OCTOBER 31, 2012

Apple fest benefits area kids
By Midge Rothrock The greater Aiken area has some of the best festivals and family fun events anywhere. As an example, on Saturday, November 3, from 8 am until 2 pm, you are invited to Apple Fest, a fundraiser and bazaar sponsored by St. John’s United Methodist Church, 104 Newberry Street NW, at the corners of Richland and Newberry. For information, call 648-6891.
Genie Farmer helping with pie crusts Apple Fest has been a part of fall in Aiken for more than 60 The 2012 theme is “Apples for years in one form or another. In Kids”. Benefitting charities are 1952, the women of St. John’s Salkehatchie Camps, Tri Debegan this tradition. At that velopment Center, and ACTS. time the celebration included Here’s a bit more detail about a bazaar and a served turkey how the funds will be helping dinner. Now, the event has each of these three deserving become so large that the dinner organizations in our midst. The is its own separate event. selection is made by consen-

FINANCIAL

sus from the individual Circles which comprise St. John’s United Methodist Women’s group.

provides community training and support services for children Components of a Fiscal Cliff with disabilities. These include by Jay Brooks vocational, residential and rehab PAGE 2 services, and summer programs for both children and adolescents. Tri Development is well known and greatly appreciated, for its role with their clients and families in our community. An Apple Fest donation may lighten their financial load. By the way, their cinnamon rolls and cookies are a favorite take out item for anyone who has had the pleasure of eating even one! Contact Tri-Development directly to see how you can purchase Supplemental Security Income these for your next treat! by Tony Williams PAGE 12 See Apple page 4

Tri Development Center

SOCIAL SECURITY

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Components of a Fiscal Cliff
By Jay Brooks You cannot turn on financial or political TV nowadays without hearing the phrase “Fiscal Cliff.” All of the talking heads are running around screaming that we are headed for a meltdown unless action is taken. It’s strange to me that no one ever outlines what exactly is driving us over the cliff. Today we are going to examine what the key components are of this economic disaster and how each political party feels towards the issues. By the way, were you aware that it was a South Carolina native, Ben Bernanke, that coined the phrase “Fiscal Cliff?” Bush tax cuts—At roughly $200 billion in 2013, it’s the largest component of the fiscal cliff. If they expire, the top ordinary income-tax rate will rise to 39.6%, from 35%, and the long-term capital gains rate will increase to 20%, from 15%. Dividends, currently taxed at 15%, will be treated as ordinary income. The sequester—The Super Committee’s failed attempt to come up with a viable plan to reduce the deficit triggered $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts over the next nine years. It impacts two key areas: Defense spending and discretionary spending—with exemptions on Social Security and Medicaid. AMT patch—The alternative minimum tax is an archaic tax law aimed at the nation’s highest earners with special rules and rates for deductions. Enacted as part of the Tax Reform Act of 1969, the AMT has been “patched” to offset inflation. Even with the patch, its reach has expanded from 155 wealthy families to 4 million taxpayers, including the middle class. Without new exemptions, taxpayers will pony up an additional $94 billion. Unemployment benefits— Enacted in February 2009 as

Cliff Component Bush tax cuts* The sequester AMT patch Unemployment benefits Discretionary spending cap Health-carelawtaxes The“doc-fix” Social Security payroll tax Estate tax* Tax “extenders” Total fiscal hit % of GDP
part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, these unemployment benefits were extended to an unprecedented 99 weeks. If the extension expires, the benefits will roll back to 27 weeks, representing an estimated $140 billion. Discretionary-spending cap—The Budget Control Act of 2011 placed 2% growth limits on discretionary spending through 2021, excluding the Afghanistan war and designated emergencies. The cap holds appropriations for 2012 and 2013 below its 2011 level. The estimated drag on the economy will be roughly $85 billion next year. Health-care law taxes—Under the Affordable Care Act, America’s top earners get the biggest bill, including a 3.8% tax on investment income. When coupled with a new excise tax on medical equipment, the economic impact totals $21 billion in 2013 and moves higher each year thereafter. The “doc fix”—A deferral of cuts to physician reimbursement under Medicare that dates back to the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Renewed annually since inception, it is expected to detract $20 billion from 2013 GDP if re-upped.

