Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, November 28, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 11


Mountain View News Saturday, November 28, 2020 



Dear Savvy Senior:

I know there will be a small cost-of-living increase in 
Social Security benefits next year but what about Medicare? 
What will the Medicare Part B monthly premiums 
be in 2021, and when do the surcharges kick in for 
higher income beneficiaries?

Inquiring Senior

Dear Inquiring:

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently announced their cost adjustments for 
2021 and the increases for premiums and out-of-pocket costs for most beneficiaries will be modest. 
But if you’re a high earner, you’ll pay more. Here’s what you can expect starting in January.

Medicare Part B

While Medicare Part A, which pays for hospital care, is premium-free for most beneficiaries, Part B, 
which covers doctor visits and outpatient services does have a monthly premium. Starting in 2021, 
the standard monthly Part B premium will be $148.50, up from $144.60 in 2020. That $3.90 bump 
represents a 2.7 percent increase, which is more than double the most recent Social Security cost-
of-living adjustment which was 1.3 percent.

But if you’re a high earning beneficiary, which makes up about 7 percent of all Medicare recipients, 
you’ll have to pay more. Medicare surcharges for high earners are based on adjusted gross income 
from two years earlier, which means that 2021 Part B premiums are determined by 2019 annual 

So, if your 2019 income was above $88,00 up to $111,000 ($176,000 up to $222,000 for married 
couples filing jointly), your 2021 Part B monthly premium will be $207.90, up from $202.40 in 2020.

Monthly premiums for singles with an income between $111,000 and $138,000 ($222,000 and 
$276,000 for joint filers) will rise from $289.20 to $297. Individuals earning above $138,000 up to 
$165,000 ($276,000 to $330,000 for joint filers) will see their monthly premium increase from $376 
to $386.10.

Those with incomes above $165,000 up to $500,000 ($320,000 to $750,000 for joint filers), you’ll pay 
$475.20 per month in 2021. And single filers with income of $500,000 or more ($750,000 or more 
for joint filers) will pay $504.90 per month next year.

Medicare Part D

If you have a Medicare (Part D) prescription drug plan, the average premium in 2021 will be about 
$30 per month for most beneficiaries. But, again for high earner with annual incomes above $88,000 
($176,000 for joint filers) you’ll pay a $12.30 to $77.10 monthly surcharge on top of your regular 
Part D premiums.

How to Contest Income

Beneficiaries that fall into any of the high-income categories and have experienced certain life-
changing events that have reduced their income since 2019, such as retirement, divorce or the death 
of a spouse, can contest the surcharge. For more information on how to do this, see “Medicare Premiums: 
Rules for Higher-Income Beneficiaries” at

Other Medicare Increases

In addition to the Part B and Part D premium increases, there are other cost increases you should 
be aware of. For example, the annual deductible for Medicare Part B will see a bump from $198 to 
$203 in 2021. The deductible for Medicare Part A, which covers hospital services, will increase from 
$1,408 in 2020 to $1,484 in 2021. There are no surcharges on Medicare deductibles for high earners.

For more information on all the Medicare costs for 2021 visit and click on “2021 
Medicare Costs,” or call 800-633-4227.

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.

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


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

A will is one of the 
most basic estate planning 
tools. While relying 
solely on a will is 
not a suitable option 
for most people, just 
about every estate plan 
includes this key document 
in one form or another. 

 A will is used to designate how you want your assets 
distributed to your surviving loved ones upon your 
death. If you die without a will, state law governs how 
your assets are distributed, which may or may not be in 
line with your wishes.

 That said, not all assets can (or should) be included in 
your will. For this reason, it’s important to understand 
which assets you should put in your will and which assets 
you should include in other planning documents 
like trusts. 

 While you should always consult with an experienced 
planning professional when creating your will, here are 
a few of the different types of assets that should not be 
included in your will. 

1. Assets with a right of survivorship: A will only covers 
assets solely owned in your name. Therefore, property
held in joint tenancy, tenancy by the entirety, and community 
property with the right of survivorship, bypass
your will. These types of assets automatically pass to the 
surviving co-owner(s) when you die, so leaving your
share to someone else in your will would have no effect. 
If you want someone other than your co-owner to
receive your share of the asset upon your death, you will 
need to change title to the asset as part of your estate
planning process.

