Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, August 13, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 13


Dear Savvy Senior:
What types of financial resources are available to help 
seniors pay for long-term care? My 86-year-old mother 
will need either an assisted living facility or nursing 
home care in the near future, but she doesn’t have longterm 
care insurance and her savings are minimal.
Searching Daughter 

Dear Searching: 

The cost of assisted living and nursing home care in the U.S is very expensive. According to the Genworth 
cost of care survey tool, the national median cost for an assisted living facility today is over $4,600 per 
month, while nursing home care runs more than $8,100 per month for a semi-private room. (See Genworth.
com/aging-and-you/finances/cost-of-care.html to look up costs in your area.) 

Most people pay for long-term care (LTC) – which encompasses assisted living, nursing home and in-
home care – with either personal funds, government programs or insurance. But if your mom is lacking 
in savings and has no LTC insurance to cover her costs, here are your best options to look for funding. 

Medicaid (not Medicare): The first thing you need to know is that Medicare (the government health 
insurance program for seniors 65 and older and those with disabilities) does not cover long-term care. 
It only provides limited short-term coverage, up to 100 days for skilled nursing or rehabilitation services 
after a three-day hospital stay. 

Medicaid, however, (the joint federal and state program that covers health care for the poor) does cover 
nursing home and in-home care. But to be eligible for coverage, your mother must be very low-income. 
Her countable assets can’t be more than around $2,000, including investments. (Note that most people 
who enter a nursing home don’t qualify for Medicaid at first but pay for care out-of-pocket until they 
deplete their savings enough to qualify.) 

There are also many states that now have Medicaid waver programs that can help pay for assisted living. 
To get more information on Medicaid coverage and eligibility, call your state Medicaid office (see Medic- You can also check your mom’s Medicaid eligibility at 

Veterans benefits: If your mom is a wartime veteran, or a spouse or surviving spouse of a wartime veteran, 
there is a benefit called Aid and Attendance that can help pay toward her long-term care. 

To be eligible, your mom must need assistance with daily living activities like bathing, dressing or going 
to the bathroom. And her yearly income must be under $15,816 as a surviving spouse, or $24,610 for a 
single veteran – after her medical and long-term care expenses. Her assets must also be less than $138,489 
excluding her home and car. 

To learn more, see, or contact your regional VA office, or your local veterans service 
organization. Call 800-827-1000 for contact information. 

Life insurance: If your mom has a life insurance policy, find out if it offers an accelerated death benefit that 
would allow her to get a tax-free advance to help pay for her care. 

Or consider selling her policy to a life settlement company. These are companies that buy life insurance 
policies for cash, continue to pay the premiums and collect the death benefit when she dies. Most sellers 
generally get four to eight times more than the policy cash surrender value. 

If she owns a policy with a face value of $100,000 or more and is interested in this option, get quotes from 
several brokers or life settlement providers. To locate some, use the Life Insurance Settlement Association 
member directory at 

To look for these and other programs in your area that can help pay your mom’s long-term care, go to and click on “Find Financial Assistance for Care.” 

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 

As anyone who has personally dealt with loss knows, when a loved one dies,

those left behind face major challenges, not only emotionally, but financially 

and legally as well. Successfully navigating all those challenges becomes a necessary 
part of honoring the life of a loved one who’s passed. Unfortunately, so many of us just aren’t prepared 
for that eventuality when it happens. 

Determining Dying’s True CostTo further shed light on just how vastly unprepared most of us are when dealing with death, in March 
2022 Goldman Sachs released its first-ever “Cost of Dying Report”. The report surveyed more than 2,000 
Americans—each of whom had lost a loved one in the last five years—to get a clearer picture of dying’s true 
cost to families. 

The report looked not only at the financial burden dying brings, but it also examined the cost “in time, 
in stress, in lost productivity, and in strained interpersonal bonds.” Paired with the results of the research, 
the Cost of Dying includes a collection of insights from the study’s advisors, partners, and experts in the 
bereavement field. 

These contributors seek to clarify what we can learn from the study’s numbers and explain how we can use 
the figures to rethink how to best serve the bereaved, “as individuals, as organizations, and as a society.” 
The following are some of the study’s most notable findings, along with corresponding insights from some 
of the report’s contributors. 

Nationally, following a loved one’s death, the total bill—including the funeral and hiring all the other professional 
support—cost families an average of $12,702. The average cost of a funeral was $7,267, and according 
to the National Funeral Directors Association, that cost has risen 7.6% in the last 5 years. 

