Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, February 12, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 10

Mountain Views-News Saturday, February 12, 2022 


Dear Savvy Senior:
What is the IRS standard tax deduction for 2021? I didn’t file a tax return last tax year (2020) because I lost 
my job and my income in March due to COVID. But I got a part-time job in 2021 and am wondering if I made 
enough money that requires me to file this year.
Part-Time Retiree 

Dear Retiree: 

Whether or not you are required to file a federal income 
tax return this year depends not only on how much you 
earned last year (in 2021), but also the source of that 
income, as well as your age and your filing status. 

Here’s a rundown of this tax season’s IRS tax filing requirement 
thresholds. For most people, this is pretty straightforward. If your 2021 gross income – which 
includes all taxable income, not counting your Social Security benefits, unless you are married and filing 
separately – was below the threshold for your filing status and age, you may not have to file. But if it’s over, 
you will. 

Single: $12,550 ($14,250 if you’re 65 or older by Jan. 1, 2022).
Married filing jointly: $25,100 ($26,450 if you or your spouse is 65 or older; or $27,800 if you’re both over 
Married filing separately: $5 at any age.
Head of household: $18,800 ($20,500 if 65 or older).
Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child: $25,100 ($26,450 if 65 or older). 

To get a detailed breakdown on federal filing requirements, along with information on taxable and nontaxable 
income, call the IRS at 800-829-3676 and ask them to mail you a free copy of the “1040 and 1040-SR 
Instructions for Tax Year 2021,” or you can get it online at 

Check Here Too 

You also need to be aware that there are other financial situations that can require you to file a tax return, 
even if your gross income falls below the IRS filing requirements. For example, if you earned more than $400 
from self-employment in 2021, owe any special taxes like an alternative minimum tax, or get premium tax 
credits because you, your spouse or a dependent is enrolled in a Health Insurance Marketplace plan, you’ll 
need to file. 

You’ll also need to file if you’re receiving Social Security benefits, and one-half of your benefits plus your other 
gross income and any tax-exempt interest exceeds $25,000, or $32,000 if you’re married and filing jointly. 

To figure all this out, the IRS offers an online tax tool that asks a series of questions that will help you determine 
if you’re required to file, or if you should file because you’re due a refund. It takes approximately 12 
minutes to complete. 

You can access this tool at – click on “Do I Need to File a Tax Return?” Or you can get 
assistance over the phone by calling the IRS helpline at 800-829-1040. 

Check Your State 

Even if you’re not required to file a federal tax return this year, don’t assume that you’re also excused from 
filing state income taxes. The rules for your state might be very different. Check with your state tax agency 
before concluding that you’re entirely in the clear. For links to state tax agencies see

Tax Prep Assistance 

If you find that you do need to file a tax return this year, you can free file through the IRS at 
if your 2021 adjusted gross income was below $73,000. 

Or, if you need some help, contact the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (or TCE) program. Sponsored by the 
IRS, TCE provides free tax preparation and counseling to middle and low-income taxpayers, age 60 and 
older. Call 800-906-9887 or visit to locate services near you. 

You can also get tax preparation assistance through the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide service. Call 888-2277669 
or visit for more information.

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 


Life insurance is a key component of your family’s estate plan, offering a 

safety net to those who depend on you for their financial security. And 

although purchasing life insurance may seem straightforward, it can be 
quite complex, especially given all the different types of coverage available. When it comes to life 
insurance, you will want coverage in place if any of the following scenarios apply: 

1. You are likely to have dependents—minor children, a non-working spouse, or senior parents—
who rely on you for their financial needs, and you will likely not have enough saved up to 
continue to provide for those needs after your death.
2. You have a business that will need a cash infusion if you die to keep it running, until it can be 
sold or for your loved ones to buy out a business partner.
3. You have a potential estate tax bill that you want to cover with life insurance, so your family 
doesn’t have to sell assets to pay the taxes. 
Betting On Your LifeA life insurance policy pays benefits to your family or business (whomever you choose as the beneficiary) 
in the event of your death. And the earlier in life you purchase your policy, the less expensive 
your monthly or annual premiums will be. By the same token, the healthier you are when you get life 
insurance, the less you’ll pay in premiums, because your policy is basically a bet between you and the 
insurance company about when you’ll die. 

 The insurance carrier is betting they’ll be able to earn enough from the premiums you pay before 
you die, so they’ll have received more than enough money to pay out the death benefit to your designated 
beneficiaries when you pass away. As such, many carriers require a medical exam before your 
policy is issued. 

Life insurance comes in two main forms, which you can think of as permanent and temporary. With 
permanent coverage, such as whole life and universal life, as long as you pay the premiums, your 
insurance cannot be canceled, and your policy will pay out when you die (unless you live longer than 
the guaranteed period). 

 With temporary coverage, known as term life insurance, you pay premiums over a certain number 
of years—usually 10, 20, or 30—and if you have not died during that period, the insurance ends, your 
premiums are gone, and no benefits are paid out when you die. 

Term Life Insurance 
Because your coverage expires after a certain number of years, term life insurance is much cheaper 
than permanent. Term policies are typically used by people who expect that they’ll only need the 
insurance for a certain period or for a certain purpose. 

For example, you might purchase term insurance to cover your home mortgage in the event you die 
before it’s paid off. Or you might have minor children, who rely on your income for their basic needs, 
and you need a term policy to ensure they have enough money to live on until they become financially 
independent should you die before they reach adulthood. 

