Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, June 26, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 11

Mountain View News Saturday, June 6, 2020 11 Mountain View News Saturday, June 6, 2020 11 

Dear Savvy Senior:

My husband and I will both be retiring in a few years and 

are interested in relocating to a warmer climate but could 

use some help. What resources can you recommend for lo

cating and researching good places to retire in the U.S.? 

Retiring at 65 

Dear Retiring:
If you’re interested in relocating when you retire, like millions of other baby boomers, there are a wide 
variety of books and online resources that can help you find and research a new location that meet your 
wants, needs and budget. Here are several to help you get started. 

Where to Retire? 
If you’re at the beginning of your search, a good starting point is to take the “Find Your Best Place” 
retirement quiz at Sperling’s Best Places ( This free quiz asks 10-questions on your 
preferences such as climate, recreation, community size and more, and suggests possible destinations 
that match your answers. MarketWatch also has a new matchmaking tool called, “Where’s the best 
place for me to retire?” at 

Media resources like U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Forbes and Money Magazine also publish 
“best places to retire” lists on their websites each year. And be sure you check out Milken’s “Best Cities 
for Successful Aging” (, which ranks 381 U.S. metropolitan areas 
based on factors that are important to older adults. 

You should also consider getting a copy of “America’s 100 Best Places to Retire” (the sixth edition book; 
$25 at that looks at a range of destinations, and groups some in categories like best college 
towns, mountain towns, undiscovered towns and main street towns. 

Once you find a few areas that interest you, your next step is research them. Here are some important 
areas you need to investigate. 

Cost of living: Can you afford to live comfortably in the location where you want to retire? Numbeo.
com and offers tools to compare the cost of living from your current location to where 
you would like to move. They compare housing costs, food, utilities, transportation and more. 

Taxes: Some states are more tax friendly than others. If you’re planning to move to another state, Kiplinger’s 
has a tax guide for retirees at that lets you find and compare 
taxes state-by-state. It covers income taxes, sales tax, taxes on retirement income, Social Security benefits 
taxes, property taxes, and inheritance and estate taxes. 

Crime rate: To evaluate how safe a community or area is, websites like provide crime 
data for certain localities. 

Climate: To research the climate in the areas you’re interested in moving, Sperling’s Best Places is again 
a great resource that offers a climate/weather compare tool 

Healthcare: Does the area you want to relocate have easy access to good healthcare? To locate and 
research doctors and hospitals in a new area, use Medicare’s compare tool at 
Also see, which provides detailed information on U.S. hospitals and doctors. 

Transportation: If you plan to travel much, or expect frequent visits from your kids or grandkids, 
convenient access to an airport or train station is a nice advantage. You should also investigate alternative 
transportation options, since most retirees give up driving in their eighties. To do this visit, a free website that provides information about senior transportation options in local 
communities throughout the U.S. 

Once you have narrowed your choices down to two or three, spend a couple weeks in each location at 
different times of the year so you can get a feel for the seasonal weather changes, and so you can carefully 
weigh the pros and cons of living there. You may find that you like the area more as a vacation spot 
than as a year-round residence. It’s also a good idea to rent for a year before buying a home or making 
a commitment to a retirement community. 

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. 



If you have a blended family and do not plan for what happens to 
your assets in the event of your incapacity or death, you are almost 
certainly guaranteeing hurt feelings, conflict, and maybe even a 
long, drawn out court battle. 

So let’s start with clarity around what a blended family is and 

whether you have one. If you have stepchildren, or children from 

a prior marriage, or other people you consider “kin” who are not 

considered legal relatives in the eyes of the law, you’ve got a blended family. 

Bottom line: if you have a blended family, you need an estate plan, and not just a will you 
created for yourself online, or a trust that isn’t specifically and intentionally designed to keep 
your family out of court and out of conflict. Period. End of story. Unless you are okay with 
setting your loved ones up for unnecessary heartache, confusion, and pain when something 
happens to you. 

What Will the Law Do? 

“Blended Families, once considered “non-traditional” families are swiftly becoming the 
norm. Currently 52% of married couples (or unmarried couples who live together) have a 
stepkin relationship of some kind, and 4 in 10 new marriages involve remarriage. So, clearly, 
this is no longer “non-traditional” but quite traditional, though our laws about what happens 
if you become incapacitated or die are still very much based on tradition. 

Every state has different provisions for what happens when you become incapacitated or die, 
and the laws of California may not necessarily match your wishes. 

For example, in California, all community property assets would go to your surviving 
spouse, and separate property assets would be distributed partially to a surviving spouse and 
partially to children, if living, in amounts depending on the number of surviving children. 

This may not result in the outcome you want for your loved ones, especially if you have a 
blended family situation. If you have something different in mind as to how you would want 
things to go, there is good news. The state of California allows you to circumvent those laws, 
but only if you have an alternate plan in place BEFORE your incapacity or death. 

Even within “traditional” families, I want to emphasize that having a full plan is the best way 
to provide for your loved ones. However, with “blended” families, carefully considered estate 
plans are often even more vital to avoid massive misunderstanding and conflict, and having 
your assets tied up in court instead of going to the people you want to receive them. 

Disputes Between Spouse and Children from Previous Marriage

One of the most common problems that arises in a blended family is that the deceased’s 
children from a prior marriage and the surviving spouse end up in conflict. The courts are 
filled with these kinds of cases. But it doesn’t have to be that way. 