Fiscal Impact $305 billion $160 billion $225 billion $30 billion $170billion $50 billion $30 billion $120 billion $35 billion $60 billion $1.2 trillion 6.9%

Democratic View Expire Repeal Extend Expire Expire Implement Extend Expire Extend Extend

Republican View Extend Repeal Extend Expire Extend Repeal Extend Expire Expire Expire

Social Security payroll tax—A 2% reduction in the amount employees have taken out of their paycheck for Social Security benefits. Introduced under the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010, it was extended along with unemployment benefits, but may expire on its own. Estate tax—The estate-tax exemption will fall to $1 million from $5 million for any estate not left to a spouse or a recognized charitable organization. Estates above the exemption level will be taxed at 35%. With more than 50,000 estates expected to take a $40 billion hit, it’s an important issue for financial advisors who offer estate planning. Tax “extenders”—Various tax credits related to research and experimentation, local sales taxes, foreign investments and alcohol fuel that are set to expire. This perfect storm of tax increases and budget cuts is driving our economy crazy with uncertainty. Businesses and individuals have no idea what their tax rates are going to be and whether new healthcare costs are going to be forced upon them. What we do know is that you the investor can still create some

peace of mind with well thought out plans. Please feel free to contact us to discuss your concerns. Securities offered through High Street Securities, Inc. (Member FINRA/SIPC) 1251 Lakeside Road, Suite B, Hot Springs, AR 71901 (800) 756-0920 and Advisory Services offered through Brooks Financial Services, 124 Laurens Street, NW, Aiken, SC 29801, phone number (803) 648-1008, sa Registered Investment Advisory Firm. Jay Brooks, SC Insurance License #500027. Brooks Financial does not give legal or accounting advice.

owner of Brooks Financial

Jay Brooks

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Apple...
From Page 1

Salkehatchie Summer Service

occasion, when opening a bin which should contain jeans, or similar clothing, only to find the supply had been depleted. The Children’s Clothing Fund is particularly important to one of this year’s chairs of Apple Fest, Betty Holloway. Betty and her husband Newt lived in Aiken many years ago, for the first time. His career with Owens Corning caused them to move all around. His last transfer was back to Aiken, which suited them just fine. Betty has helped with Apple Fest and ACTS for many years. Joyce Bowman, Betty Holloway, co-chairs of Apple Fest She was particularly drawn to Lefler Perrine and Susan Bodie to Carrier for a time, workhelping grade-school children. Rhoden. Nancy shares these ing for the President. From Her career, portable enough to memories, from that year: “For NY, they spent some years in move with Newt, was mostly me, Apple Fest memories at St. Little Rock, Arkansas, where that of teaching in elementary John’s go back a long time to Joyce’s commitment to volgrades. Betty also worked with unteering became even more when it was the Fall Festival. tots as young as aged two. The bazaar ran from 8 am to earnest. Spending time workCan you imagine what fun it is 8 pm and included the turkey ing at the area hospital, in her for her three children and two dinner from 5 pm to 8 pm. It church, and with Republican grandchildren to have a mom was a wonderful day – people Women, Joyce was purposewho knows all the games and everywhere, delicious aromas ful and valued. In 1996-98, a crafts elementary teachers wafting throughout the church, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity bring to their students? Betty and so many items to purchase took them to Cairo, Egypt with and Newt’s children and famior just look at! In 1965, I was Carrier. Upon their US relies are close-by, in Atlanta and turn, they retired first in Mount 16 years old and the theme that Charlotte. Dora, Florida, enjoying golf and year was “Paris Sidewalks”. Teen girls were French waitvolunteering. Friends living in Joyce Bowman resses and served the turkey Woodside coaxed them here. is Betty’s 2012 co-chair. Betty With time out for visits to their dinner. In the mid-1990s, we insists there was no arm twistchanged to Apple Fest with three grandchildren in Cincining involved with these very nati, they give of themselves in turkey dinner on a separate close pals! Working with some- many ways to the Aiken comday. No matter the changes, one whose friendship each St. John’s festival is always a munity. treasures already makes such magnificent day with people a difference. They are enjoying Some folks have been working working together to raise funds this role. Joyce and John have with this event since its incepfor needed charities. A day of moved to Aiken in 2005. John’s tion. There are many photos “warm fuzzies”! (Nancy has career was with Carrier Corpoworked tirelessly for decades, around St. John’s, from celration, where Joyce also spent assuring success for this baebrations past. Of particular a decade working, in Syracuse, delight are those from 1965’s zaar of whatever name). NY. In fact, when their son French-themed event with was in college, Joyce returned See Apple Page 5 pictures of then-teens Nancy

