Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, February 27, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 11

Mountain View News Saturday, February 27, 2021 
Mountain View News Saturday, February 27, 2021 

Dear Savvy Senior:
I’ve been told that my two children, ages 14 and 16, 
may be eligible for Social Security when I file for my 
retirement benefits. Is this true? What can you tell me?
Viagra Daddy 

Dear Viagra:
It’s true. If you’re age 62 or older and are still raising young children, there’s a Social Security benefit 
strategy that can put some extra money in your family coffers. 

Here’s how it works. When you file for Social Security retirement benefits, your minor children 
can get money on your work record equaling half of what you would receive at full retirement age, 
now gradually rising from 66 to 67. Even if you were to take a smaller benefit by claiming earlier, 
your kids will still get half of your full-retirement age amount. 

To qualify, your daughter – whether she’s biological, adopted or a stepdaughter – must be unmarried 
and under age 18. Kids that are over 18 but still in high school, can collect too until they 
graduate or turn 19, whichever comes first. (Other rules apply to kids that are disabled.) 

But that’s not all. 

Because one of your children is only 14, your wife (if you’re married) can collect Social Security 
benefits on your work record too, and it doesn’t matter if she’s just 40 years old. The minimum age 
requirements to collect retirement benefits (62) or survivor benefits (60) does not apply when it 
comes to collecting benefits as the caregiver of a young child. The spouse’s benefit, which is also 
worth up to half of your benefit, will stop when your daughter turns 16. 

But note that there are limits to the amount of money that can be paid to a family. The Social Security 
“family maximum payment” is determined by a complex formula and can range from 150 to 
180 percent of your full retirement benefit amount. If the total exceeds that, each person’s benefit, 
except yours, is cut proportionately until it equals the maximum. 

Here’s an example of how that’s figured. Let’s say, for example, that your full retirement age benefit 
is $2,400 per month. That would make your family maximum benefit (according to the Social 
Security formula at roughly $4,200 per month. 

Subtract your $2,400 benefit from the $4,200 family maximum benefit, which leaves $1,800. That’s 
the monthly amount that can be split between your two children – $900 each. If your wife wants 
in on it too, the individual checks are smaller, at $600 a piece, but the family amount is the same. 

You should also know that minor children can collect up to half of a disabled parent’s Social Security 
disability benefit. And if the parent dies, they will get a survivor’s benefit, which is up to 75 
percent of the deceased parent’s basic Social Security benefit. 

To learn more, see the SSA publication (No. 05-10085) “Benefits for Children” at

One Caveat 
Social Security benefits for your kids may not be available before full retirement age if you are still 
working. In 2021, you will lose $1 in benefits for every $2 earned over $18,960, except in the year 
you reach full retirement age. In that case, the earnings limit is $50,520, with $1 in benefits withheld 
for every $3 earned over the limit. 

If you lose your benefits, your dependents also lose theirs. You can recoup those payments later, 
but your kids can’t. 

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit 
Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book. 



Legendary TV and radio 
host, Larry King, died 
on January 23rd, 2021 
at age 87. With a career 
spanning more than half 
a century, Larry became 
the most famous interviewer 
of his generation. 

With his success in the media and the fact he continued 
working long after most people would have retired, 
Larry amassed a fortune estimated to be worth some 
$50 million. In addition to Larry’s fame as a broadcaster, 
he also became equally well known for his numerous 
marriages. Starting at age 19, the media mogul got married 
a total of eight times to seven different women (one 
of them, he married twice). 

Larry also had five children, nine grandchildren and 
four great-grandchildren. With so much money, so 
many spouses, and so many lineal descendants, it was 
practically guaranteed there would be some conflict 
over Larry’s estate following his death. 

However, three factors are sure to make settling his estate 
especially troublesome. 

First, Larry was in the middle of negotiating a divorce 
settlement with his seventh wife, Shawn Southwick 
King, when he passed away. Second, in October 2019, 
Larry created a new handwritten will, which stipulated 
that $2 million of his estate should be equally divided 
among his five children upon his death, yet the document 
makes no mention of his seventh wife. 

