Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, December 18, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 10

Mountain Views-News Saturday, December 18, 2021 


Dear Savvy Senior:
Can you provide any tips to help seniors reduce their auto insurance premiums? I just got hit with a 15 percent 
increase on my car insurance and am looking for ways to save. Fixed Income Frank 

Dear Frank: 

Unfortunately, auto insurance rates went up significantly 
over the past year as the pandemic eased and 
more Americans got back on the roads. But there are 
plenty of ways to cut your premium. To find out what 
discounts may be available to you, contact your auto insurer 
and inquire about these options, and any others 
that may benefit you. 

Low mileage discount: Most insurers offer discounts to 
customers who drive limited miles each year, which is usually beneficial to retirees who drive less because 
they don’t commute to work every day. These discounts usually kick in when your annual milage drops 
below 7,000 or 7,500, which is significantly less than the typical 12,000 miles most Americans drive a year. 

Drivers Ed discount: Many states require insurance companies to offer defensive driving discounts – between 
5 and 15 percent – to drivers who take a refresher course to brush up on their safety skills. These 
courses, offered by AAA ( and AARP (, cost $20 
to $30 and can be taken online. 

Monitored driving discount: Many insurance providers offer discounts based on how and when you use 
your car. To get this, the insurer would provide a small monitoring device that you would place in your car 
to track things like your acceleration, braking habits, driving speeds, phone use and when you drive. Drivers 
are rewarded between 10 and 50 percent for safe driving and for not driving late at night. 

In addition, many insurance providers also offer discounts to drivers who do not have any violations or 
accidents for three or more years. 

Membership discounts: Organizations that you belong to can also lower your insurance premium. Insurers 
offer discounts through professional associations, workers’ unions, large employers or membership organizations 
such as AAA, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, AARP, etc. You 
could even qualify for savings based on the college you attended or the fraternity or sorority you belonged 
to decades ago. 

Bundle policies: If your auto policy is issued by a different company from the one insuring your life or 
home, call each insurer and ask if bundling the policies would be cheaper. 

Improve your credit: You may be able to lower your car insurance premium by paying your bills on time 
and reducing the amount of debt you carry. Insurers look at how their customers manage credit to get an 
idea of risk and to price policies. Better rates are given to those with good credit scores, typically 700 or 

Increase your deductible: While it’s not right for everyone, paying a higher deductible could save you big on 
premiums. For example, raising your deductible from $200 to $500 could reduce the cost of your collision 
and comprehensive coverage by 15 to 30 percent. Going to a $1,000 deductible could save you 40 percent 
or more. 

Consider your car model: If you’re shopping for a new vehicle, call for an insurance quote before you decide 
what to buy. Some vehicles are safer and cost less to repair than others. Insurance companies collect data 
about each make and model and use it to determine how much to charge customers. 

Comparison shop: To find out if your current premium is competitive with what other insurers charge, or 
to help you look for a different provider you should comparison shop. Online brokerages such as CarInsurance.
com, and let you plug in basic details – such as your age and your 
car’s make, model and year – to compare rates from insurance companies. 

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. 


 By Marc Garlett 


If you are like many homeowners, your home is likely your family’s most 
valuable and treasured asset. In light of this, you want to plan wisely to ensure your home will pass 
to your heirs in the most efficient and safe manner possible when you die or in the event you become 
incapacitated by illness or injury. 

Indeed, proper estate planning is as much a part of responsible homeownership as having homeowners 
insurance or keeping your home’s roof well maintained. When it comes to including your 
home in your estate plan, you have a variety of different planning vehicles to choose from, but for 
many reasons, putting your home in a trust is often the smartest choice. 

Avoiding ProbateOne of the primary advantages of using a trust to pass on your home to your heirs is the avoidance 
of the court process known as probate. Unlike a will, assets held in trust do not have to go through 
probate. During probate, the court oversees the will’s administration, ensuring your assets are distributed 
according to your wishes, with automatic supervision to handle any disputes. 

However, probate can be a long and expensive process, which can be emotionally draining for your 
loved ones. Depending on the complexity of your estate, probate proceedings can drag out for years, 
and your family will likely have to hire an attorney to represent them, which can result in costly legal 
fees that drain your estate. Plus, probate is open to the public, which makes things risky for those 
you leave behind, especially if the wrong people take an interest in your family’s affairs. 