is a pioneering ministry at selected sites in South Carolina, including Aiken County. This ministry involves engaging high school and college-aged youth, adult community leaders and persons of different cultures in upgrading housing and helping people to help themselves. The cost to run the summer camps have increased so much over the last few years, challenging their budget. These Apple Fest funds will be used to provide scholarships for youth who need a bit of help so they can participate in these camps. Not only do those youth attending donate their time and hard work, but they have to pay a stipend exceeding $250 for room and board. When more than one youth from a family wishes to help, it can be a significant financial decision.

ACTS

stands for Area Churches Together Serving. Their purpose is to give temporary and emergency aid in the name of Christ to persons in need in the Aiken area. The funds they will receive from St. John’s Apple Fest this year will be placed exclusively in a Children’s Clothing Fund. The fund will enable them to keep children’s clothing such as socks, underwear, jeans and jackets in stock for these children. Several of St. John’s United Methodist Women volunteer at ACTS, and have been disappointed upon

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At the other extreme, the newest member to the St. John’s staff is Sarah Bassham, administrative assistant to the ministers. Sarah is looking forward to a day of fun with her family of first-time attendees. Maybe in a future year, her darling Libby, now three, and sometimes sporting a pink tutu, will join the dancing entertainers. Back to details of this coming event……On Monday, October 15, St. John’s kitchen was full of rolling pins and laughter, as volunteers were getting the crusts ready for the fried apple pies. UMW President Mary Jo Wilson and several others were attentively watching while Linda Endler shared the closelyheld secrets for making these scrumptious pies. (They are

prepped in advance, but fried at the Fest). There will be plenty of apples! Rumor has it there will even be two additional kinds, Pippin and Winesaps. Last minute instructions to the women of the church are being sent, including how to label ingredients and baking times for their frozen casseroles and baked goods. Consignment sale clothing always offers versatile items for women, children and men at affordable prices. Twice-Loved Treasures offers a variety of household goods, sports and games, and will again be filling the Gym, along with the bookworms’ corner. Handmade items and collectibles of all va-

rieties are arriving. There will even be some vintage clothing. The quilts and handmade items are always exquisite. This is a great opportunity to do some Christmas shopping, since many of these treasures would make perfect gifts to hand down from generation to generation. As always, a huge selection of books will delight the avid reader of any age. This is a great place to find picture books to delight a grandchild at bedtime. (E-readers are great, sure, but nothing can top those memories of having a real book read aloud at bedtime). There will be plenty of hard-bound and paperback books on every topic, from cookbooks to mysteries to best sellers. The price is right!

Susan McDonald has a particular flair for setting up the items for silent auction. These items of distinction range from gift certificates and themed-baskets all the way up to antique and unique furniture pieces. One enchanting piece has numerous cubby holes. It could become a true conversation piece and decorator’s dream, in the right setting. There’s a marble-topped antique desk which would be a great place to roll out pie crusts, in the right kitchen, too. What can be eaten at the festival itself? Yummy food items include continental breakfast and apple crisp at the Apple Seed Café`, as well as fried apple See Apple page 6

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pies, and homemade baked goods. While sitting down to enjoy the delicious food, be entertained. For years, JoAnn Glass has rounded up local talent to add to the festive atmosphere. Expect clowns, big band music, cloggers and comedy routines, all inside the Gym this time. The cloggers will range in age from a team of three-year-olds, to a troupe of 50+. Behind the scenes, folks have to plan well for children’s activities, layout of the various segments, and for setting up the spaces for entertainment. Getting the word out and maintaining our contacts with charities starts weeks in advance. Commie Peebles may have just retired from her career, but she’s got plenty to juggle these days, coordinating all these be-