When you’re considering all of this for the people you love, it’s important to have a trusted advisor 
who can help you look at the reality of what will happen if you become incapacitated or when 
you die. With the complexities of modern families, it’s far better to know and plan than to leave 
it up to the law or a court to decide. That way, not only do the people you love get the assets that 
you want them to receive, but you will also be saving them from years of potential legal conflict. 

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 your family by calling 626.355.4000 or visit for more information. 


HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …June Birthdays* 

Joanne Thrane, Nellie Haynes, Dorothy McKay, Diane Hatfield, Georgette Dunlay, 
Elizabeth Shul Donna Doss, Mary Carney, Carol Handley, Marilyn McKernan, 
Pat Fujiwara, John Shier, Beth Smith-Kellock, Ann Disbrow, Joan Ellison, Anne 
Montgomery, Trini Ornelas, Martha Spriggs, Pat Starkey, Kathleen Coyne, Suzanne 
Decker, Jacque Persing, Jeanne Peterson and Grace Sanders. * To add your name to 
this distinguished list, please call the paper at 626.355.2737. YEAR of birth not 



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 Commu

nity? 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 engage

ment and interfacing less with the community, please note that voice messages, emails, and social media re

sponses 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 practic

ing 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 com

munity members.

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 


Life can get crazy because 

at the top of that list. 
there are so many crazy people 

Then she took her cell phone and showed it to me 
in the world. I know, I’m one. 

and said, “I’m calling the police.” 
Through the years, I have 

We were in the middle of the drive-through, and 
come to appreciate crazy people. They make life 

the customers behind us couldn’t get through 
interesting and make me look less crazy than I 

because she would not move until the police got 
really am. 

The interesting thing is that a crazy person shows 

The manager of McDonald’s came out and 
up in your life when you least expect it. There’s no 

calmed her down and finally got her to move out 
way you can prepare for these crazy episodes. If 

of the line and wait for the police. I followed and 
only I could wear a camera on my glasses, I could 

parked next to her. 
make a fortune. 

As we were waiting for the police to come, she 
The other day I drove through the McDonald’s 

was taking pictures of the tiny scratch. I did not 
drive-through to order my morning cup of cof

talk to her; I just let her go and do her thing. 
fee to take to my office. Of course, I do that every 

Finally, the police arrived. I was a little concerned 
morning as a routine. 

because we would be wasting his time when there 
This morning was rather a stressful kind of a 

are more serious issues for him to deal with. But, 
morning, and I had a schedule I wanted to com-

crazy will be crazy. 
plete for the day. So I was thinking about what 

He talked to us and took our information, and 
I was going to do as I was driving through the 

then he looked toward her car. He didn’t go over 
drive-through. In front of me was a blue car and 

and look at it because he said it is not worth a 
a lady driving it. 

police investigation. I agreed with him. So did the 
She finished her order and then began driving 

manager of McDonald’s. A scratch isn’t really that 
forward, I started driving forward and happened 

much damage. It probably could be fixed with 
to look left at the ordering place, and unbe

fingernail polish. 
knownst to me, she stopped and I bumped into 

The manager said that there were cameras and 
her bumper. 

that incident would have been recorded. 
Isn’t that what bumpers are for? 

She finally drove off, and I had a short chat with 
That was the beginning of one of the craziest epi

the police officer, and then we parted ways. 
sodes I’ve had in a long time. Oh, that my camera 

That was not the end of the story. 
was in place. 

Have you ever faced a temptation so strong that it 
As a young person, I enjoyed watching “Smile, 

was all you could do not to yield to it? 
You’re on Candid Camera.” I thought this was 

One of my favorite hymns has this phrase, “Yield 
happening to me. 

not to temptation for yielding is sin.” 
The lady jumped out of her car screaming at me 

I wasn’t able to place my order before this inciand 
shaking her fist, and I thought it was a joke. 

dent, so I drove around McDonald’s to get into 
You know how people like to prank other people, 

the drive-through. You will not guess who was in 
so I thought this was what was happening. 

front of me in the left lane of that drive-through? 
I looked at her and started laughing, thinking 

Oh yeah, it was the lady with the scratch on her 
that this was part of a joke. 

The more I laughed, the more she yelled and 

My temptation was to pull in behind her and 
screamed at me. She used language that even sail-

make sure she noticed I was behind her. I wresors 
would not use in public. She asked me to do 

tled with that thought for a moment or two. 
things to myself that are physically impossible to 

After some thoughtful consideration, I pulled 
do. Enough said on that. 

over to the right lane and, in fact, got ahead of her 
Then she went to her car, got her cell phone, came 

in ordering my coffee. In the McDonald’s store, 
back, and took pictures of my truck’s license 

that was the talk of the employees. 
plate. I hope I don’t see it on Facebook. Then she 

It’s not often that I get involved in such a crazy 
took pictures of what my truck had done to her 


As I was driving away from McDonald’s a verse of 
I got out to look, and I had to look very hard to 

Scripture came to my mind. “Watch ye and pray, 
find it, and finally, there it was. A little scratch 

lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is 
about the size of a fingernail. I looked at the front 

ready, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38). 
of my truck, and I couldn’t find any scratches at 

Temptations will come every day, but I have the 
all comparable to her scratch. 

strength in Christ to resist every temptation for 
She began yelling, “Don’t you dare touch me!” 

the glory of God 
I don’t do a lot of things and not touching her was