Permanent Life Insurance 
Permanent life insurance comes in several different forms, such as whole life, universal life, and variable 
universal life. And it’s mostly used for estate tax planning, very high-end income tax planning, 
and key-person insurance, which pays out benefits if you fill a vital role in a company that would 
need cash upon your death to continue operating. As mentioned earlier, the various forms of permanent 
life insurance pay a death benefit whenever you die, no matter how long you live (unless the 
policy contract has a termination provision at a specific age). 

Permanent life insurance policies typically have two components: the amount that goes toward paying 
for the life insurance, and the amount that builds up as an investment, called the “cash value” 
component. The cash value amount of your premium is invested tax-free, and depending on the 
policy, you may be able to use the cash value component in several ways: you can borrow against it 
throughout your lifetime (in which case you pay interest to the insurance company), you can take out 
cash withdrawals (in which case your death benefit would be reduced accordingly), or you can use it 
to pay future premiums. 

Your Trusted Advisor 
We all have unique assets, liabilities, and family situations, so there’s no way to know exactly what 
types and amounts of life insurance coverage your family needs without a full evaluation. Talk to 
your life insurance agent/broker or let us know if you need help finding one. 


HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …February Birthdays* 

Tracy Verhoeven, Beatrice DaRe, Catherine 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 

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 

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 Pavilion. 

Wednesday 1:00 pm-2:00 pm 
Beginning February 2nd – April 6th, Don Brunner is available for income tax 
consultation. Appointments are required: Please call 626-355-5278 x704 . 


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder 


Recently, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and her spouse 

took a short vacation that was long overdue. Vacations are very hard 
to organize and schedule when you have a busy life. But, thanks to the ingenuity of 
my wife, we were able to plan out a vacation.
The motel we stay in is owned by our friends who give us a family/friend discount. 
Any discount, in my mind or pocketbook, is a great blessing. We love staying there 
and enjoy the surroundings.
As we were signing in, the motel lady said to my wife, “There are about ten new thrift 
stores in town. Would you like me to show you where they are?”
Both of them laughed, then my wife said, “No, because wherever they are, I will find 
them for sure.” The laughter continued.
The only one not laughing at this point was me because I knew the outcome of this 
sort of thing and it wasn’t one I was happy about.
My long history with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage has brought me to the 
conclusion that thrift stores are in her blood. She can smell a thrift store 17 miles 
away. She knows about a thrift store about a year before it opens.
The strange thing is, all the thrift stores know her by name. As soon as she walked 
into a thrift store, they smile and greet her enthusiastically. They know that they 
have a “customer” on the premises.
Not only does she know where these thrift stores are, but she knows exactly what all 
of them are carrying.
Often when I need something for my office, I will mention it to her, and she will 
know exactly where to go and how much it will cost. Sometimes one of the thrift 
stores will have a higher cost on an item, but they can’t out bargain the Gracious 
Mistress of the Parsonage. She gets her price, and that’s final.
On occasion, she will take some items to a thrift store, and in her negotiations, she 
usually gets more than she paid for it. So how she does it, I never ask.
Looking back over our lives, I sometimes muse on what our lives would be like today 
if she opened up a thrift store many years ago. But, of course, I would have to have 
a strict watch over my library of about 8,000 books. If she found the buyer, those 
books would be gone.
Upon thought, it probably is a good thing she never went in that direction.
When our church had a building program, she could go to all the right thrift stores 
and get a great discount on things needed for the building. The church saved an awful 
lot of money because of that.
When we were adding on to our parsonage, she could get all kinds of things that we 
needed in the building process on discount. Again, we saved a lot of money on our 
As I was settling down in the motel room, my wife was out looking for these new 
thrift stores. Then, for the next several days, she spent her time looking for any new 
thrift store she could find. 
It was a Friday afternoon when she came back to the motel room smiling and said to 
me, “Didn’t our friend say there were ten new thrift stores in the area? Well, I found 
15.” And with that, she laughed most heartily.
I should’ve known it. If anybody can find a thrift store, it is her.
Now there are more thrift stores in the area that will need to be followed up every 
time we come here. 
All I have to do is mention a specific thrift store, and she will begin telling me what’s 
in that thrift store and the things she already bought in that thrift store. So she’ll let 
me know all about it and the people who run it.
Sometimes I wish I had her instinctive gift in finding things. My gift is in losing 
things. I can lose things right in front of me and not find them for days on end. If I 
could find what I’m looking for as successful as my wife finds thrift stores, I’d be a 
happy old gentleman for sure.
She is great to have around. No matter what I lose, she can come up most of the time 
and find it for me. All I have to do is say, “I can’t find my red pen. Have you seen it?”
Before I can clear my throat, she finds it and brings it back to me. It seems that her 
fascination is with the word “lost,” and she could retrieve everything I lost.
I lost my mind once, which was the only thing she could never find. I don’t know 
what I will do if she ever does find my mind.
When I think of the word “find,” I think of a wonderful verse in the Bible. “Whoso 
findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord” (Proverbs 
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage was the only thing I ever found that has 
made a big difference in my life. I wish I knew how I was able to find such a treasure. 
If I knew that, I probably would have a lot of things in my life that I don’t have now.

Dr. James L. Snyder lives in Ocala, FL 34483 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 
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