Control Over Asset Distribution 
Because you can include specific instructions in a trust’s terms for how and when the assets held by 
the trust are distributed to a beneficiary, a trust can offer greater control over how your assets are 
distributed compared to a will. For example, you could stipulate in the trust’s terms that the assets 
can only be distributed upon certain life events, such as the completion of college or marriage, or 
when the beneficiary reaches a certain age. 

In this way, you can help prevent your beneficiaries from blowing through their inheritance all at 
once, and offer incentives for them to demonstrate responsible behavior. And as long as the assets 
are passed in trust, they’re protected from the beneficiaries’ creditors, lawsuits, and divorce, which 
is something else wills don’t provide. 

Avoiding Family ConflictIf you leave your home to your loved ones using a will and you designate more than one person to 
inherit the property, there’s a potential for conflict because each individual gets an undivided interest 
in the home. Given this, these individuals must agree on what to do with the home—keep it or 
sell it—and they may not see eye-to-eye, which can create unnecessary family drama. 

Find The Solution That’s Right For Your FamilyAlthough putting your home in a living trust can be an ideal way to pass your home to your loved 
ones, each family’s circumstances are different. You should consult with an experienced estate planning 
attorney about what you actually need, and what will be the most affordable solution for you 
and your family—both now and in the future—based on your family dynamics, assets, and desires. 


HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …December Birthdays* 

Maria Decker, Nancy Dorn, Prudence Levine Pat Karamitros, Joan 
Hufnagel, Mary Alice Cervera, Carol Horejsi, Shirley Anhalt, Helen Reese, 
Levon Yapoujian, Toni Buckner, Lottie Bugl, Sheila Wohler, Nan Murphy, 
Eleanor Hensel, Sylvia Curl, Elizabeth Levie, Gayle Licher, Cindy Barran, 
and Melissa Stute, Prudence Levin, Sheila Woehler. * To add your name 
to this distinguished list, please call the paper at 626.355.2737. YEAR of birth not 



Please join the Sierra Madre Senior Community Commission in the Hart Park 
House Senior Center for the much anticipated Annual Holiday Luncheon. Meet our 
Senior Commissioners as they assist with serving lunch and provide some holiday 
cheer. Bring your festive spirit for a fun and lively game of bingo, your appetite for 
a boxed lunch (by Nano Cafe) and door prizes. Staff will begin taking reservations 
over the phone on December 2, 2021. Space is limited to 40 people so reserve your 
spot! Please call 626-355-5278 with your reservation and sandwich choice. Turkey, 
beef or tuna. 


 In house lunch dining service will not resume at this time. Access to the computer/
classroom is temporarily unavailable. All Classes and programs will maintain a distance 
of 6 ft between participants. All equipment used will be sanitized after each 
use before it is stored. Each participant is responsible for providing their own water, 
masks and additionally needed supplies for each class. Please call the Community 
Services Department at 355-7394 with any questions or concerns. 

Wednesday, 12/1, & 12/15 11:00 am— 12:30 pm Hart Park House The object of the 
game is for a player to play all the tiles from their hand onto one or more trains, 
emanating from a central hub or “station”. Call Lawren with questions that you may 
have. Led by volunteer Loni. 

Tuesday, 12/7, and 12/21, 10:00 am—Hart Park House If you enjoy painting, sketching, 
water color, or making some other form of artistic creation please join our new 
program, PAINT PALS!!! Bring a project that you are working on to the HPH and 
enjoy some quality art time with other artists looking to paint with a new pal. 

Wednesday, 12/7 & 12/21— 9:00 am Staff has launched a new book club series, Tea 
and Talk, which meets twice a month to discuss the fun, suspense, intrigue, love and 
so much more that each selection will have in store! 

Tuesday, 12/14 & Monday, 12/20 —10:00 am If you enjoy knitting, crocheting, embroidery, 
needlepoint, bunka, huck, tatting or cross stitch then we have a group for 
you! Bring your current project, a nonalcoholic beverage, then sit and chat with 
likeminded fiber friends. We meet in the Hart Park House 

Every Monday and Wednesday, 10-10:45 am Please join us for some gentle stretching, 
yoga, balance exercise and overall relaxation with Paul. Classes are ongoing and 
held in the Memorial Park Covered Pavilion. 

