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Posted on Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 5:57 a.m.

Senior community in Saline keeping their residents active and fit

By Alan Caldwell


Martha Irwin from Brecon Village

We had great fun this past weekend on the radio program. Bee Bates and Martha Irwin, two residents at Brecon Village, entertained us with wonderful insights about their senior community.

Brecon Village is part of Evangelical Homes of Michigan. We have previously had several guests from the management team of this local nonprofit organization. It was special this weekend to have two folks that live in their Saline location, at Brecon Village.


Bee Bates from Brecon Village

Martha talked all about their Wellness Center and how beneficial it has been to her personally. Being an active participant in the fitness sessions has helped improve her physical well-being tremendously. She is now sometimes on the treadmill twice a day.

Both Martha and Bee also just enjoy hanging out in the fitness center; it's a fun social environment as well.

It was very obvious Brecon Village has an amazing amount of activities and daily choices for their residents. There are outside speakers, musical events (including sing-a-longs), parties and special programs.

Bee has been very involved in a special project group compiling the history of Brecon Village. They have gone through boxes and boxes of pictures, watched videos and talked with numerous people.

The group is completing a movie that will present the complete picture of Brecon Village, from when it began about 12 years ago to present day. Bee said the movie is going to surprise the people that live there (no date set quite yet for the world premiere).

To hear this 13-minute discussion, click the audio link:

Everything Elderly 0121 Martha and Bee.mp3">

To get in touch with Brecon Village, call 734-429-1155, or visit the website


Len Pytlak, Certified Public Accountant

Photos by Sheila Doeden

We then had an interesting and informative talk with Len Pytlak, a certified public accountant with his own accounting practice and a terrific local resource for seniors.

The discussion focused on the new Michigan tax law changes for 2012. These changes don't affect 2011, the returns we are all doing now. They will affect next year's return and may affect your estimated taxes during the next 12 months.

Retirement pension income is taxed beginning in 2012, but only for those born in 1946 or after. Those born after 1952 are impacted to a greater degree. As Len emphasized, most elderly in Michigan were born before 1946 and are not impacted. Social security payments are not included in this new tax.

The calculation for the property tax credit also changes for 2012. The income limit now includes the incomes of those living with you — it's the income of the whole household.

Many seniors may now not be eligible for the property tax credit because they have family wage-earners living with them. Also, the income limits have decreased as well.

Regarding tax returns in general, Len said if you have any significant unexpected year-to-year change (in income, deductions, or in taxes owed) that is a red flag. You may have missed something and your and/or your accountant need to take a second look.

We talked about making gifts to your children. Len does not recommend putting your children on the titles of your assets. They would then be subject to potential liens and levies, and if issues arise, you could lose your house. Creating a trust is a better alternative.

To listen to our 13-minute talk, click the audio link:

Everything Elderly 0121 Len Pytlak.mp3">

To contact Len or his office, please call 734-663-1313, or you may visit his website

Alan Caldwell and Sheila Doeden co-host Everything Elderly every Saturday morning at 8:30 on 1290 WLBY. In their day jobs, Alan and Sheila co-own and co-manage Senior Helpers, providing in-home care services, primarily to the elderly. Both can be contacted at, or at 734-927-3111.