And finally, two of the five children—Andy and Chaia 
—named in Larry’s new will died within weeks of one 
another in August 2020, yet it seems Larry failed to 
amend his handwritten will to reflect their deaths. 

Given Larry’s immense wealth and the fact that his 
seventh wife claims they worked with estate planning 
lawyers in the past it’s likely that he had other estate 
planning vehicles, such as trusts, in place to protect and 
pass on some of his assets. But since trusts are private 
and their contents generally aren’t made available to the 
public, we don’t know the full details of Larry’s estate 

That said, in light of his impending divorce, the existence 
of the new handwritten will, and the recent death 
of two of Larry’s children, it’s almost certain that there 
will be a major court fight between Larry’s seventh wife 
and his surviving children over the $2 million in assets 
listed in the new will. In fact, Shawn has already announced 
that she plans to contest the handwritten will. 

Lesson #1: Update your estate plan as soon as divorce 
is inevitable. 
Although Larry attempted to do the right thing by 
creating the new will, he should have taken the time 
to work with legal counsel to properly update his plan 
once he knew he was getting divorced—and ideally before 
the divorce was filed. 

It’s important to keep in mind that some states (including 
California) have community-property laws that 
entitle your surviving spouse to a certain percentage 

of the marital estate upon your death, no matter what 
your plan dictates. So, if you die before the divorce is 
final, as Larry did, you probably won’t be able to entirely 
disinherit your surviving spouse in your will 
or trust. But you can amend your plan to ensure the 
proper individuals inherit the remaining percentage of 
your estate should you pass away while your divorce is 
still ongoing. 

Had Larry worked with his estate planning lawyer to 
draft his new will, rather than writing his own by hand, 
he could have created a much more robust will that 
not only would have stipulated exactly how he wanted 
his share of the marital assets divided among his children 
upon his death, but he also could have prevented 
a number of conflicts inherent with do-it-yourself 

Lesson #2: Work with an experienced estate planning 
lawyer when creating or updating your planning documents, 
especially if you have a blended family.
While it’s always a good idea to have a lawyer help you 
create your planning documents, this is exponentially 
true when you have a blended family like Larry’s. If you 
are in a second (or more) marriage, with children from 
a prior marriage, there’s an inherent risk of dispute because 
your children and spouse often have conflicting 

By creating your own will, even with the help of an on-
line document service, you won’t be able to consider 
and plan ahead to avoid all the potential legal and family 
conflicts that could arise. For example, had Larry 
enlisted the help of an experienced estate planning lawyer 
to create his new will, he could have built in provisions 
that would have made it unlikely that Shawn—or 
anyone else—would contest his will. 

It remains to be seen whether or not Shawn will be able 
to successfully contest the validity of Larry’s new will. 
However, because the new will was created in such an 
informal manner, her case will be a lot stronger than it 
would’ve been had Larry worked with lawyers to formally 
create a new document. And even if Shawn isn’t 
successful in contesting Larry’s new will, the resulting 
litigation will be a lengthy, costly, and needless ordeal 
that will deplete Larry’s estate at the expense of all of 
his heirs. 

Finally, had Larry consulted with an attorney when 
seeking to amend his plan to account for his impending 
divorce, he would have been advised that a will is 
not the ideal planning vehicle for protecting and passing 
on his assets to his children. Instead, Larry could 
have used a trust for this purpose. And while there are 
several types of trusts available, we would have advised 
Larry to create a special type of trust known as a Lifetime 
Asset Protection Trust. 

Using a Lifetime Asset Protection Trust, Larry could 
have not only immediately transferred his share of the 
marital assets to his children upon his death or incapacity, 
without the need for court intervention, but he 
could have also ensured that those assets would transfer 
with airtight protection from common life events 
like divorce, serious illness, lawsuits, and even bankruptcy. 
Best of all, this asset protection would last for 
the lifetime of his designated beneficiaries. 


