Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, May 8, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 10

Mountain View News Saturday, May 8, 2021 10 Mountain View News Saturday, May 8, 2021 10 

Dear Savvy Senior:
Is there an easy way to figure out how much I will need 
to save for retirement? My wife and I are both in our 
late fifties and want to figure out about how much we’ll 
need in order to retire comfortably. Ready to Retire 

Dear Ready:

 How much money you need to retire comfortably is a great question that all working adults should 
ask themselves. Unfortunately, far too few ever bother thinking about it.

But calculating an approximate number of how much you’ll need to have saved for retirement is actually 
pretty easy and doesn’t take long to do. It’s a simple, three-step process that includes estimating 
your future living expenses, tallying up your retirement income and calculating the difference. 

Estimate Living Expenses 

The first step – estimating your future retirement living expenses – is the most difficult. If you want 
a quick ballpark estimate, figure around 75 to 85 percent of your current gross income. That’s what 
most people find they need to maintain their current lifestyle in retirement.

If you want a more precise estimate, track your current living expenses on a worksheet and deduct 
any costs you expect to go away or decline when you retire, and add whatever new ones you 

Costs you can scratch off your list include work-related expenses like commuting or lunches out, as 
well as the amount you’re socking away for retirement. You may also be able to deduct your mortgage 
if you expect to have it paid off by retirement, and your kid’s college expenses. Your income 
taxes should also be less. 

On the other hand, some costs will probably go up when you retire, like health care, and depending 
on your interests you may spend a lot more on travel, golf or other hobbies. And, if you’re going to 
be retired for 20 or 30 years you also need to factor in some occasional big budget items like a new 
roof, heating/air conditioning system or vehicle. 

Tally Retirement Income 

Step two is to calculate your retirement income. If you and/or your wife contribute to Social Security, 
go to to get your personalized statement that estimates what your retirement 
benefits will be at age 62, full retirement age and when you turn 70.

In addition to Social Security, if you or your wife has a traditional pension plan from an employer, 
find out from the plan administrator how much you are likely to get when you retire. And figure in 
any other income from other sources you expect to have, such as rental properties, part-time work, 

Calculate the Difference 

The final step is to do the calculations. Subtract your annual living expenses from your annual retirement 
income. If your income alone can cover your bills, you’re all set. If not, you’ll need to tap 
your savings, including your 401(k) plans, IRAs, or other investments to make up the difference.

So, let’s say for example you need around $60,000 a year to meet your living and retirement expenses 
and pay taxes, and you and your wife expect to receive $35,000 a year from Social Security 
and other income. That leaves a $25,000 shortfall that you’ll need to pull from your nest egg each 
year ($60,000 – $35,000 = $25,000).

Then, depending on what age you want to retire, you need to multiply your shortfall by at least 25 
if you want to retire at 60, 20 to retire at 65, and 17 to retire at 70 – or in this case that would equate 
to $625,000, $500,000 and $425,000, respectively.

Why 25, 20 and 17? Because that would allow you to pull 4 percent a year from your savings, which 
is a safe withdrawal strategy that in most cases will let your money last as long as you do. 

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit 



Nearly three years have passed since Aretha Franklin, known as 

the “Queen of Soul,” died from pancreatic cancer at age 76. At 

the time, her total fortune was estimated to be worth up to $80 

million. Yet due to poor estate planning, the late singer’s children 
have yet to see a dime of their inheritance, and what they ultimately do receive will be 
significantly depleted by back taxes. Moreover, it’s still not clear whether or not Aretha even 
had a valid will. 

When she passed away in August 2018, her family thought that Aretha died without any 
estate plan at all. But since then, four different wills attributed to the late singer have been 
discovered. And ever since those documents came to light, her four adult sons—Clarence, 
Edward, Ted White Jr., and Kecalf—have been in court fighting one another over her assets, 
as well as who among them should be designated as the estate’s representative. 

