Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, May 22, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 10

Mountain View News Saturday, May 22, 2021 10 Mountain View News Saturday, May 22, 2021 10 

Dear Savvy Senior:
What tips can you offer for downsizing? My husband 
and I would like to relocate from our house 

into a retirement community condo near our 
daughter but need to get rid of a lot of personal possessions before we can move. Overwhelmed 

Dear Willa: 
The process of weeding through a house full of stuff and parting with old possessions is 
difficult and overwhelming for most people. A good place to start is to see if your kids, 
grandkids or other family members would like any of your unused possessions. Whatever 
they don’t want, here are a few tips and services that may help you downsize. 

Sell It 
Selling your stuff is one way to get rid of your possessions and pad your pocketbook at the 
same time. Selling options may include consignment shops, a garage sale, estate sale and 
selling online. 

Consignment shops are good for selling old clothing, household furnishings and decorative 
items – they typically get 30 to 40 percent of the sale price. A good old-fashion garage 
sale is another option, or for large-scale downsizing you could hire an estate sale company 
to come in and sell your items. See and to locate options in 
your area. Some estate companies will even pick up your stuff and sell it at their own location 
– they typically take about 35 percent of the profits. 

Selling online is also a great option and opens you up to a wider audience. The OfferUp app 
(, Facebook Marketplace (, Craigslist (Craigslist.
org) and the CPlus for Craigslist app ( are great options for selling locally, 
which can eliminate the packing and shipping costs and hassle. These websites and apps 
also don’t take a cut of your sales, but you’re re-sponsible for connecting with your buyer 
and making the exchange of money and goods. 

Donate It 
If you itemize on your tax returns, donating your belongings to charitable organizations 
is another way to downsize and get a tax deduction. The Salvation Army (, 
800-728-7825) will actually come to your house and pick up a variety of household items, 
including furnishings and clothing. Goodwill ( is another good option to 
donate to but they don’t offer pickup services. 

If your deductions exceed $500, you’ll need to file Form 8283, “Noncash Charitable Contributions” 
( You’ll also need a receipt from the organization 
for every batch of items you donate and will need to create an itemized list of the items 
donated. To calculate fair market value for your stuff, use the Salvation Army’s donation 
guide at 

Toss It 
If you have a lot of junk you want to get rid of, contact your municipal trash service to see 
if they pro-vide bulk curbside pickup services. Or, depending on where you live, you could 
hire a company like 1-800-Got-Junk (, 800-468-5865) or Junk-King 
(, 888-888-5865) to come in and haul it off for a moderate fee. 

Another disposal option is Bagster (, 877-789-2247) by Waste Management. 
This is a dumpster bag that you purchase for around $30, fill it to a limit of 3,300 
pounds and schedule a pickup, which costs anywhere between $100 and $300 depending 
on your area. 

Get HelpIf you want or need some help, consider hiring a senior move manager. These are professional 
organ-izers who help older adults and their families with the daunting process of 
downsizing and moving to a new residence. To locate one in your area, visit the National 
Association of Senior Move Managers at or call 877-606-2766. You can also 
search at Caring Transitions (, which is a large senior relocation 
and transition services franchise company that has more than 200 franchises nationwide. 

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. 



A last will and testament is the most commonly thought-of document 
when it comes to an estate plan. But really, it is only a small 
part of an integrated plan that ensures your family stays out of 
court and out of conflict if and when something happens to you. 

Do not think you can just write your own will and that will help 
your family. 
You have probably seen ads from services that tout the idea that 
you can write your own will quickly – maybe even while you are in the security line at the 
airport (seriously, we have seen those ads in our own Facebook feeds). 

Instead, consider the reality that trying to write your own will could actually create far more 
trouble for your loved ones down the road. Your family and loved ones need you to get professional 
support from someone who can help you look at what you own, who you trust, and 
what would happen to you and everyone you love in the event of your incapacity or death. 

Death is unavoidable – and incapacity will happen to many of us before that. These are facts. 

Facing these matters head-on leads you – and your loved ones – to having the best life possible. 
Otherwise, it is the people you love who get stuck with everything you did not take care 
of when you could have. 

Unfortunately, if you go it alone, you may miss important facets of what happens in the event 
of your incapacity or death. For example, you may think that a will is sufficient when what you 
really need is a probate avoidance trust to keep your family out of court. A five-minute will 
won’t help you stay out of court. 

Or you may think your kids are adequately protected because you have a will, but you may 
really need a full Kids Protection Plan® and without it your kids could end up in the care of 
strangers, even if just temporarily. Before you do anything, get educated and empowered to 
do what is right. 

The right plan for you begins with knowing what you have, and then being clear on what is 
necessary to keep your family out of court and conflict and keep your assets out of your state’s 
unclaimed property fund. If you are ready to write your will, that is great – but see an estate 
planning lawyer first. 

The biggest mistake you can make is not facing the reality of death, the second biggest mistake 
is facing it alone. 

Dedicated to empowering your family, building your wealth and defining 
your legacy, A local attorney and father, Marc Garlett is on a mission tohelp parents protect what they love most. 
His office is located at 55 Auburn Avenue, Sierra Madre, CA 91024. Schedulean appointment to sit down and talk about ensuring a legacy of love and financial securityfor your family by calling 626.355.4000 or visit for more information. 


HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …May Birthdays* 

Beth Copti, Marilyn Diaz, Anne Schryver, Jo Ann Williams, Paul Hagan, Lenore Crilly 
Joann Serrato-Chi, Harriett Lyle, Jean Coleman, Birgitta Gerlinger, Donna Mathieson, 
Luciana Rosenzweig, Linda Wochnik, Marian Woodford, Debbie Sheridan, Joanne 
Anthony, Carole Axline, Kika Downey, Shirley Hall, Annie Scalzo, Janet Ten Eyck, Jane 
Thomas, Ray Burley. * 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 amChair yoga with Paul is coming back! Class 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 
relaxation. 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 supplies for each class. 
Class size is limited so please call 264-8923 to reserve your spot. 