hind-the-scenes volunteers and activities required to appear to be effortless. One tireless volunteer who with authority and wit rounds up the greeters and assigns those folks working in the parking lot for both Apple Fest and the turkey dinner every year is Vera Keisler. She even talks her husband Lamar into donning a bright orange vest! After the event, Mary Ward plans to share the unsold books this year with sister-church Trinity UMC. They will use the

proceeds of any books they can sell for a Christmas program for seniors. Consignment clothing designated for donation goes to ACTS, and Salvation Army, with occasionally other deserving charities. If there is leftover food from the Café`, by Sunday night our Youth will see that it is devoured! Speaking of our amazing youth, these days, we have over 60 attending our Foundation Youth on Sunday nights. They even run a Sunday evening worship service at least once a month. The Foundation Chorus has over 30 members, and they have a

band worthy of attention, too. They will be invaluable, with all the help they plan to provide, making this year’s Apple Fest truly a multi-generational tradition. See you there….you will be glad you came, and will ultimately help the kids benefitting from 2012 proceeds.

This year, the delicious and popular turkey dinner will be prepared and served on November 15. The cost is $10 for adults, and $5 for children. Carry out is available. Tickets will be sold at a booth at Apple Fest, and from the United Methodist Women. This event is chaired in recent years by Mary Jordan, along with Brenda Meeks. Call 648-6891 to reserve your spot!

Boomer Briefings
Q. Are pet trusts allowed in South Carolina? If so, what can you tell me about them. A. Actually 46 states now allow pet trusts, including South Carolina, but you can’t leave monies and assets directly to the pet. A decade ago only 4 states allowed pet trusts. In December of 2011, 94-year-old Italian heiress Maria Assunta, who had no living relatives, left her entire estate valued at over $13,000,000 to “Tomasso”, a four-year-old black cat she found wandering in the streets of Rome. Assunta named her nurse Stefania as trustee for Tomasso in her will, and the cat reportedly became the third richest animal on the planet – behind a chimp and a German shepherdi. In 2007 real estate tycoon Leona Helmsley left $12 million of her multi-billion dollar estate to her pet, a dog named Trouble, and expressly excluded her grandchildren in her willii. And Woman’s Day magazine once reported that Oprah Winfrey will leave $30 million for the benefit of her pets, which includes five dogs. As a result of these and similar stories, some have come to consider pet trusts as planning tools for the ultra rich or eccentric, but many rational people of modest means love animals and consider their pets part of the family. With all the purring, tail-waggingwelcomes, companionship, play, love, protection and related health benefits pets provide to their owners is it any surprise we want to ensure Mittens and Fido are cared for after one’s admission to a nursing home or an owner’s death. Some studies have shown up to 50% of Americans now provide in some way for a pet in their will. Of course an open or prearranged adoption by a family member or friend is an inexpensive alternative to an actual pet trust. Pet trusts are fairly traditional in structure, with a designated human or corporate trustee and a trust protector that ensures the animal actually receives the intended benefits. The trust may be testamentary or inter vivos which means they can be created in a will or while the settlor, the one who creates and contributes property or funding to the trust, is still alive. The latter may be part of or an amendment to an existing revocable or living trust. Under South Carolina law the pet must be clearly identified and be alive or in gestation at the time the trust is created, but an additional animal may be added to a trust if done so prior to the settlor’s death. A pet trust terminates on the death of the animal or last surviving animal. Before meeting with your lawyer you should determine your pet’s standard

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Linda Farron Knapp
A member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys of living - exercise and nutritional needs, veterinary checkups schedule and shots, etc. and estimate the cash and/or assets needed to cover these expenses for a typical life span of your See page 11

