Perks of being a Senior Citizen

by MichelleR on July 9, 2012

For some people, middle age is accompanied by fears of the dreaded ‘downhill’ mindset. It doesn’t have to be that way; when you become a senior citizen, a whole new world of opportunities and money saving benefits opens up for you. So when are you officially a senior? For the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP), the magic age is 50.
Turning that “certain age” makes you eligible for all kinds of benefits that affect almost every area of your life – health, finances, travel, transportation, entertainment, leisure activities and shopping.
Here is a list of 7 perks available to you, just because you have turned a “certain age.” This is just to get you started and to make you aware of what is available. There are many more. Some of the discounts and deals are not always advertised, so we have to get in the habit of asking and searching them out. The discounts may be small, but it’s extra cash in your pocket. Flashing your ID can yield tons of free offers and bargains.
1. Extra Discounts on Tuesdays at the Mall
Why Tuesdays? I have no idea, but its great getting 25% to 65% off retail prices at the nation’s outlet malls. At most Premium Outlet Malls, shoppers age 50 and over get an extra 10% discount when they present a photo ID with proof of age. To see if the senior discount is available at a particular mall; go to www.premiumoutlets.com, and www.primeoutlets.com and look for programs such as “50-Plus Shopper Club,” “Prime Timer Tuesdays” or “Prime Time Shoppers,” for people 55 and older
2. Lower your insurance costs
Did you know that you could qualify for a reduced premium on your auto insurance? Because seniors represent an insurance risk, many insurance companies offer discounts as an incentive for seniors to take a safe driving course. If you are 55 and older and complete a Driver Improvement Course with your local AAA Club or an AARP Driver Safety Program, you can lower your insurance cost. In fact, some states mandate insurance discounts for seniors who meet the driver’s education qualifications.
3. Free or low Cost College Tuition
Now that the kids are grown and you are ready to start a new career, get a degree, or just continue your education on a subject that interests you, senior citizens can get free or very low cost college tuition. Seniorresource.com has been in an ongoing search for free and low-cost educational opportunities for senior citizens and has found numerous opportunities to report.
4. Free Legal Consultation
Need legal advice? If you’re an AARP member, you can get a free 30 minute consultation with a lawyer in your area to answer a question or learn how to solve a legal problem. If you hire a lawyer from AARP’s Legal Services Network, you’ll get a 20% discount on services and be entitled to a lower fixed fee for a will or a power of attorney. Also, more than half the states have free legal hotlines just for people ages 60 and up. The hotlines are staffed by attorneys who can give you advice over the phone. Go to www.aarp.org/lsn to find a lawyer, and AARP’s www.legalhotline.org.
5. Senior Travel Deals
Airlines, hotels, and rental car agencies are all taking notice of the ever expanding senior demographic and are offering specials suited to their needs. There are many resources out there for senior travelers.
Learn, travel and enjoy with not-for-profit Elderhostel!
Discover more than 8,000 learning adventures in all 50 states and more than 90 countries abroad. Elderhostel offers in-depth and behind-the-scenes learning experiences for almost every interest and ability. History, culture, nature, music, outdoor activities such as walking and biking, individual skills, crafts, study cruises: Enjoy these and many more with the not-for-profit leader in educational travel. To learn more about Elderhostel programs go to www.elderhostel.org.
Become a member of Elder Travelers, a low-cost hospitality exchange program, for an annual membership fee of $40. When you travel, you stay in the spare bedroom of other members. In return, you occasionally host member travelers in your home. For complete details go to www.eldertravelers.org.
6. Entertainment Deals
Some fast food restaurants offer half-off beverages or free morning coffee, and many restaurants feature special senior discounts or deals on meals. Movie theaters, museums, theme parks, golf courses, bowling and major league baseball teams – just to name a few, offer many senior discounts. Just check with your local chamber of commerce or senior center to locate specials and deals for seniors. Wherever you are, in the United States or abroad, make sure to ask for the senior discount at museums and other cultural institutions.
7. Health Care Savings
Medicare is not the only source of reduced cost or free health care assistance available for seniors. There are other organizations that provide help for seniors.
Go to www.healthAtoZ.com to find information on saving 10 – 50% off on prescription drugs, dental and vision care, and much more.
RxAssist is another program that can help you find free of affordable medications; go to www.rxassist.org.
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance will match you with the programs best suited for your needs to help pay for medications. Visit www.pparx.org where you can find programs for which you could be eligible.
The Eldercare Locator is a free national service of the Administration on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Established in 1991, the Eldercare Locator links those who need assistance with state, tribal and local area agencies on aging and community-based organizations that serve older adults and their caregivers. Whether an older person needs help with services such as meals, home care or transportation, or a caregiver needs training and education or a well-deserved break from care giving responsibilities, the Eldercare Locator is there to point that person in the right direction. Just one phone call or Web site visit to www.eldercare.gov provides an instant connection to resources that enable older persons to live independently in their communities.

REMEMBER! Always ask for your senior citizen discount. Many waiters and waitresses are embarrassed to ask if you are a Senior Citizen and will NOT assume that you are for fear of offending you. You must ask for the discount or you may not get it.

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