Don’t Miss Out on Senior Perks

Your ability to get senior discounts improves with age.

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Getting older is an inevitability we all must face, whether we are looking a long way down the road from age 20 or peeking just around the corner at age 65. However, there are a few pluses that come along with senior status. Based on their age, seniors have many opportunities available only to them. Here are some of the reasons it’s good to be a senior:

Travel. Older folks generally have the luxury of time to travel. However, the cost of flying to tropical locations or wandering the streets of Europe is expensive. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your travel costs while you enjoy what the world has to offer.

AARP has combined with Expedia to offer exclusive travel deals for members via a travel portal custom made for senior travelers. AARP members can get discounts on select hotels as well as up to 25 percent savings on car rentals and onboard cruise credits.

State and city websites designed for visitors and tourists often include special discounts. Hotels like Marriott cut prices 15 percent for seniors 62 and older. Norwegian Cruises offers a 5 percent discount to AARP members who can book their trip at least nine months in advance. Do your research and don’t be shy about asking for special senior rates.

Movies. Here is your chance to catch up on the latest productions before the Academy Awards roll around. Most theaters offer some kind of discount for senior patrons. AMC Theaters offers guests age 60 and over up to 30 percent off general admissions at most locations. Note that many online ticket services do not advertise senior rates. Just pick up your phone and call the local establishment to find out what they may have to offer.

Shopping. If you pay attention to specials offered on specific days of the week you can cut your shopping expenses significantly. Kohl’s offers a 15 percent discount for customers age 62 and older on Wednesdays (day may vary by store). Ross has 10 percent off Tuesdays for shoppers 55 or older. Fred Meyer stores offer those 55 and older 10 percent off the first Tuesday of every month and every Tuesday in November and December. Get out your calendar and pencil in the special savings days near you.

National parks. For just $10, an America the Beautiful pass provides lifetime free entrance to national parks for U.S. citizens age 62 and older. In addition to entrance fees, these passes can provide up to a 50 percent discount on various amenity fees for services like camping and boating.

Restaurants. Senior discounts are available across a broad range of restaurants to satisfy whatever dish you may be in the mood for. IHOP offers a 10 percent discount for people age 55 and up. Applebee’s has a free Golden Apple Card offering seniors a 10 percent discount. Mrs. Fields gives those over 60 a 10 percent discount on her tasty cookies and desserts. Denny’s offers AARP members a 20 percent discount on their total bill from 4 to 10 p.m. It’s worth it to visit a restaurant’s website before heading out the door.

Coupons. AARP partnered with Coupons.com to offer a free one-year subscription to AARP members.

Miscellaneous senior discounts. Discounts exist for everyday things as well. Dunkin' Donuts is offering a free doughnut with the purchase of a coffee for customers showing their AARP card through Feb 28, 2013. Many Supercuts locations will reduce your bill by $2 if you can prove you are 60 or older. Michael’s offers discounts for creative seniors who visit their store on Tuesdays. Senior discounts are popping up everywhere, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Dave Bernard is the author of Are You Just Existing and Calling it a Life?, which offers guidelines to discover your personal passion and live a life of purpose. Not yet retired, Dave has begun his due diligence to plan for a fulfilling retirement. With a focus on the non-financial aspects of retiring, he shares his discoveries and insights on his blog Retirement–Only the Beginning.