Attorney at Law

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

SeniorNet Classes are in Session
The 2012 fall term has started with a very successful Open House on September 10th. In fact an extra class in SRN101 Beginning Computer was staffed to handle the demand of our beginning students. Our classroom at The McGrath SeniorNet Learning Center on the campus of USC Aiken now has 12 computer stations, and as a result several class enrollments have been increased to serve the needs of our students. Our mission is to teach computer skills to seniors (50 yrs of age and older), starting with students who have absolutely no previous experience with computers. We also offer advanced courses to seniors who already know how to use the computer but want to learn a specific skill, or improve their current skills. In addition to the regular classes which are already in session, Aiken SeniorNet offers a series of workshops that are usually 2 hours in length, and are conducted in our classroom each Friday for the low price of $20. You can still register for workshops that will be held the first two Fridays in November. Workshops that may still have openings are: First Steps in Facebook, Friday, Nov. 2, 9 a.m. to noon. Topics covered will include navigating the Facebook menu bar; learning about basic Facebook features, protecting your privacy; and updating your Profile and Wall. To enroll in this 3-hour workshop you must already have a Facebook account and be able to sign into your account in class. You must register for this workshop by 9 a.m. on Thursday Nov. 1st. New World of Windows 7, Friday, Nov. 9, 9-11 a.m. You can learn about the new features of Microsoft’s latest version of the Windows operating system. The new features to be covered include the significantly-changed taskbar, window management using thumbnails, the Aero enhancements Peek, Snap, and Shake, and improved file management using libraries. If you would like to take one of these workshops, please call Laura Anderson at USC Aiken at 641-3563 as soon as possible. FANTASTIC NEW COURSES COMING IN JANUARY Now is the time to consider taking one of our courses in the Winter 2013 term, following our Open House in early January 2013. In addition to our regular computer users courses SeniorNet volunteers have been diligently at work creating two entirely new courses that will be described in more detail in the November and December Mature Times articles. One of these courses is appropriately named “Computer Skills for the Senior Job Hunter”.

This is an 8 week course that covers computer skills from the viewpoint of a senior who wishes to improve his/her computer skills in word processing, spreadsheet creation, internet and email use, and basic presentation skills using Powerpoint in preparation for a job search. The other new course is “Downloading and Using Freeware”. This is also an 8 week course which will introduce you to several software programs that you may download from the Internet at no cost. For the most part these free programs are comparable to wellknown programs that are usually more costly. More significantly, when you complete the course you will have the tools to find and download additional free programs on your own In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about Aiken SeniorNet, please visit our web page at aikenseniornet.com

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Magic of Christmas Trees helps Elderly
Festival of Lights lights up Aiken November 21st - 25th
Building on the success of its debut last fall, the Festival of Trees is back to raise awareness and funds for the Aiken Area Council on Aging, a multiservice agency devoted to the well being of seniors. Last year, the festival raised enough money to continue the Meals on Wheels program and provide 5,300 meals to the county’s seniors in need. The AAOC has bigger goals for its major annual fund-raiser this year. “The number of seniors participating in our programs grows every year, and Meals on Wheels is by far our most popular form of outreach,” says Scott Murphy, agency executive director. “We have a wait list for the program, and I want to eliminate the wait list.” A dazzling start to the holiday season, the Festival of Trees presents exquisitely decorated Christmas trees, along with wreaths, garland, and other decorations all available for purchase through a silent auction. Items are sponsored by local businesses and decorated by volunteers with vision. Each tree is designed with a specific theme, and decorators go above and beyond clever to create oneof-kind masterpieces worth every penny they bring in for the AAOC. Members of three sewing guilds have collaborated to make ornaments for a Victorian-designed tree, friends of Barbara Sue Brodie NeedleWorks have needlepointed the Twelve Days of Christmas, and designer Zoe Meldrum is back after her wildly popular “Christmas in the Woods” tree on behalf of Sand River Women’s Club sparked a bidding frenzy last year. Set in the historic Fermata Club this year, the festival kicks off the day before Thanksgiving with a morning viewing for seniors. That evening, the Festival Unplugged hopes to loosen up bidders with a cocktail party where guests can enjoy drinks, food, and live music. A much-anticipated addition to the party is a decorating contest that pits local media against each other armed with glue guns, tinsel, and a surprise element to incorporate into their designs. It’s Wreath War, and it will be front and center up on stage for all to see. The winner will be selected by popular vote, and the results, too, will be available for bidding. The last special event planned for the festival is Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, November 24, where families with young children can eat among the forest of twinkling lights and have their photograph taken with the jolly man himself. The festival is open daily, November 21-25, when guests can tour and bid on the trees and other decorations while enjoying complimentary cookies and beverages. Visitors who find a favorite tree to light up their home this season may purchase it immediately at a Buy It Now price. Festival of Trees is a new holiday tradition for the entire community to bring awareness to and generate funds for the Aiken Area Council on Aging. Now in its second year, the Festival of Trees hopes to remain an annual affair whose funds will be used to continue the Council on Aging’s Meals on Wheels program, which delivers food Monday through Friday to homebound seniors in Aiken, Gloverville, Jackson, Wagener, and Windham House; and provide van transportation for the disabled and

