Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, February 13, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 10


Mountain View News Saturday, February 13, 2021 



Dear Savvy Senior:

Where can I turn to find a good Medicare covered hospice 
provider? My husband’s mother has a terminal 
condition and wants to die at home, if possible, so I’m 
helping out where I can. Sad Sandy

Dear Sandy:

Hospice is a wonderful option in the last months of life 
because it offers a variety of services, not only to those who are dying, but also to those left behind. 
Here’s what you should know about hospice care, along with some tips to help you choose one.

Understanding Hospice

Hospice care is a unique service that provides medical care, pain management, and emotional and 
spiritual support to people who are in the last stages of a terminal illness – it does not speed up or slow 
down the process of dying. Hospice’s goal is to simply keep the patient as comfortable and pain-free as 
possible, with loved ones nearby until death.

 The various services provided by a hospice program comes from a team of professionals that works 
together to accommodate all the patients’ end-of-life needs.

 The team typically includes hospice doctors that will work with the primary physician and family 
members to draft up a care plan; nurses who dispense medication for pain control; home care aids that 
attend to personal needs like eating and bathing; social workers who help the patient and the family 
prepare for end of life; clergy members who provide spiritual counseling, if desired; and volunteers 
that fill a variety of niches, from sitting with the patient to helping clean and maintain their property.

Some hospices even offer massage or music therapy, and nearly all provide bereavement services for 
relatives and short-term inpatient respite care to give family caregivers a break. 

Most hospice patients receive care in their own home. However, hospice will go wherever the patient 
is – hospital, nursing home or assisted living residence. Some even have their own facility to use as an 

To receive hospice, your mother-in-law must get a referral from her physician stating that her life 
expectancy is six months or less.

It’s also important to know that home-based hospice care does not mean that a hospice nurse or volunteer 
is in the home 24 hours a day. Services are based on need and/or what you request. Hospice care 
can also be stopped at any time if your mother-in-law’s health improves or if she decides to re-enter 
cure-oriented treatments.

How to Choose

The best time to prepare for hospice and consider your options is before it’s necessary, so you’re not 
making decisions during a stressful time. There are more than 4,300 hospice care agencies in the U.S., 
so depending on where you live, you may have several options from which to choose.

To locate a good hospice in your area, ask your mother-in-law’s doctor or the discharge planner at your 
local hospital for a referral, or you can search online at, which provides 
lists and ratings of hospice providers in your area.

When choosing, look for an established hospice that has been operating for a few years and one that is 
certified by Medicare. To help you select one, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization 
offers a worksheet of questions to ask

Medicare Coverage

Medicare covers all aspects of hospice care and services for its beneficiaries. There is no deductible for 
hospice services although there may be a very small co-payment – such as $5 for each prescription 
drug for pain and symptom control, or a 5 percent share for inpatient respite care. Medicaid also covers 
hospice in most states, as do most private health insurance plans.

For more information, see the “Medicare Hospice Benefits” online booklet at

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.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! … February Birthdays*

Tracy Verhoeven, Beatrice DaRe, Cathrine 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


CHAIR YOGA Every Monday and Wednesday, 10-10:45 am Chair yoga with Paul is coming back! Class will 
begin on Monday, August 10th and will 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 relaxa-tion. Class size is limited 
so please call 264-8923 to reserve your spot. 

HAWAIIAN AND POLYNESIAN DANCE CLASS Every Friday, 10-10:45 am Class will also meet in the Cov-
ered Pavilion in Memorial Park in front of the Senior Center. Join the class with instructor Barbara as she leads 
you through the art of Hula. Please call 264-8923 with any questions. 

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 sup-plies for each class. Please call the 
Community Services Department at 355-5278 with any questions or concerns.


Wednesday, October 21, 11:00 am. Please join me as we try our hands at making Wooden Owl Orna-ments. This 
will be a new type of program as we create our masterpieces via Zoom to ensure all of our safety. I will have all the 
supplies individually packaged and ready for pickup on Monday, October 19th pickup will be between 10:00 am-
2:00 pm. I will have enough supplies for 10 participants. Reservations are required so please call 355-5278 x 704 
to secure your spot. Please note that this is an ONLINE class that will be held via Zoom. We will not be meeting 
in the Hart Park House Senior Center.


 Do you have any ideas for programming? Is there a class or club you would like to see in our Senior Community? 
Please call or email Lawren Heinz with ideas or questions. 626-355-5278 x 704

 City staff are monitoring email communication daily, and although employees are minimizing direct engagement 
and interfacing less with 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 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 practicing 
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 person.

 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 community 

 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.

