Well, it happened.
You’ve reached 65, hopefully retired, and are set to enjoy the rest of your golden years. While nobody likes getting older, it is time to take advantage of one of the best parts about being a senior citizen.
After all, you’ve earned it through hard work and discipline. You damn well deserve it!
Most seniors are aware of some of the discounts available to them, mostly when it comes to shopping.
But wait, there are a host of other discounts and rebates that seniors qualify for!
Furthermore, many of these discounts are available to those who are 50 or 55 as well. If you are the true senior, 65 and over, you get it all.
We have a list of senior discounts that can save you big money. You may not even be aware of some of these discounts yet. Even if you’re not yet able to take advantage of these discounts, be sure to pass them along to your friends and family.
Here are 8 senior discounts to save you big money.
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8 Senior Discounts to Save You Big Money
Most states have some sort of property tax relief for seniors. Some states freeze property tax increases for seniors, and some limit the increase for seniors as compared to the general public.
In most cases, they will reduce the assessed value of the property in order to provide a reduction in the property tax. This does not affect your property’s market value.
For example, in some states the property tax is waived on the first $200,000 of the property value for seniors.
The caveat with this perk is that you have to be within a certain income limit to qualify. You also must go through the application process within your county or state for the property tax reduction.
Another option would be to qualify for a homestead exemption, an exemption from property tax that homeowners can claim (it is also designed for protecting a person’s primary residence due to financial hardship, often resulting from the death of a spouse).
You can learn more about states with the best senior property tax breaks here.
Discounts on your Cell Phone Bill
Many cell phone companies provide discounts to seniors. If you are not receiving a discount from your current carrier, make sure you ask them.
If your current provider doesn’t offer a discount, there are plenty of other carriers who will give you a senior discount on your cell phone service.
Just make sure you don’t switch companies before the existing contract expires. Otherwise you may end up paying a hefty penalty for early termination of your cell phone contract! (note: some companies will pay the early termination fees for you if you switch to their service).
AT&T, Verizon, and Consumer Cellular are some of the cell phone companies who give discounts to seniors, and in some cases, you only need to be 55 or older. I also know that Consumer Cellular provides discounts to people over 50 years of age if you are an AARP member.
Fly High and Pay Low
Yes, if you are 65 or over you can get discounts on airfare with some airlines.
Here is the catch, the discounted fare only applies to certain destinations. Do your homework and check with the airline. Who knows, your destination could be one with the discount or you can choose one of those destinations with a discount.
Southwest, United, and American are some of the airlines known for having discounted fares for seniors to selected destinations.
Even though big discounts are attractive, check how much it’s actually costing you to fly. A big discount from a jacked up price could be higher than a lower discounted fare from another airline. Check the bottom line!
You can also find senior discounts to save big money on ground transportation and car rentals.
If you are 62 and over Greyhound gives you a 5% discount, and if you are 65 and older Amtrak has a 10% discount.
Similarly, many car rental companies offer discounts to those 50 and over. E-Z, Hertz, Sixt, and Thrifty all offer discounts in some form to older drivers.
You can save even more money on car rentals by joining an organization like AARP or AMAC (Association of Mature American Citizens).
Pay attention to the daily rate before the discount. Again, regardless of the discount rate look at the bottom line and see what the total cost is for comparison.
We’ve already mentioned AARP benefits when it comes to car rentals but being an AARP member brings many more benefits.
Anyone aged 50 and older is eligible for full membership with AARP and members receive a free secondary membership for their household. Membership is as low as $12 the first year with automatic renewal and $16 a year after that. You can also cancel your membership at any time.
Member benefits with AARP are vast and way outside the scope of this article but know that AARP membership offers discounts on a wide range of items. These items include insurance, health and wellness, travel, restaurants, and entertainment.
For a full list of member benefits visit the AARP website.
America the Beautiful Lifetime Senior Pass
There are more than 2,000 federal recreation sites and 62 National Parks sprinkled across the United States, and seniors have the golden ticket to see them all for only $80.
That’s right, the America the Beautiful Lifetime Senior Pass gets anyone aged 62 and over lifetime access to all 2,000 recreation sites, including National Parks, for a one-time fee of $80.
Even better, anyone traveling with an individual carrying the Lifetime Senior Pass also gets free admission to these sites (the driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle).
With National Park entrance fees ranging from $5 per person to $35 per vehicle, the America the Beautiful Lifetime Senior Pass could save you hundreds of dollars and make seeing America’s most beautiful country almost free.
Other senior discounts to save you big money can be found at retail stores.
There are many retail outlets that give discounts to seniors and they are available every week.
Typically, the discounts are offered on certain days of the week. Often the discounts are offered on slow shopping days like Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesdays.
For example, Ross Dress for Less offers a 10% discount every Tuesday off all purchases if you are 55 years or older. Ace Hardware gives seniors a 10% discount in most of their stores. The Salvation Army also offers senior discount days, typically on Wednesdays. Check with your local stores for details.
If you’re a retail store shopper, then planning your trips around senior discount days can save you some serious money. Most stores offer at least 10% off the total bill.
Location, Location, Location
Although location isn’t technically a senior discount in the same sense as the others on this list, where you choose to retire can make a big difference in the money you put in your pocket.
Not all states are created equally, especially when it comes to taxes.
In fact, there are many states that are more friendly toward retirees than others. A Kiplinger’s 2017 analysis of state taxes compiled a list of the 10 states that impose the lowest taxes on retirees, with all on the list exempting social security benefits from state taxes.
Furthermore, most states on the list exempt at least a portion of other retirement income like pensions and tax-deferred retirement plans. Property taxes also tend to be low in these states.
While a more detailed breakdown of the top 10 best states for retirees can be found here, the list includes:
1 – Wyoming
2 – Alaska
3 – South Dakota
4 – Mississippi
5 – Florida
6 – Pennsylvania
7 – Nevada
8 – New Hampshire
9 – Kentucky
10 – Georgia
With these tax breaks for retirees, it’s important to make sure you consider more than just the weather when you’re planning where to hang your hat in retirement.
Moral of the Story
Your golden years can help you save some serious green.
There are lots of savings out there for seniors who are 65 and older. In some cases, you only need to be 50 and over to access senior discounts to save you big money.
Check with your local government to see if you qualify for a property tax deduction and any other incentives instituted by the government for seniors.
Also, check with your cell phone company to see if you qualify for some discounts as a senior citizen.
Now that you have more time for travel, make sure you take advantage of the senior discounts on transportation with airfare, Amtrak, Greyhound, and car rentals. If you like the outdoors, consider grabbing the America the Beautiful Lifetime Senior Pass for free admission to over 2,000 sites, including National Parks.
For a plethora of potential discounts, consider joining AARP for a low yearly subscription that can be cancelled at any time.
Schedule your weekly shopping around the discount days for seniors. You’re spending this money anyway so why not shop on the discount days and save some money.
Finally, the state in which you choose to retire can save you big money with exemptions on state income tax for social security and other forms of retirement income.
As always, make sure you look at the bottom line to make sure these discounts are actually saving you money. Senior discounts are great, but some of them may be disguising increased prices. Do the math for things like airfare and car rentals.
Getting older isn’t fun but saving money sure is!
Talk about Money Saved.