While a trial is set for August to establish whether any of the four documents, some of which 
are handwritten and barely legible, can formally stand as her will, Aretha’s story demonstrates 
just how destructive shoddy estate planning can be for the loved ones we leave behind. 

Indeed, although her alleged wills clearly show Aretha was concerned for the well-being of 
her family and wanted them to share her fortune, the legendary singer’s haphazard planning 
has pitted brother against brother, exposed dark family secrets, and lost millions of dollars 
to the IRS. And perhaps worst of all, while the legendary singer was notoriously private, all 
of this has played out in the news headlines for the whole world to see. 

Aretha’s situation is definitely tragic, and sadly, far too common among famous musicians—
Prince, Jimi Hendrix, and Bob Marley all died without a will. Yet we cover her story and others likeit in hopes that it will inspire you to do right by your loved ones by creating a proper estate plan. 

And such planning is vital even if you have far less wealth than Aretha. In fact, planning can 
be even more critical for those with fewer assets. After all, given Aretha’s massive fortune, 
it’s likely that her heirs will still receive an inheritance, while similar mistakes would likelytotally wipe out a smaller estate. 

With that in mind, next week I’ll discuss Aretha’s planning mistakes and how those errors 
have impacted both her family and fortune, how proper planning could have prevented the 
entire mess from ever happening, and the steps you can take to make certain that, unlike 
Aretha, your loved ones never have to endure such a nightmare. 

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 appointmentto 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. 





HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …May Birthdays* 

Beth Copti, Marilyn Diaz, Anne Schryver, Jo Ann Williams, Paul Hagan, Lenore Crilly 
Joann Serrato-Chi, Harriett Lyle, Jean Coleman, Birgitta Gerlinger, Donna Mathieson, 
Luciana Rosenzweig, Linda Wochnik, Marian Woodford, Debbie Sheridan, Joanne 
Anthony, Carole Axline, Kika Downey, Shirley Hall, Annie Scalzo, Janet Ten Eyck, Jane 
Thomas, Ray Burley. * To add your name to this distinguished list, please call the paper 
at 626.355.2737. YEAR of birth not required 


Every Monday and Wednesday, 10-10:45 amChair yoga with Paul is coming back! Class 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 
relaxation. 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 supplies for each class. 
Class size is limited so please call 264-8923 to reserve your spot. 


If you are in need of assistance with your 2020 taxes please know that help is a phone call away. Don Brunner, Tax 
Saver, is not accepting in person consultations at the moment but available for a phone or email consult. Please 
call him at 626-447-8829 or email 

Have you ever thought about trying your hand at writing? Do you have an idea for a book and no idea how to 
begin? This program may be for you! Katy Nishimoto, Senior Editor with Random House, has graciously volunteered 
her time to lead this incredible writers workshop for seniors. Program participants will be given a prompt, 
a 10 minute writing task and a group reading. Discussions, readings and feedback to help guide your creative 
thinking into creative writing. If you have interest in writing nonfiction, a memoir, fiction or poetry then please 
call or email today to reserve your spot. Class will be limited to 10 participants. No writing skills or experience is 
required. Call Lawren Heinz at 626-355-7394 to reserve your spot and receive class information. 

Tuesday, May 18 at 11:00 am Join Lawren in making a delightful, colorful and artistic nail polish marbled mug! 
All supplies will be provided for you and we will meet in the Hart Park House patio. Please wear clothes you don’t 
mind getting nail polish on. To reserve your spot or ask questions please call Lawren Heinz at (626) 355-7394 or 
send an email to 


 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 lheinz@cityofsierramadre. 

 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 

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. 


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder 


This week the Gracious Mistress 

of the Parsonage made a little 

slip. To her, it was a little slip, but 

to me, it was a big mistake.
It is not always that she makes mistakes that I can 
profit on. I don't make this public, especially within 
her earshot, but there are times that she makes a 
mistake, and I'm always on the lookout for those 

When it comes to me, I'm always making mistakes. 
I'm not sure that I can make a little slip because 
mine are much bigger. And the problem with this 
is, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage always 
catches them, and sometimes, I don't know how she 
does it, she catches them before I actually do them. 