Mater Dolorosa - Sierra Madre Meal Pick-Up Program provides seal-packaged frozen meals, 5-per person 
every Thursday, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. at Hart Park House Senior Center 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. Donations 
are accepted. Call (626) 355-5278; x702 or 704. YWCA Intervale Meal Program - Effective 
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

YWCA has transitioned their distribution of take home meals at the Sierra Madre Hart Park House 
Senior Center to a home-delivery meal program. Participants previously reserved for meal pick-up 
as of Wednesday, 3/25/20 were informed that they would begin to have their meals delivered to their 
homes, beginning Wednesday, April 1, 2020 until further notice.



A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder



Within the past year, a 
combination of new legislation 
and the recent 
change of leadership in 
the White House and 
Congress stands to dramatically 
increase the 
taxes your loved ones 
will have to pay on inherited retirement accounts as 
well as increasing the taxes you owe on your taxable 
investments. However, purchasing life insurance may 
offer you the opportunity to min-imize the effect of 
these developments.

To this end, if you hold assets in a retirement account, 
you need to review your financial plan and estate plan 
as soon as possible to determine if investing in life insurance 
or some other strategy may offer tax-saving 
benefits for you and your family. To help you with this 
process, here we’ll discuss how these new developments 
might affect the taxes owed by you and your heirs, and 
how investing in life insurance may help offset the tax 
impact of these new changes.


At the start of 2020, the Setting Every Community Up 
for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act) went 
into effect, and the new law effectively put an end to the 
so-called “stretch IRA.” Un-der prior law, beneficiaries 
of your retirement account could choose to stretch out 
distributions of an inherited retirement account over 
their own life expectancy to minimize the income taxes 
owed on those distributions. 

Under the new law, however, most designated beneficiaries 
of inherited IRAs and similar tax-deferred qualified 
retirement accounts are now required to withdraw 
all of the assets from the inherited account—and pay 
income taxes on those withdrawals—within 10 years of 
the account owner’s death. Those who fail to withdraw 
funds within the 10-year window face a 50% tax penalty 
on the assets remaining in the account.

Democrats Take Control

The recent election of Joe Biden as President and subsequent 
Democratic takeover of the Sen-ate will likely 
result in the passage of new tax legislation that could 
have a significant impact on your family’s financial and 
estate planning considerations. 

Specifically, it’s likely that within the next two years 
Democrats will pass legislation aimed at eliminating 
many of the tax cuts enacted through the 2017 Tax Cuts 
and Jobs Act. As part of this legislation, we’re expected 
to see significantly lower federal estate tax exemptions, 
the elimi-nation of the step-up in cost basis on inherited 
assets, as well as an increase in the top personal 
income and capital-gains tax rates. 

One way you may be able to minimize the new taxes 
on both your tax-deferred retirement ac-counts and 
taxable investments is by investing in cash-value life 
insurance. Let’s break down exactly what this strategy 
might look like.

The New Role of Life Insurance in Your Estate and Financial 

Given the new distribution requirements for inherited 
IRAs, you should consider whether it makes sense to 
withdraw funds from your retirement account now, 
pay the tax, and invest the remainder in cash-value 
life insurance. From there, you can access the accumulated 
cash-surrender value of the life insurance policy 
income-tax free during your lifetime via tax-free withdrawals 
and/or loans. And upon your death, the payout 
of your life insurance policy would be income-tax free 
for your heirs.

By annually investing what you would otherwise put 
into tax-deferred retirement accounts into a cash-value 
life insurance contract, or by taking taxable withdrawals 
from your tax-deferred retirement accounts over 
time and reinvesting them in cash-value life insurance, 
you can effec-tively move these funds into a tax-free, 
rather than tax-deferred, investment vehicle.

This strategy could not only minimize the income taxes 
you pay over your lifetime, but it could also significantly 
reduce the tax bill imposed on your designated beneficiaries 
after your death, since life insurance proceeds 
are income-tax free.

Additionally, by investing a portion of your investable 
assets in cash-value life insurance, you can offset the 
effects of the proposed loss of income tax basis step-
up upon your death, which we’re likely to see enacted 
through Democrat-backed legislation. What’s more, 
this strategy would also minimize your current income 
taxes on what otherwise would have been taxable income 
from your investments, as growth on investments 
inside a life insurance policy are not subject to income 
tax, including any capital gains.