daily lunches at five locations within Aiken County. Tickets for daily admission and special events can be purchased at Barbara Sue Brodie Needleworks, the Council on Aging, Floyd & Green, Plum Pudding, and Tea Garden Gifts. The Fermata Club is located at 841 Whiskey Road in Aiken. DAILY HOURS AND TICKETS Wednesday, Friday & Saturday November 21, 23 & 24 Noon-6:00 p.m. Thursday, Thanksgiving Day 2:00-6:00 p.m. Sunday, November 25 Noon-3:00 p.m. See page 14

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

CAMELLIA DAZE
Rio Grande Dave Sasanquas are not the only early blooming camellias. There are several varieties of Japonicas that also bloom early. One of these Japonicas is called Daikagura. (deye kuh goor uh) or as it is often pronounced in the South ( die kaag uh ra) or if you’re in a hurry just ”Dike”. This japonica is a medium to large sized peony form bloom. It’s a bright rose pinkish color with varying amounts of white splotches. If it’s all white, it goes by the name of Joshua Youtz and if it is all pale pink, it is called High Hat. Maybe you have one of these in your yard. Records show Daikagura or Great Sacred Dance, as it is known there, has been grown in Japan since 1788 and probably even

earlier. In the USA, it’s been around since 1895. Daikagura is a long lasting bloom on the bush. You have to pluck it off since it doesn’t fall off by itself or shatter. This makes it popular for use in floral displays. It is also a slow growing compact plant for your yard. It does not run rampant and take over and crowd out other plants. Since it blooms so early, it is also free of any petal blight diseases. This camellia is one that you can find frequently in the big box stores and local nurseries, but you have to shop early for it (October-early November), since it tends to sell out. People will buy any camellia when it is blooming.

By the time you are reading about Daikagura, the 2012-2013 Camellia Show Season has begun. The official first Sanctioned Show in the Southeast occurred at The Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia on October 13, 2012. The first show in South Carolina occurred at the Columbia Fair on October 19, 2012. Hope you attended and saw Daikagura in person. Here’s hoping to see you along the Camellia Trail.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 continued from page 7 pet. You may also want to decide how the body of your pet will be handled at the time of passing – cremation, burial, a pet cemetery, etc. You should choose a beneficiary to receive any remaining funds that are not used up by the pet trust. You may also want to consider making a generous contribution to an animal welfare project in your will. In 2011 Daniel J. Garr, an urban planner and Professor at San Jose State University left $50,000 to Project Purr, an all-volunteer feral cat advocacy organization, to fund the neutering of cats. There are wonderful South Carolina nonprofit organizations that provide animal rescue, medical care, feeding, spay and neutering, adoption, pet care education and other services to domestic animals. These programs often rely exclusively on donations and volunteers. Some operate secondhand shops where your gently used household goods and clothing can help an abandoned or abused pets. For additional information check out The Humane Society’s website which offers a free five page booklet you can download on how to provide for your pet’s future when extended illness or accident would affect your ability to care for your pet as well as addressing an owner’s death.
i “Woman leaves $13M Fortune to Pet Cat” (Dec. 12, 2011, http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/ headlines/2011/12/woman-leaves-13m-fortuneto-pet-cat/. ii “Oh Leona!” (Aug. 1, 2008, http:// wealthmanagement.com/litigation/oh-leona-0).