On top of the funeral, families paid an average of $5,846 to hire additional professionals, such as lawyers, financial 
advisors, and realtors. The average bill charged for these services include the following breakdown: 

Professional Services 

$4,461 real estate professionals

$3,910 lawyer fees

$2,456 accountants

$1,637 therapists or social workers 

Notably, the $3,910 in lawyer’s fees was nearly doubled when estates required the court process of probate, 
which was the case for one-third of the families surveyed. When you include lawyers, court costs, and all 
the other related fees, the total cost to complete probate for families averaged $16,800. 

Fortunately, by placing assets in a properly created and maintained revocable living trust, assets held by 
the trust will pass to your loved ones without the need for probate or any court intervention following 
your death or incapacity. And that’s especially important in California, where the costs of probate are even 
higher than the national averages. 

Paying The Final BillSo how did families pay for all these expenses? Only 1 in 7 families had any of the costs associated with 
their loved ones’ death paid in advance or were able to use payable-on-death funds. Additionally, more than 
50% of families had to deal with estates that included debt. To foot the bill for these expenses, 36.1% of respondents 
used their own savings or investments, while 42.4% used their checking accounts or credit cards. 

For most families, the financial costs associated with loss were exacerbated by a lack of information about 
exactly how much money they should expect to spend, notes internal medicine physician Shoshana Ungerleider, 
MD, in the report’s section on death’s financial cost. Compounding that stress, Ungerleider says, was 
the families’ fear of making a mistake that would make their financial burden even worse. 

“A majority of families find themselves unprepared for and under-informed about the real financial costs of 
death, with few available resources for finding out,” writes Ungerleider. “They can spend months or years 
terrified that a wrong move would wipe out their inheritance or even their own savings.” 

As an example of what such a mistake might look like, Ungerleider notes that a lack of proper estate planning 
can lead to the deceased’s home being seized after death “to pay off expenses incurred through Medicare, 
even if the family member who was their primary caregiver is still living in the home.” 

This is another area where thoughtful estate planning can be invaluable. It is important to ensure you and/
or your senior parents can qualify for Medicare and other benefits, without putting the family home or 
other assets at risk. 

In fact, your estate plan can – and probably should - include various asset protection tools designed to keep 
your financial wealth out of the hands of third parties, and responsibly in the hands of your loved ones, no 
matter what happens in the future. 


Marc Garlett, Esq.
Cali Law Family Legacy 

Mountain Views-News Saturday, August 13, 2022 


HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …August Birthdays* 

Nancy Beckham, Karlene Englert, Juanita Fernandez, Jeanette Francis, 
Joseph Kiss, Jacquie Pergola, Pat Miranda, Jerry Burnett, Margaret Aroyan, 
Phyllis Burg, Beverly Clifton, Rosemary Morabito, Susan Poulsen, Joy Barry, 
Marcia Bent, Joan Spears, Ruth Torres, Jane Zamanzadeh. Helen Stapenhorst, 
Chandy Shair, Heidi Hartman, Erma Gutierrez, Margaret Switzer

 * To add your name to this distinguished list, please call the paper at 626.355.2737. YEAR 
of birth not required 
SIERRA MADRE SENIOR CLUB Every Saturday from 11:30am-3:30 pm in the Hart 
Park House Senior Center. Join us as we celebrate birthdays, holidays and pay BINGO. 
Must be 50+ to join. For more information call Mark at 626-355-3951. 

DOMINOES TRAIN GAME 1st and 3rd Wednesdays, 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. 


Tuesday, 8/4 10:30 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. 

TEA AND TALK SENIOR BOOK CLUB Tuesday Aug. 11 and Aug 24 — 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! 

FIBER FRIENDS Tuesday, 8/16 —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 

CHAIR YOGA 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 or the Hart Park House.. 

HULA AND POLYNESIAN DANCE 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. 

BLOOD PRESSURE CLINIC - Tuesday, Aug 9 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Methodist Hospital will be holding a free to seniors clinic once a month in the Hart Park 
House. Walk in are welcome - no pre-registration required. 

BINGO: Aug 18 1:00 pm - 2:00 pmCome down to the HPH (Hart Park House) for a lively round of BINGO. Prizes await! 