2. Assets held in a trust: Assets held by a trust automatically 
pass to the named beneficiary upon your death or
incapacity and cannot be passed through your will. This 
includes assets held by both revocable “living” trusts
and irrevocable trusts.

 In contrast, assets included in a will must first pass 
through the court process known as probate before 
they can be transferred to the intended beneficiaries. To 
avoid the time, expense, and potential conflict associated 
with probate, trusts are typically a more effective 
way to pass assets to your loved ones compared to wills. 

 However, because it can be difficult to transfer all of 
your assets into a trust before your death, even if your 
plan includes a trust, you’ll still need to create what’s 
known as a “pour-over” will. With a pour-over will in 
place, all assets not held by the trust upon your death 
are transferred, or “poured,” into your trust through the 
probate process. 

3.Assets with a designated beneficiary: Several different 
types of assets allow you to name a beneficiary to
inherit the asset upon your death. In these cases, when
you die, the asset passes directly to the individual, organization, 
or institution you designated as beneficiary,
without the need for any additional planning.

 The following are some of the most common assets 
with beneficiary designations, and therefore, such assets 
should not be included in your will:

Retirement accounts, IRAs, 401(k)s, and pensions

Life insurance or annuity proceeds

Payable-on-death bank accounts

Transfer-on-death property, such as bonds, stocks, 

 vehicles, and real estate

4.Certain types of digital assets: Given the unique nature 
of digital assets, you’ll need to make special plans
for your digital assets outside of your will. Indeed, a will 
may not be the best option for passing certain digital assets 
to your heirs. And in some cases—including Kindle 
e-books and iTunes music files—it may not even be legally 
possible to transfer the asset via a will, because you 
never actually owned the asset in the first place—you
merely owned a license to use it.

What’s more, some types of social media, such as Facebook 
and Instagram, have special functions that allow
you to grant certain individuals access and/or control of 
your account upon your death, so a will wouldn’t be of
any use. Always check the terms of service for the company’s 
specific guidelines for managing your account
upon your death.

 Regardless of the type of digital asset involved, NEVER 
include the account numbers, logins, or passwords 
in your will, which becomes public record upon your 
death and can be easily read by others. Instead, keep this 
information in a separate, secure location, and provide 
your fiduciary with instructions about how to access it. 

 5. Your pet and money for its care: Because animals are 
considered personal property under the law, you cannot 
name a pet as a beneficiary in your will. If you do,
whatever money you leave it would go to your residuary 
beneficiary (the individual who gets everything not
specifically left to your other named beneficiaries), who
would have no obligation to care for your pet.

It’s also not a good idea to use your will to leave your
pet and money for its care to a future caregiver. That’s
because the person you name as beneficiary would have 
no legal obligation to use the funds to care for your pet.
In fact, your pet’s new owner could legally keep all of the 
money and drop off your furry friend at the local shelter. 

 The best way to ensure your pet gets the love and attention 
it deserves following your death or incapacity is 
by creating a pet trust. A good estate planning attorney 
can help you set up, fund, and maintain such a trust, 
so your furry family member will be properly cared for 
when you're gone.

6.Money for the care of a person with special needs:
There are a number of unique considerations that must 
be taken into account when planning for the care of an 
individual with special needs. In fact, you can easily disqualify 
someone with special needs for much-needed 
government benefits if you don’t use the proper planning 
strategies. To this end, a will is not a suitable way 
to pass on money for the care of a person with special 

 If you want to provide for the care of your child or 
another loved one with special needs, you must create a 
special needs trust. Given these are extremely technical, 
you should always work with an experienced planning 
lawyer to create a special needs trust. 

Don’t take any chances

Although creating a will may seem fairly simple, it’s 
always best to consult with an experienced planning 
professional to ensure the document is properly created, 
executed, and maintained. And as we’ve seen here, 
there are also many scenarios in which a will won’t be 
the right planning option, nor would a will keep your 
family and assets out of court. 

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 yourfamily 
by calling 626.355.4000 or visit for 
more information.


The one thing I don't like is when 
somebody deliberately lies to me. 
Trust me; this has happened quite 
a few times in my life.

