Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, December 3, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 12

Mountain View News Saturday, December 3, 2022 12 Mountain View News Saturday, December 3, 2022 12 

Dear Savvy Senior:
I recently learned about a property-tax relief program for 
seniors in the county where I live. Apparently, there are 
hundreds of these programs across the country that many 
retirees, like me, are eligible for but don’t know about. 
What can you tell me about this? Overtaxed Eddie 

Dear Eddie: 

Great question! Residential property-tax refund and credit programs exist in nearly every state, but unfortunately 
few people know about them. These programs can help retirees and many other Americans 
by reducing their property taxes. Here’s what you should know. 

Rising Property TaxesProperty taxes are a major source of income for local governments, but while they help fund key public 
services, they can be a financial drain for many homeowners, especially retirees, many of whom live on 
fixed incomes. 

According to Attom Data Solutions, a property-data provider, the average American household payed 
$3,785 in property taxes in 2021, but this amount varies widely depending on your state’s tax rate and 
your home’s estimated value. For example, New Jersey residents paid $9,476 per year on average in 2021, 
while West Virginia residents paid $901. 

To help ease this tax burden, most states offer a number of property-tax relief programs. But states aren’t 
always proactive in letting people know. It’s up to you, the homeowner, to find out what’s available in your 
county or city that you may be eligible for, and to apply. 

Relief Programs 

Property tax relief programs, sometimes called exemptions, release eligible homeowners from paying 
some or all of their property tax obligation. How long the exemption lasts can vary depending on where 
you live, and the reason you’re applying for the exemption. 

The tax-relief process varies by county, city or state. In general, you’ll have to meet certain eligibility 
requirements, submit an application and provide documents that support your request. Most programs 
will either reduce, waive or freeze property taxes for seniors, veterans, surviving spouses, disabled and 
low-income residents. 

But there are some counties that also offer basic homestead exemptions to homeowners regardless of 
age or income, and others that may provide exemptions to homeowners that have recently made energy-
efficient improvements to their home. 

Where to Look 

The best way to learn about local property-tax relief programs and their eligibility requirements is to visit 
your county, city or state website that collects your property tax. Most of these sites also provide applications 
and instructions, and will allow you to apply either online, by mail or at your local tax office. 

Another good resource for locating programs in your area is the Lincoln Institute, which has a property-
tax database that lets you to browse programs across the country. To access it go to ResidentialPropertyTaxReliefPrograms.

AARP may also be able to help through their Property Tax-Aide service – see PTAconsumers.aarpfoundation.
org. This free program, which is available in 13 states (Arizona, Colorado, Florida–Miami 
Dade County, Illinois-Cook County, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New 
Hampshire, New York and North Carolina) and the District of Columbia helps eligible homeowners and 
renters apply for relief. 

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 you’re surely aware of, 

we’re in the midst of great 

economic shifts. The col

lapse of the crypto mar

ket, the roller coaster that 

is the stock market, rising 
interest rates, dropping home values, and inflation 
through the roof—it’s enough to make you sick. And it 
can make you sick, unless you take action.
During every economic shift, whether it’s the Great Depression, 
the last Great Recession, or even during the 
Covid pandemic, some people get rich, while others lose 
everything, and you can learn from what happened and 
create the exact future reality you want for yourself and 
the people you love.
But to do that, you need to take action now. In service to 
that, here are 4 steps you can take right away to change 
your family’s future and ensure you have the stability 
you need to sail through the latest economic shifts in the 
best way possible.
On that note, whether you’ll be passing on wealth or inheriting 
it, it’s crucial to have a plan in place to reduce the 
massive loss that will occur if you wait to start the estate 
planning conversation. Whether you have a little or a lot, 
not getting clear on what you do have (or will receive) 
can cause major upsets that can cost you far more than 
just money. 

1 - Get into conversation and connection 
The first step to ensure your family benefits from the 
current and coming economic shifts, regardless of what 
happens, is to get into conversation and connection with 
the people you depend on, the people who depend on 
you, or who you will depend on, if something happens 
to you or your assets.
With the economic realities that are upon us, we can no 
longer go it alone, expecting everything to just work out 
because the stock market is on the rise and there’s plenty 
of savings’ cushion in the bank. Instead, this is the time 
to bring your family together and talk about what there 
is, where it is, and how it’s being managed (and will be 
managed) in the event there is a black swan event, such 
as another pandemic or a major stock-market crash.
If you are afraid to have these conversations because you 
think your family might not do well with knowing what 
you have, because you think they can’t handle knowing 
what you have (or don’t have), or because talking about 
family financial resources may be taken negatively, that’s 
a sign that it’s more important than ever to get into conversation 
and connection as soon as possible. And if you 
don’t have kids, siblings, a spouse, or living parents, it’s 
even more important that you start these conversations. 
You can begin by identifying who you need to have these 
conversations with. 
If talking about assets and the allocation of family resources 
is easy for your family, that’s great—it’s time to 
take it to the next level by following the rest of the steps 
outlined here. Once you get into conversation with the 
right people based on your family dynamics, the next 
step is to get comfortable enough to “open the curtain.” 
This involves creating an inventory that lists all of the assets 
you own, where they are located, and how the people 
you love can find them in the event you become unable 
to share those details yourself. 