HAPPY BIRTHDAY! … February Birthdays* 

Tracy Verhoeven, Beatrice DaRe, Cathrine Adde, Hilda Pittman, Anne-Marie 
Stockdale, Susan Henderson, Allie Attay, Ursula El-Tawansy, Gladys Moser, Sylvia 
Lorhan, Ana Ptanski, Winifred Swanson , Janet Gillespie, Marian DeMars, Vickie 
Vernon, Mary Beth Knox, Sharon Lefler. 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 Covered 
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) 3557135, 
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 


For some reason, the last several 
weeks we have been getting 
many visitors at our door. I'm 

not sure if this is a general trend or if it is just 
our door. 
Some of them have been salesmen, religious 
people, scam artists, and a host of other people. 
They only had one goal in mind, and that was to 
get our money.
I guess I have not realized how wealthy I am. 
Everybody wants my money. If they only knew 
how little money I had, they would be running 
away from our house. I can't even get my money 
because I'm not sure where it is. 
This year the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage 
and I will have been married 50 years. I think my 
wife married me for my money, but in the last 
50 years, she has not found any of it. I'll give her 
another 50 years, and then we are going to have 
to reexamine the situation. When she does find 
it, we will take a vacation to Hawaii.
Money we have not, and the more they pester us 
for our money, the more frustration we acquire. 
If they want frustration, we have plenty of that 
and are more than happy to give it to them.
My wife and I are very frugal when it comes to 
money because we do not have that much. But 
the money we do have will stay in our account 
and not be given to somebody who wants to sell 
us an extended car warranty policy. Every time 
they call about that, I have something I want to 
extend to them, and it is not money.
When someone calls on the phone, you can always 
hang up or not even answer it. When somebody 
knocks on your door, you do not have that 
kind of choice. You do not know who is there or 
what they want.
It might be somebody scoping the neighborhood 
for a house to rob. 
Because my wife knows everybody in the neighborhood, 
as soon as someone knocks at our 
door and almost before the door is closed, she 
has texted everybody on the street to be aware of 
someone coming to knock on the door. It is great 
when a neighborhood hangs together.
Once two Jehovah's Witnesses came to our door, 
and I happened to answer it.
They introduced themselves, then I introduced 
myself as a pastor and began a sermon right 
there at the front door. I have 100 sermons in 
my mind ready to use. I kept preaching, and they 
tried to interrupt, but you can never interrupt a 
Before I got to the end of my sermon, they 
turned around and walked away as fast as I have 
ever seen anybody walk away. After all, they 
came to my door.
Then we had several men come by wanting to 

come inside and show us how solar energy could 
save us a bundle of money.
Fortunately, for us, it was the Gracious Mistress 
of the Parsonage that answers the door for them. 
If you think you can get in our house and get by 
her, you really have not gotten up this morning 
and had your coffee.
A few weeks ago, it was getting terrible. Almost 
every day, someone was at the door knocking. I 
usually handle the phone calls, and she handles 
the door. 
I could see she was getting frustrated, and I understood, 
quite severely.
She just finished making our lunch, and we just 
sat down and began to enjoy our lunch together.
Then, someone knocked at the door.
My wife sighed very deeply and said, "Whoever 
that is, I'm going to give them a piece of my 
mind. I'm tired of this." 
Although we had prayed for our lunch, I was 
now ready to pray for whoever was at the front 
On several occasions, I have had a piece of her 
mind. It's not a pretty sight. She has enough 
mind to give to many people, and I was very 
concerned about the people at the front door.
"I don't care who you are. I don't care what 
you're selling. I don't want it, and I want you to 
leave and never come back again."
With that, he slammed the door shut and walked 
"Who was at the door?" 
She just looked at me and then said, "I don't 
know, but I gave them a piece of my mind."
I was chuckling underneath, trying not to let it 
come to the surface for any recognition.
“Are you sure,” I said as serious as I could maintain, 
“that you gave them the right piece of your 
She just stared at me, “What do you mean?”
“Are you sure you did not give them the left piece 
of your mind?”
She finally smiled and then said, “No, I’m saving 
that piece for you.” 
I was smiling on the outside but not on the inside. 
I was honored that she has a special piece of 
her mind for me, but I have no idea what it will 
be and when it will come my way.
I thought of the Scripture along this line. “And as 
ye would that men should do to you, do ye also 
to them likewise” (Luke 6:31).
I think this is hard to do for many reasons. God 
can give me the strength to do this for his honor 
and glory.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of 
God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 

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