She calls it "woman's intuition," but I call it "man's 

This past week, for instance, I had an appointment 
with my eye doctor. I was to pick up my new glasses, 
and I was anxious about that. I told my wife 
that the doctor's appointment was on Wednesday. 
She countered that and said, "No, I believe it's on 

"It's my appointment," I said, both hands on my 
hips, "and I'll go when I want to."She looked at me, 
snickered, and then went back to what she was doing. 
I think I heard her mumbling something like, 
"He's 13 again." 

I got to the eye doctor's office, walked in as I was 
putting on my mask (I'm not too fond of these 
masks), walked up to the counter, and signed in. 
Then I went to sit and wait to be called. 

In a few minutes, a nurse came up to me and said, 
"Mr. Snyder, what are you doing here today?" “I’m 
here to pick up my glasses.” “I’m sorry, your appointment 
isn’t until tomorrow.” 

I looked at her with one of my stunned looks and 
then said, "Could I camp here until tomorrow?"
I had to go home and tell my wife that I was wrong, 
and she was right. If I had a nickel for every time 
I admitted that I was wrong, I would be a very 
wealthy person. 

But this week, my wife made her mistake, and I was 
able to cash in on it. She returned home from shopping 
at Publix, and I think without even thinking, 
she said as she was coming into the kitchen, "The 
Girl Scouts are selling cookies at Publix today." 

There are many things she says that I cannot hear. 
I’m not sure if it’s my ears or what. For some reason, 
I picked up on this phrase about the Girl Scout 
cookies. I tried to remain quiet and calm. I knew 

if I stirred up any excitement, she would catch on 
to what she said to me. According to her, I am very 
limited as to the cookies I'm allowed to eat. Her 
preference would be that I eat no cookies while I've 
got breath in my nostrils. I remember when she told 
me, “You cannot eat no cookies!” 

I smiled because she did not know what she said. A 
double negative equals a positive. Most people don’t 
get that. The next step was to figure out how to leave 
the house and go to Publix without somebody in the 
house finding out. 

I did not know how I would do this. I thought about 
it and tried to come up with the perfect plan. Then, 
an opportunity opened up that I could never have 

“I forgot something at Publix,” my wife said, “would 
you have time to run over to Publix and pick this 
up for me?” 

I find it very hard to subdue hilarious laughter under 
circumstances like this. I worked hard and solemnly 
said, "Oh, my dear. I can go right now, and 
there's no problem at all." 

Like magic, I disappeared from the house and 
started the car before I even got in it and headed for 
Publix. All I could think about was those wonderfully 
delicious Girl Scout cookies. After all, when I 
buy Girl Scout cookies, I'm helping to support some 
young ladies who need it. That's my story, and I'm 
sticking to it. 

Walking up to the girls at Publix, I almost forgot 
what I had come to pick up. I looked at them and 
said, “I’ll be back after I go do some shopping.” 

I'm always as good as my word, and I came back, 
and since I could not make up my mind as to what 
cookies I wanted to purchase, I did the gentlemanly 
thing and bought one of each cookie they had for 
sale. How much it cost has no relativity to my desire 
for these cookies. 

As I put the bag on the kitchen table, my wife happened 
to look at it and said to me, "Those are not 
Girl Scout cookies, are they?" “Isn’t that what you 
wanted me to buy?” 
She just stared at me, but all I could think about was 
eating that first cookie.
As I delighted in eating that first cookie, I was reminded 
of what David said in one of his Psalms, 
"De-light thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give 
thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalms 37:4). 

As much as I delight in these cookies, my greater delight 
is in the Lord. As I delight in the Lord, I enjoy 
all the delicacies of that relationship. 

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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