2 - Open the curtain: Create your “Family Wealth 
Whether you’ve created a formal set of estate planning 
documents already or not, it’s time to create (or update) 
an inventory of your assets. In our experience, most estate 
plans don’t do a very good job of keeping assets organized. 
When a loved one becomes incapacitated or dies, 
this is actually one of the biggest sources of expense, 
heartache, and pain—no one knows what there is, where 
it is, or how to find it.
One of the greatest gifts you can give the people you love 
is what we call a “Family Wealth Inventory,” and it’s so 
important, we create it for all of our clients as part of 
their estate plan. You should not only create this inventory, 
but you should keep it consistently updated, as your 
assets change over time. 

During a major economic shift, creating, updating and 
revising your Family Wealth Inventory is critical, and 
doing that with the people you love is a priority. As we 
see it, family wealth isn’t just about your financial wealth, 
it’s about your whole family wealth, including your intel

lectual, spiritual, and human assets. In fact, these non-
financial, intangible assets are usually what we all care 
about most, and yet they are so often overlooked in estate 
One of the best ways to maximize your family’s intellectual, 
spiritual, and human assets is for your loved ones 
to get into relationship around your family’s financial 
resources. Begin by creating (or updating) your Family 
Wealth Inventory, and sharing it with your loved ones, 
so you can discuss how to best allocate (or re-allocate) 
those resources. Having this conversation can help ensure 
your family’s intellectual, spiritual, and human 
wealth continues to grow, even as we move through these 
uncertain economic times. 
3 - Consider reallocating your resourcesOnce you’ve created your Family Wealth Inventory, 
which allows you to see all your assets in one place and 
consider the needs of your family, regardless of the economic 
climate, you may decide to reallocate your resources. 
For example, now might be the time to invest in 
multigenerational housing that will allow you and your 
kids to live together for many years or allow you to care 
for aging parents, while still maintaining privacy. Or you 
may decide that it’s time to create that homestead you’ve 
been talking about building, or launch that business 
you’ve been wanting to start. And it could be that now is 
the time to do all of that with the people you love.
Times are changing, and the best time to look at what you 
have, so you can consider the future you want to create 
and intentionally allocate (or re-allocate) your resources 
is right now. Those who do so will set up their families 
to thrive. Those who don’t may fall behind and will wish 
they had done something different once it’s too late.
4 - Update your planOnce you look at what you have, where it is, and how 
you want it allocated, the next issue to decide on is who 
would take care of it all if you cannot. Leaving the management 
of your affairs to chance or to out-of-date estate 
planning documents is the worst thing you can do for 
yourself and those you love.
The Great Wealth Transfer is happening. Between $30 
and $80 trillion of wealth will be transferred between 
the generations over the next few decades. You’ll want 
to have everything in order now to best prepare for that 

In the meantime, start by updating the estate planning 
you already have in place to handle your assets in the 
event of your incapacity or death. If you don’t have any 
plan at all, the state has one for you, and it almost certainly 
isn’t what you would want to have happen. And if 
you do have an estate plan in place, it may be out of date, 
or possibly wasn’t even created properly to begin with. 
Secure your wealth, your legacy, and your family’s futureRegardless of how much, or how little, wealth you own, 
now is the time to look at what you have, talk to your 
parents about what they have, and talk to your kids about 
what they’ll need to take care of you. And if you don’t 
have kids or living parents, talk to your siblings or close 
friends. Find a trusted estate planning law firm which 
should have processes designed to guide you to look at 
all of these things with ease and talk to the right people 
based on your family dynamics and assets, as affordably 
and effectively as possible.
Ultimately, your estate plan should have built-in support 
for your life and legacy, which can greatly facilitate 
your ability to make wise legal and financial decisions 
throughout your lifetime and beyond. 
By getting your estate planning in order, you can rest 
assured that no matter what happens with the ongoing 
and future economic shifts, your family wealth will offer 
the maximum benefit for your loved ones. Don’t wait 
to start having these critical conversations to ensure you 
and your family will thrive through the recession and 
any other calamity that may occur. 