Finally, if you stand to be affected by the proposed decrease 
of the federal estate-tax exemp-tion, which is 
currently set at $11.7 million, by placing the life insurance 
policy inside an irrevo-cable life insurance trust, 
you can remove the death benefit paid out to your 
beneficiaries from your taxable estate. In doing so, you 
would still be able to access the cash value of the insur-
ance policy during your lifetime, either via a so-called 
“spousal access trust,” if you are mar-ried, or via a traditional 
irrevocable life insurance trust, if you are not 


Rethink Your Planning

Although the SECURE Act and the proposed new 
legislation stands to have an adverse effect on the tax 
consequences for your retirement and estate planning, 
investing in life insurance may offer you a valuable tax-
saving opportunity. That said, you can only take advantage 
of this op-portunity if you plan for it.

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 www.CaliLaw.
com for more information.

Fifty years ago, I was a teenager. 
Boy, do I miss those Days 
of Yore. It's not that I would 
like to relive them, but I was a 
much different person back then.

As a teenager, I knew everything, and all you had 
to do was ask me. Even if you didn't ask me, I still 
would tell you what was on my mind. I wished I 
knew everything today because people are asking 
me questions I can’t even answer.

A teenager is someone between being a baby and 
being an adult. I sure don't want to be a baby, and 
I've had misgivings about becoming an adult. An 
adult has all kinds of responsibilities, of which 
none define the term "let's have fun."

One of the marvelous things about being a teenager 
is that you really don't know what's going on 
in the world. When I was a teenager, television 
wasn't the big thing it is today. And we didn't 
have the Internet with all of the social media associated 
with it. I could go a whole week and not 
know what was going on out in the world.

If you would watch the TV news at night, which 
I did very rarely, in under 30 minutes they could 
tell you everything going on in the world. Now, 
the news needs a 24/7 platform, and even then, 
they can't get all of the news out there.

A characteristic of a teenager is that they don't 
know what they don't know. And what they don't 
know doesn't interest them at all. Those were the 
good old days.

Back in those days, NEWS meant Nothing Ever 
Worth Seeing. And I lived by that rule.

Today, however, is a little bit different for me. At 
the end of the day, I like to sit in my easy chair 
with a nice hot cup of coffee and try to catch up 
with the news. To catch up with the news is like 
spilling Ketchup on your shirt while eating a hot 
dog. It's there, but it disgusts you.

Towards the end of last week, I came home from 
the office, situated myself in my easy chair with 
my coffee, and began watching the news. It went 
from one story to another story, and it was hard 
to tell the difference between any of them.

It was almost as entertaining as watching the 
Three Stooges. Political stooges, however, repeat 
the same thing over and over and over again. 
Before they go into office, I think our politicians 
need to sit down and have a 24-hour binge-
watching the Three Stooges. Not that they would 
learn anything, but it might give us 24 hours of 

To say I was getting a little irritated is to put it 
rather mildly. It's not often that I get irritated at 
any-thing, but watching the news really made me 
irritated that night. Maybe it was because I had a 
hard week or something, I'm not sure. But I was 

Finally, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage 
joined me, and I could hold it back no longer.

Taking a deep breath, raising my right fist, I said, 
"If it were only up to me. I'd fix that problem. 
What's wrong with those stupid politicians?"

When I calmed down a little bit, I heard some 
chuckling across the room. I'm not used to hearing 
chuckling across the room, and so I did not 
know what was going on. I looked, and wouldn't 
you know it, it was the Gracious Mistress of the 
Parsonage laughing.

“What are you laughing about?”

Looking at me, still chuckling, she said, "Are you 
sure you could fix that problem?"

I wasn't quite sure what she was getting at, and at 
this point, I was not going to jeopardize my happiness 
by asking her to explain what she just said.

I did not have to ask her because as she cooled 
down her chuckling, she began to explain why 
she was chuckling. I didn't want to hear it.

"If you can fix that problem," she said, still chuckling, 
"I have a list of problems that I would like you 
to fix." With that said, she continued chuckling.

At the time, I did not find it worth chuckling, but 
I did realize I had dug a hole that I'm not going to 
get out of very easily.

Still chuckling, she continued, "Which problem 
would you like to start with? You can pick which-
ever one you want."

Trying to smile as best I could, which at the time 
was quite tricky, I said, "I was just speaking parenthetically. 
I'm just a little upset that our politicians 
don't do the work that they say they're going 
to do."

"That's okay, and I understand," my wife said, 
"you now can set the example by taking this list 
and begin fixing one problem after another."

This is why I am very careful what I say out loud. 
Somebody is always listening.

As we were sitting there, I was reminded of what 
that wise old King Solomon once said. “In the 
multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he 
that refraineth his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19).

Solomon had more wives than I can count, and 
perhaps that was why he came to this wonderful 
piece of wisdom. It's easy to say something, but 
once you do, you can never unsay it.

Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God 
Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He 
lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call 
him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail jamessnyder2@ The church web site is www.whatafellowship.

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