Sometimes, by accident, they say something that 
isn't true; they just got their facts mixed up.

Other times, it’s a ploy to deceive me and get something 
from me.

As I often say, if you can’t con me you can’t con 

I must say I have become very suspicious when 
somebody I don’t know promises me something 
“free.” If you follow through with these “free” 
things, it’s like my aunt used to say, “Sonny, there 
ain’t nuthin free.”

I’m sure my aunt would not lie to me.

Don't let this get around, but my opinion is every 
time a politician opens his mouth, he's lying. But 
you didn't hear it from me.

I've had to learn how NOT to lie. It's been challenging, 
but I have been persistent in this goal of 
mine. There have been stumbling, but I have gotten 
up every time and started over again. I don’t lie as 
much as I used to.

Not that I intentionally lie, at least I don’t think so. 
I sometimes get the facts wrong.

Like when I’m talking to the Gracious Mistress of 
the Parsonage. I remember once she interrupt-ed 
me and said, “You’re not lying, are you?”

I was stunned. If there's somebody I'm not going to 
lie to, it is my wife because she will discover the lie 
somewhere down the line. When she discovers the 
lie, there are consequences, as you well know.

I try not to lie; that's why I try not to talk too much. 
When I'm talking, I’m mixing up facts from different 
situations, which ends in confusion. I'm not lying; 
I'm just confused.

The only exception is for fishermen. My uncle, for 
example, was a great fisherman, or so he told us. If 
he caught all the fish he said he caught, there would 
be no fish left in the world. Because he was my uncle, 
I went along with his stories.

Besides that, I don’t think there’s any reason to lie.

Then there are those situations when you're trying 
to do something behind your wife's back, and you 
don't want her to know about it because it's a surprise. 
Have you ever tried surprising your wife?

Around Christmas time is the worst time in the 
world for this kind of thing. It's not that I'm lying 
to her; I just want to surprise her with a Christmas 
gift. I’m trying to hide something from her.

Coming home the other day, I walked into the living 
room, and the Gracious Mistress of the Par-
sonage said, "Where have you been?"

That is the question. It's not where have I been, but 
where in the world am I going? If I tell her where I 
was, she would get the hint because it's Christmas 
time and I’m getting her a present. Is it wrong to 
conceal something like this? Do you think Santa 
would forgive me?

I have a hard time hiding anything from my wife. 
She knows what I’m doing three weeks before I do 

Last year, she asked me where I was, and I fumbled 
around, trying to cover my tracks. I don't think I 
was that good at doing it. When we were opening 
our Christmas presents on Christmas day, she 
opened hers and said, "Oh, that's where you were 
when I ask you where you were." Then she laughed. 
I was relieved.

This year I'm wrestling with a certain situation. I've 
had some physical problems, nothing serious. But 
my wife is the kind of person who sees something 
and is obsessed with trying to fix it. That's a really 
good quality for her. And I appreciate it. Nobody 
can get things done quite like the Gra-cious Mistress 
of the Parsonage.

Often she’ll ask me, “How are you doing?”

I take it as a trick question and reply, "I'm fine; 
thanks for asking." As if that will solve the prob-lem.

Then she sees me go to the basket where we have 
our medicines. I have a pain so I pick up the Tylenol 
and take several out and turn around and guess 
who I see?

“What do you need that for?”

Now, I'm in a pickle. I can't lie, and yet I don't want 
to tell the whole truth. What in the world do I do?

“What? This Tylenol? Oh, I’m taking it in precaution 
of a pain in my knee I might get later this 

Then she said, “Which knee do you have the pain?”

Now I’m in a dill pickle. So, I tell her it’s my right 
knee. I just hope I remember that the next time she 

The next morning as I was walking through the 
kitchen, my wife said, "Do you need some more 
Tylenol for your knee?"

Then she asked “the” question, “Which knee did 
you say it was?”

I can't remember hardly anything, she can remember 
everything, and so I had a 50-50 chance of getting 
it right.

Later that day, I thought of what David said, “Deliver 
my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, and from a 
deceitful tongue.” (Psalm 120:2).

No good comes from lying. My great challenge is to 
acknowledge that I’m lying and then do something 
to correct that.

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