do that 
again because she told me her view of being 
nice. I suppose I should have taken notes, but 
I didn't.

After everything that went wrong this week, I 
was very much tempted just to give up. I'm not 
sure what I would give up, but I was tempted to 
go in that direction.

Then things changed.

First off, I got a check from my publisher, which 
I was not expecting. As I drove to the bank to 
deposit the check, I kept from singing my happy 
song just in case my vehicle was listening. But I 
was happy.

When I got back from the bank, my wife saw 
that I was smiling and asked what I was happy 
about. So, being the "nice" person that I am, I 
told her. And she was happy for me.

It was just the beginning of the "nice" attitude 
in my week.

My wife was away for lunch the other day, and so 
I had to get my lunch. I stopped at Wendy's and 
got my lunch, and I have one of those coupons 
for a free Frosty. I used my coupon, and when I 
picked up my food, there were two Frostys.

"Excuse me," I said to the waiter, "I only ordered 
one frosty, but you gave me two."

The person at the window looked at me, smiled, 
and said, "I just wanted to do something nice for 
you. Go ahead, keep it." I smiled back at him 
and thanked him.

When you get something free, and you're not 
expecting it, it really is nice.

Driving home, I was thinking to myself, "How 
can my week get any better?"

It started out bad, but was beginning to change 

As I was thinking about how nice the week was 
going, I decided to celebrate it by getting an Apple 
Fritter. What better way to celebrate a nice 
week? After all, an Apple Fritter eaten without 
my wife's knowledge is a pretty nice deal.

Driving over to where I get my Apple Fritters, I 
had a thought in my mind. What if I could get a 
discount on my Apple Fritter?

The gray cells upstairs started bouncing around, 
and I came up with a plan.

I went in, got my Apple Fritter, and took it to the 
cashier. When I got there, I looked at the cashier 
and said, "If I mention how nice you look today, 
could you give me a discount on my Apple 

For all practical purposes, I never expected a 
discount. I just thought I would make the cashier 
feel a little happy with a customer like me.

I could see quite a bit of strain in the lady at the 
cash register, and I'm sure she's had one of those 
days like I have every once in a while.

She looked at me, smiled (probably the first time 
that day), and said, "That's the nicest thing anybody 
has said to me all day. Sure I can give you 
a discount. In fact, this Apple Fritter is on the 
house. Go ahead and take it.” Then she smiled as 
I walked out the door.

Driving home, I thought about it and that being 
nice sometimes has nice results. Nothing could 
be nicer for me than a free Apple Fritter.

I thought about the words of Jesus, “Give, and it 
shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed 
down, and shaken together, and running over, 
shall men give into your bosom. For with the 
same measure that ye mete withal it shall be 
measured to you again” (Luke 6:38).

After this little incident, I will take more time 
practicing to be nice to the people I meet each 

Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of 
God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34472.

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