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If you have a question for Boomer Briefings: Write to Attorney Knapp at P.O. Box 714, Barnwell, SC 29812 or fax a question to 803-541-7677 or email her at lfknapp@bellsouth.net. Questions may be rephrased and all answers will be addressed only in Boomer Briefings articles.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Supplemental Security Income (SSI):
Forty Years of Helping People In Need
The Social Security Amendments of 1972 created a new federal benefit program. This month, that program — the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program — celebrates its 40th anniversary. Administered by Social Security, SSI is a needs-based program for people 65 or older, blind, or disabled who have limited income and resources. For income, we count things such as wages, Social Security benefits, and pensions. However, Social Security does not count all of your income when it decides whether you qualify for SSI. For example, we don’t count food stamps or most home energy assistance. For resources, we count the things you own, such as real estate (other than the home you live in), bank accounts, cash, stocks, and bonds. A person with resources worth no more than $2,000 may be able to get SSI. The resource limit is $3,000 for couples. To qualify for SSI, you also must live in the United States or the Northern Mariana Islands and be a U.S. citizen or national. In rare cases, noncitizen residents can qualify for SSI. If you live in certain types of institutions or live in a shelter for the homeless, you may qualify for SSI. People with blindness or a disability who apply for SSI may be able to get free special services to help them work. These services may include counseling and job training. The monthly maximum federal SSI payment is the same nationwide and amounts to $698 for an individual and $1,048 for a couple. However, the amount you receive depends on factors such as where you live, your living arrangements, and your income. Some states add money to the federal payment. Funding for the SSI program comes from the general revenues of the U.S.

Social Security public affairs specialist in Aiken.
Treasury, not from Social Security payroll taxes. To learn more about SSI, read the online publication, You May Be Able To Get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) at www.socialsecurity.gov/ pubs/11069.html or visit the SSI page at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi.

Tony Williams

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Kimchi, Kefir, Kombucha, Oh My!
By Cynthia F. Catts Fermented foods and drinks have been around for thousands of years but are inching their way into the spotlight recently as consumers are learning about the inherent probiotic health benefits of these foods and beverages. Fermented foods provide good bacteria to the gut that we all need to usurp the not-so-beneficial bacteria that may be present. The fermentation process (converting carbohydrates to alcohols and carbon dioxide or organic acids using yeasts and/or bacteria or simply put, the conversion of sugars into ethanol) allows the nutrients in the foods to be more easily absorbed since they're already predigested by the beneficial bacteria. These foods also include the addition of lactic acid, acetic acid and alkalis or the addition of protein, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids and vitamins. This process is used to produce alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer and cider from juice or grain. It is also employed in the leavening of bread and to produce lactic acid in sour foods such as sour dough, sauerkraut, salami, prosciutto, kimchi and yogurt and in the pickling of foods with vinegar (pickled chutneys, beets and cucumbers). My clients are asking me about probiotics, "good bacteria" and prebiotics. They are seeing interesting items in the grocery stores that boast of enhancing digestibility, especially good for people with chronic diarrhea, IBS and even more serious conditions such as heart disease and hypertension. Kimchi (also spelled gimchi, kimchee or kim chee) is a traditional Korean dish of soured (usually with vinegar) vegetables. (I remember well the stinky jar of cucumbers that seemed to hang around for years in my Aunt Lee's refrigerator). Kefir is a fermented milk drink made from kefir grains plus cow, goat or sheep milk. Kombucha is a non-alcoholic fermented sweet tea, also known as tea fungus or mushroom tea. (Pretty nasty in appearance but with great benefit). I have seen improved digestion in my clients who include fermented foods. These foods and beverages also enrich the diet through development of a diversity of flavors, aromas and textures. Fermented foods often need less or no cooking time. Including fermented foods can be exotic, as with some of the foods named above or simple such as pickled beets, sauerkraut, wine and sour dough bread. For more information about improving digestion or to make an appointment, Cyndi may be reached at cattfood@bellsouth.net or at 803-642-9360

14 continued from page 9 Adults and children 13 and older, $5 Children 12 and younger, $3 SPECIAL EVENTS Senior Stroll - Wednesday, November 21, 9:00-11:00 a.m., $4 Festival Unplugged - Wednesday, November 21, 6:00-10:00 p.m. $50. Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance at Barbara Sue Brodie Needleworks, Floyd & Green, Plum Pudding, Tea Garden Gifts Breakfast with Santa - Saturday, November 24, 10:00-11:30 a.m. Adults and children 13 and older, $12; children 2-12, $9; children under 3, free. Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance.
The Aiken Area Council on Aging, established in 1971, provides health, wellness, nutrition, transportation, and other basic services that enhance the quality of life and aids in the prevention of critical acute-care needs of those it serves. The Council on Aging, a 501c3 organization, is dedicated to empowering Aiken-area seniors to live independently and with dignity.

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