Monday, November 7, 2016

Senior Discounts

Getting old, although it beats the alternative, is no fun. But there is a consolation prize: senior discounts.

My mother-in-law was always too embarrassed to ask for a senior discount at a movie theater or a museum; it was like admitting she was old. Not me. If I have to admit I'm old to save money, so be it.

Eligibility for senior discounts can vary. I used to assume you had to be 65 to be considered a senior. But ask. Sometimes it's 62, sometimes 60, maybe even 55. AARP lets you join at age 50.

I just paid my property tax, which offers exemptions for seniors. Most require you to be 65, and earning a low income. But this year, I noticed one that applied to ages 62-65, with no income limitations.

One great bargain for seniors age 62 and older is the lifetime Senior Pass, which for a one-time fee of $10, admits you (and everyone in your car, senior or not) to all of the U.S. national parks, forests, monuments, refuges, and recreation areas. The "Golden Geezer" pass, as my brother and I like to call it.

The Kroger in my neighborhood gives seniors age 60 and older a 5% discount on groceries every Wednesday. Not a good day of the week to shop there if you're in a hurry...

Many hotel chains and cruise lines extend senior discounts to guests over 55. Our local Taco Bells give customers over age 50 a free drink with a purchase.

So once you hit the half-century mark, start asking about senior discounts. You'll be surprised at what all you may qualify for.

Some establishments require identification in order to provide the discount. But others take your word for it. Or worse, offer the senior discount without being asked. When that happens, whether I'm really eligible or not, I feel like I'm entitled.

What tips do you have about senior discounts? I would love to hear your comments.

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