To your health, wealth, and family legacy, 

Marc Garlett, Esq.
Cali Law Family Legacy 



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 

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 play 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. 


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! 

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.. 

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, Dec.13 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 

DECEMBER 7, 20221:00 - 3:00 pmHART PARK HOUSE 

A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder 


For a long time, The Gra

cious Mistress of the Parson

age has accused me of talking 
in my sleep. I never believed her and just 
thought she was joking. At least, I thought it 
was a joke. 

One time she accused me of that and said, 
“Why do you talk so much in your sleep at 

Thinking this was a platform for jokes, I said, 
“That’s because, during the day, I don’t have 
any opportunity to talk.” Then I flashed her 
one of my signature smiles. 

She didn’t throw any smile back but stared 
at me for a few moments with that stare that 
went right through my body. 

It was about our third Christmas, and as we 
gathered around the Christmas tree, I handed 
her a little Christmas box all wrapped up 
in red paper with a nice little bow on the top. 

Looking at me, she smiled and said, “Is this 
the watch you were talking about in your 
sleep the other night?” 

Quite frankly, I did not know how to respond 
to that. It was a watch, but I did not know 
I had been talking about it in my sleep. So 
there has to be another reason for that! 

One morning at breakfast as we were finishing, 
I said to her, “I’ve been thinking that 

She interrupted me and said to me, “I know. 
You want to go and get that new computer 
you’ve been talking about in your sleep.” 

I have been worrying about what secrets I’m 
exposing at night while I’m sound asleep. 

Then the other day at breakfast time, she 
looked at me and said, “I think that’s an excellent 
idea you have.” 

Looking at her, I wondered what she was 
talking about, so I said, “What are you talking 

“You know,” she said with a big smile, “that 
vacation you’re planning for this coming 
summer. I think it is a wonderful idea.” 

To be truthful, I had been thinking about a 
special vacation this coming summer, but I 
hadn’t said anything to her about it up to this 
point. How in the world does she know I’m 
thinking about this vacation? 

Not knowing what to say, I looked at her, 
“Where did you ever get that idea?” 

With one of her chuckles, she said, “You 
know. That vacation you were talking about 
in your sleep last night. I agree with everything 
you said about it.” 

I was a little bit off at this point. I was thinking 
about that vacation, but I had no idea 
what I said in my sleep last night. I was afraid 
to ask her about the details of that vacation. 

I’m not sure if I need a psychologist or what! 
How can I keep from talking in my sleep at 
night? And, what if while I’m sleeping, I’m 
talking nonsense and get myself into deep 
trouble with the Gracious Mistress of the 
Parsonage? Can I really believe that what I 
say while I’m sleeping is actually true? 

Thinking about this for some time, I devised 
a little plan. One night I would pretend I was 
asleep and talk in my sleep, or at least pretend 
to. It took me a while to come up with some 
idea, but eventually, I did. 

I pretended I was asleep one night, and I began 
talking around the middle of the night. 
I said, “I think I’m going to surprise my wife 
by buying her a brand-new car. After all, she 
deserves it.” 

I thought this might bring some closure to all 
of these myths about me talking in my sleep. 

Finally, I went to sleep and was quite anxious 
to get up in the morning and hear the 
response from The Gracious Mistress of the 

I was surprised when she said nothing about 
me talking in my sleep last night. 

Maybe she fell asleep and didn’t hear me. So, 
I decided to try it the next night. 

That following day there was absolutely nothing 
she said about me talking in my sleep. 

I did this for two more nights in a row, and 
to my surprise, she never even acknowledged 
that I talked in my sleep. 

I wondered if all of this talking in my sleep 
was just a fantasy from her point of view. I 
didn’t know what to do next because nothing 
I was doing was actually working. 

Then I decided to do it one more night. 

The following day at breakfast, while we were 
eating, she stared at me, and I said, “Is something 

“I don’t think that was very funny.” 

“What are you talking about?” I asked her. 

“You know what I mean, all that talking 
about buying me a new car, but I know you 
were not asleep when you said that. You are 
just trying to trick me, and I’m not going to 
have anything to do with that.” 

I have learned that it is true only when I’m 
talking in my sleep. When I talk when I’m 
awake, it is not true. Oh, for the life of a 

Then I was reminded of a verse in the Bible. 
“For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, 
O Lord, thou knowest it altogether” (Psalm 

I’m comfortable with knowing God hears everything 
I say. With that I need to discipline 
my tongue and keep in under control. 

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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