Every Friday, 10-10:45 am Bring a lei, your flower skirt or just your desire to dance! 
Hula in the Park is back and waiting for you to join in on all the fun! Memorial Park 

DECEMBER 23, 2021 - MONDAY, JANUARY 3, 2022 


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder 


I’ve had sort of a grudge with old Mr. Santa Claus. I was introduced to Santa 
Claus by my parents, who informed me that he was the one that brought all 
of my Christmas presents on Christmas day. And I believe my parents. 

I remember on Christmas Eve we had to go to bed early to give Santa Claus time to deliver our 
presents under the tree. It was hard to sleep that early on Christmas Eve knowing that Santa 
was coming with Christmas presents. Finally, we did fall asleep only to wake up Christmas 
day with the tree filled with our Christmas presents.
I did not know the real identity of Santa Claus until many years later.
I was six years old when my parents first took me to see Santa Claus. I stood in the line and 
waited my turn to climb up on his lap and tell him what I wanted for Christmas. That first 
Christmas time, I told Santa that all I wanted for Christmas was a pony. Just a pony.
At the time, he told me that that was a good wish and he would see to it that I got my Christmas 
present when I needed it. I was so anxious when I jumped off his lap, I went over to my 
parents and told them Santa would get me a pony for Christmas.
Looking at me, my parents just smiled, patted my head, and said, “Okay, it’s time to go home 
That was two weeks before Christmas, and during those two weeks, I was ecstatic about that 
pony that was coming because my parents always told me Santa Claus never lies. So I can 
trust him as much as I can trust them. That turned out to be true. 
That Christmas Eve, I could hardly go to bed. Once in bed, I could not keep my eyes shut 
thinking about that marvelous pony Santa would give me for my Christmas present. I kept 
thinking about the name I would use for that pony. I had half a dozen names; it just jingled 
through my mind.
This was going to be the best Christmas I would ever have.
I don’t know how I did it, but I finally drifted off to sleep and dreamed about my Christmas 
When I awoke that Christmas morning, I was so excited, I could hardly get out of bed quick 
enough. So I ran downstairs to the Christmas tree, expecting to see my Christmas pony. 
When I didn’t see it, I asked my parents where it was. All they could say was, “Well, we haven’t 
seen it. Maybe it’s just late.” 
Before we could open our presents, we had to go and have breakfast, and we tried to make 
that as fast as possible. Then after breakfast, we were able to go to the Christmas tree and open 
up our Christmas presents as a family.
I was a little depressed because my little Christmas pony was nowhere to be seen.
There was no explanation for that. All I could do was hope that maybe it would come true 
next year.
“Well, son,” my father said to me as seriously as possible, “maybe your Christmas pony will 
come next year. So let’s just hope for it.” 
That was a long year for me. So every month that went by, I thought about that Christmas 
Then, finally, December came into view. I began getting excited about my Christmas pony 
because this year was probably the year. Last year I was only six, but this year I was a full seven 
years old, old enough to take care of a Christmas pony.
Again, my parents took my siblings and me downtown to see Santa Claus. I stood in line with 
my brother and sister, anxiously waiting for the time to confront Mr. Santa Claus.
Then my turn came, and I walked up to Santa, sat on his lap, and began the conversation.
The first thing I said was, “Santa, the Christmas pony you promised last year never came. Why 
didn’t it come?” 
I didn’t realize that this was a different person; I just thought it was Santa Claus. He looked at 
me and said, “Ho ho ho, I’m not sure why it didn’t come, but I’ll check into it and see if it got 
lost on the way down from the North Pole, ho ho ho.” 
Then I told him what I wanted for Christmas, and all I wanted was a Christmas pony. He 
assured me that he would check into this and make sure that my Christmas pony arrived on 
time this year. Then he said, “Just have faith, ho ho ho.” 
This continued for the next ten years, and to this day, I have never seen that Christmas pony. 
So I began to think that maybe that old Santa Claus was a fake.
As I thought about this, I remembered a verse of Scripture. “Then said Jesus to those Jews 
which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye 
shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).
The only truth is what comes from God’s word. I know this verse is often taken out of context, 
or only half of it is given. When I discovered the truth out of God’s word, it sets me free from 
everything else in the world. 

Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34483, where he 
lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Telephone 1-352-216-3025, e-mail jamessnyder51@ Website is 

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