Many people are concerned about making the most out of their money — especially during retirement. Retirement can be a balance between less disposable income and more free time. Luckily, most products that are geared toward retired consumers are offered at a discount. Actually, retirees should rarely pay full price — whether it’s groceries, books, or even gym memberships. Here are 10 perks that are great for retirees, and may even make a few working people a little green with envy.
AARP is your first stop for senior discounts. An AARP card is the most straightforward way to get 10% knocked off of just about anything: shopping, dining, fitness, health services, home/auto repair, travel, and more. A full list of the available benefits can be found on their website.
Even if a business isn’t listed on the site, it’s never a bad idea to ask if there’s an AARP discount before checking out. You may be surprised by how often the answer is yes!
National Parks Pass
Perhaps you’ve heard of the annual “America the Beautiful” pass, which is good for entries to US national parks and federal recreation lands. The membership can cost upwards of $80– unless you’re 62 or older. Retirees can get a lifetime membership for only $10. This can come in very handy, as the pass also applies to the car of non-seniors as long as the holder is in the vehicle. The pass also reduces the cost of most in-park amenities by 50%.
You can snag a pass in person at the entrance of any national park.
Lots of hotels offer a senior discount, typically in the area of 10-15%. Some chains, like Hyatt Hotels, offer rooms to senior guests at a discount of over 50% off. If you’re looking to book a hotel online, be sure to utilize the search function. Many include a checkbox for senior citizens, which filters the results to include any applicable discounts.
If you’ve got a hankering for peanuts and cracker jacks, you’re in luck. Many sporting events offer drastically discounted rates for seniors. For instance, if you’re 60 or older, you can get tickets to any Yankees game Monday-Thursday for $5. All you have to do is arrive at the ticket window within two hours of the game’s start time, and tickets are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The same is true at many other ballparks as well. Be sure to check your favorite team’s website for details.
That’s right, even some financial institutions have deals for retirees. Some companies offer special programs that typically add features like no minimum balance requirement, free safe deposit boxes, unlimited check writing, and protection from identity theft. Bank of America and Wells Fargo are some companies that offer features like these, but it’s also worth inquiring where you currently bank as well.
Skiing isn’t exactly known as a hobby for frugal folks. But if you’re looking to hit the slopes in your golden years, it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Many ski resorts offer discount passes starting at 55 or 60, and some offer free lifetime passes for people 65 or older.
Be sure to check out your favorite ski resort’s website for discounts. Often they include lift tickets, lodging, rentals, and more.
More deductions become available to taxpayers when they turn 65. The standard deduction increases by $1,250 for single filers or $1,000 for joint filers or surviving spouses. And as you may know, Social Security disbursements are taxed at a lower rate than income. Be sure to check out the IRS website for more in-depth information.
Research shows that seniors who live with pets are in better physical and mental health than those that don’t. Often, this can mean lower blood pressure and decreased measures of stress. Furry friends can be expensive, what with food, visits to the vet, and licensing fees. Fortunately, there are many deals for seniors that combat all of these costs. Purina’s Pets For Seniors program offers $50 off adoption expenses for spayed/neutered, microchipped pets 3 years or older. They also include a coupon booklet for discounts on Purina pet food.
And of course, check with your local humane society. Many offer similar discounts in order to make the process as easy as possible for you and your new companion.
Flying seems to get more and more expensive each year — and the legroom seems to get progressively smaller. We can’t help you with the legroom, but luckily, many airlines offer reduced fares for seniors. These discounts often apply to those 50 or older, too.
If you’re looking to keep your brain young through continued learning, why not try a college course? Alaska, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, Maryland, New Jersey, Vermont, and Virginia all have tuition waivers for students starting at ages ranging from 62 to 65 years old. Many other states let seniors audit classes for free — meaning that you won’t earn credit toward a degree for completing the course, but you do get to keep the knowledge you retain.
Additionally, many community colleges offer scholarships for senior citizens. So if you want to finally take that pottery class or learn more about 18th-century poetry, you’re able to do so for a fraction of the price.