SENIOR CINEMA Wednesday, 8/17— Beinning at 1:00 pm Blue Hawaii PG 1h 42mAfter arriving back in Hawaii from the Army, Chad Gates (Elvis Presley) defies his parents’ 
wishes for himn to work at the family business and instead goes to work as a tour 
guide at his girlfriend’s agency. 


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder 


Whenever things go better than you can imagine, it is always a red flag 
to pay attention because something is wrong. I don’t always catch it, and 
I have paid the price.

One day this past week, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage 
and our daughters and grand-daughters planned a girl’s day. I always 
enjoy that day because I am left on my own, which doesn’t happen often.

As my wife left the building, she asked, “Are you okay with getting your own 
lunch today?”
It’s questions like that that I love. So, I shouted back to her, “I’m okay with that. Have a 
fun day and a long day.” 

I was working on some projects in my office, but all I could think about was 
“lunch.” I don’t often take care of my lunch, but when it does happen, I enjoy it. I kept 
looking at my watch impatiently, waiting for lunchtime to come.

Finally, the hour arrived, and I went to the kitchen to make my own lunch. I was 
whistling as I left my office and headed for the kitchen. I got to the refrigerator, and just 
as I was about to open the door, something caught my eye.

Looking around at the table in the kitchen, I saw something there that was amazing. 
It was one of The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage’s homemade raisin pie. It’s been 
a long time since she made raisin pie, and as I looked at it it was truly with desire.

Looking at it, I promised myself that it would be my lunchtime dessert. Then, 
very quickly, I got some lunch together, consumed it, and went back to the raisin pie.
I looked at it, smelled it, and it was amazingly delicious aroma. So I got a knife out 
of the drawer, went to the pie, and cut a slice for my consumption. Yummy.

I took it into the living room and sat on my easy chair so I could maximize my 
enjoyment of that pie. I would take a bite and then a sip of coffee. My eyes rolled in great 
delight as I enjoyed this pie. I can’t remember the last time I had any raisin pie. It was as 
delicious as I remembered. 

Don’t let this get back to my wife, but it was the most wonderful lunch I’ve had in 
a long time. That raisin pie did the trick. As I sat there sipping some coffee, I was thinking 
about that raisin pie. Then, an idea came into my mind that I hadn’t thought about 

What would this raisin pie be like if there was a scoop of ice cream on the top? I 
couldn’t get that out of my mind.
I remember my father used to say that his favorite pie was the one he was eating 
at the time. 
Reflecting about it the thought came to my mind that my favorite pie is the one 
I’m eating with a scoop of ice cream on the top.

Eventually, I came to the point where I had to surrender to this thought. So I went 
back into the kitchen, cut another slice of raisin pie, went to the freezer, got some ice 
cream, and put a lovely scoop of ice cream on top. Just looking at it was marvelous.

I took it to my easy chair and I very slowly and deliberately ate that raisin pie à 
la mode. I’ve never had anything as delicious. I couldn’t wait for The Gracious Mistress 
of the Parsonage to come home and thank her for that marvelous pie she baked for me. 
What a lucky guy I am.

I returned to my office and picked up where I left off and worked for a couple of 
hours. Then, I heard the front door open, and suspected my wife was home.

There was a brief moment of silence, and then I heard, “Oh, no. What did you 
I froze in my seat. Because when she said, “What did you do?” I knew that was a reference 
to me. I had no idea what I had done or how she caught me.

She soon showed up at my door and looking at me, said, “You did not eat that 
raisin pie, did you?” I smiled at her and said, “Yes, I did. That was the best raisin pie you 
have ever made. I loved it.” “Oh, no.” She said in a very sad voice. “What am I going to do 

I was stunned because I had no idea what she was talking about. 

Then she said, “Don’t you know I made that raisin pie for our neighbor’s birthday tomorrow? 
Now, what do I do?” 

There just was no way I was going to assemble a bunch of words together in a logical 
format to re-spond to her question. No matter what I say, it will not solve the problem 
right before me. 

I wanted to say, but I didn’t, “You should not have tempted me with your fantastic raisin 
pie. You know I can’t resist.” But I would only have dug my hole deeper to the extent I 
would never get out of it. 

This reminded me of a wonderful verse in the Bible. “Delight thyself also in the Lord: and 
he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalm 37:4).
My greatest delight is serving God in such a way that pleases him. 

Dr. James L. Snyder lives in Ocala, FL with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Telephone 
1-352-216-3025, e-mail Website is www.jamessny-

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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