If you are in need of assistance with your 2020 taxes please know that help is a phone call away. Don Brunner, Tax 
Saver, is not accepting in person consultations at the moment but available for a phone or email consult. Please 
call him at 626-447-8829 or email 

Have you ever thought about trying your hand at writing? Do you have an idea for a book and no idea how to 
begin? This program may be for you! Katy Nishimoto, Senior Editor with Random House, has graciously volunteered 
her time to lead this incredible writers workshop for seniors. Program participants will be given a prompt, 
a 10 minute writing task and a group reading. Discussions, readings and feedback to help guide your creative 
thinking into creative writing. If you have interest in writing nonfiction, a memoir, fiction or poetry then please 
call or email today to reserve your spot. Class will be limited to 10 participants. No writing skills or experience is 
required. Call Lawren Heinz at 626-355-7394 to reserve your spot and receive class information. 

Tuesday, May 18 at 11:00 am Join Lawren in making a delightful, colorful and artistic nail polish marbled mug! 
All supplies will be provided for you and we will meet in the Hart Park House patio. Please wear clothes you don’t 
mind getting nail polish on. To reserve your spot or ask questions please call Lawren Heinz at (626) 355-7394 or 
send an email to 


 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 lheinz@cityofsierramadre. 

 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 

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. 


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder 


One day this past week, I decided 
to stay home and catch up on 
a little bit of reading. It's not often 
that I take a day and not go 
to the office and just pander around the house. 
Sometimes it's neces-sary to do such a thing, and 
I don’t do it often enough.
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage had a 
day planned of shopping as well as an appointment 
at her doctor. She would be gone the whole 
day, and so I would have the entire day to myself. 
I was looking forward to it. Who wouldn’t?
I really was mistaken about this idea. For me to 
have a day by myself is a wonderful idea, but it's 
still back in Kansas. 
The wife just left the building, I had settled down 
with a stack of books I needed to go through 
and, of course, a hot cup of coffee to the left of 
me. I was looking forward to a wonderful day. I 
sighed a deep sigh and opened up the first book.
Then I got a phone call. I wasn't prepared for the 
phone call, so I answered, expecting to talk to 

It was a reminder that my car warranty had expired, 
and if I press number 1, I would be transferred 
to someone who could renew it. They also 
said that this is the last opportunity I have to renew 
my warranty.
I want to get the definition of the word "last." If 
this is the last opportunity I have, why have I received 
hundreds of these phone calls?
A few moments later, another phone call came.
I wrestle with the idea of, is it okay to lie to someone 
who is lying to you?
The lady on the phone congratulated me on winning 
two round-trip tickets to anywhere I wanted 
to go. All I needed to do was come to their 
headquarters and they would put us up for three 
days and two nights, and the food was included.
I don't know how ideas dance into my head, but 
this one did. 
I responded to the lady, “I’m sorry, but my religion 
does not allow me to fly on airplanes.” 
The crickets on the other end did a little concert 
and then she got back to me and told me that I 
could give those tickets to anybody I wanted to. 
All I had to do was to come over to their headquar-
ters, and everything would be fine.
"My religion," I explained, "not only does not 
permit me to fly on airplanes but does not allow 
me to give airplane tickets to anybody. I appreciate 
your offer, but I cannot do it."
Sometimes religion can come in handy. I chuckled 
to myself the rest of the day. When I'm 
through chuckling, I will confess my sin.
There were a few other phone calls, and I re

sponded quite similarly to all of them. If anybody 
can harass a telemarketer, it is my wife's 
favorite husband. 
Then I got a phone call I wasn’t prepared for. This 
phone call was from Duke Energy.
According to the person on the phone, they sent 
me four notifications that my account was delinquent 
and that my electricity would be cut off 
This sort of rocked my afternoon. If I'm without 
electricity, what do I do? And you know what it's 
like to have your electricity reinstated with all 
the fees. 
According to the person on the other end of the 
phone, I owed Duke energy $998.59 for the last 
eight months that I have not paid.
If you want to get my attention just tell me you 
want my money.
“What can I do,” I asked in desperation, “to keep 
from having my electricity cut off?”
Then I told him I did not have that much money 
to pay. He was asking for a credit card number so 
I could get up to date on my account.
“I can help you here,” he said, “by lowering your 
payment to $698.59.” 
He could tell I was hesitating here, and so he responded 
by saying, "If there is anything wrong, 
we will be able to refund your payment, so there’s 
no risk." 
Then, I heard in my head, “ding dong, the witch 
is dead.” 
I began to realize I was in the middle of a scam, 
and I didn't know it. As soon as I thought that, I 
knew I was in trouble but not the kind of trouble 
he was telling me.
He gave me a number that I could call, and I 
knew it wasn't the right number. After I hung up, 
I looked up my Duke Energy account and called 
them, and much to my relief, they told me that it 
was a scam and that my account was up-to-date.
I thought about this, and perhaps this scam was 
a payment for lying about the airplane tickets. I 
could have really been had.
Thinking about what I really could have been involved 
in brought a little spirit of repentance to 
my heart. I thought about a verse in the Bible. 
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever 
a man soweth, that shall he also reap” 
(Galatians 6:7).
When I do negative things, I will reap negative 
things. And I was about to reap something very 
neg-ative. But the thing that makes the difference 
is recognizing it and then repenting.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of 
God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 

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