9 ways it pays to get older
The best part about getting older? Of course it beats the alternative. But age also comes with plenty of perks.
This post comes from Peggy Schwarz at partner site Money Talks News.
I've been told that with age comes wisdom. But I'm learning that it comes with other benefits as well. I recently celebrated my birthday and, along with a wide range of birthday freebies, I began to take advantage of a wonderful benefit of the aging process: special prices and options.
Seniors often qualify for no-fee checking and savings accounts. Check with your bank or credit union.
For example, Walgreens has monthly Senior Discount Days for those 55 and older. They offer 20% off all Walgreens, W Brand, and Nice products and 15% off everything else. On top of those savings, I also use manufacturer coupons, Walgreens coupons, and collect reward points to boot.
For instance, Kohl's offers a 15% discount every Wednesday for shoppers 62 and older. The discount applies to all sale-, regular- and clearance-priced merchandise, but isn't valid for price adjustments on prior purchases, gift card purchases, online purchases, or payment on a Kohl's charge account.
No need to cut entertainment out of your budget with so many businesses vying for the "seasoned citizens'" dollars. Many movie theaters, museums and restaurants include special offers for seniors. On a recent trip to the movies, I not only enjoyed the senior discount on the admission price, but I also took advantage of the "senior special" -- a small popcorn and small drink for a reduced price.
Many state schools offer free tuition, free class audits, or senior discounts. In some cases, senior scholarships are also available.
Legal Services programs offer free legal help to low-income and elderly residents for noncriminal matters. In my state, Legal Services helps people age 60 or older, regardless of income. To see the services you have available, use this directory to find an office near you.
Councils on Aging -- also known as senior centers -- are local organizations that provide social, recreational, health, safety and educational programs for seniors. Although my 92-year-old mother refuses to utilize her local senior center because it's filled with "old people," I enjoy many free and/or low-cost programs and activities. It is certainly worth a look. Just do an online search for the name of your city plus "senior center" or "Council on Aging."
I recently turned a midweek vacation day into a low-cost "me day" by taking advantage of the services offered to seniors at the local vocational school. For a mere $20, I received a facial, a hot paraffin wax hand treatment, a scalp massage and manicure. The prices are reasonable, and the students are knowledgeable and pleasant. Everything is done under the direct supervision and guidance of instructors. You could pay much more elsewhere, but why would you?
After my pampering, I walked down the hall to the student-run restaurant where I was treated to an all-you-can-eat array of wonderful food choices -- beverage and desserts included -- for only $8. It included a carving station, soup, salad and sides.
Also, the school puts on a play every year and offers free admission to seniors during the dress rehearsal.
Not all discounts are small change. Check out the laws in your area to see if you qualify for a reduction on your property taxes. Call your local tax assessor to see what's available where you live.
Bottom line? Growing older has its benefits. Enjoy them. If a business doesn't have a policy that's clearly visible, don't be afraid to ask.
More on Money Talks News and MSN Money:
- 8 surprising truths about retirement
- 8 Social Security myths exposed
- The 10 golden rules of scam prevention
- 'Senior' cellphone plans a good deal?
- When should you tap your IRAs?
- Get freebies on your birthday
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Editor Bev O'Shea lives and works in the foothills of the Appalachians. A former copy editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Orlando Sentinel, she joined MSN Money in 2007. She's a fan of sunsets, college football and free shipping, among other things.
Having worked as a writer, reporter and editor for more than 25 years, Editor Julie Tilsner is the sort of person who can't help but correct grammar in Facebook postings and on billboards. She's written for BusinessWeek, the Los Angeles Times, Parenting, Redbook, AOL and others. She lives in Los Angeles County with her family and loves to drink wine and practice yoga, although not generally at the same time.
A writer for MSN Money since January 2007, Donna Freedman won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. She also writes about smart money tactics for magazines and on her own site, Surviving and Thriving.
Mitch Lipka has been warning people about scams and shining light on questionable business practices for more than 20 years. Mitch, the consumer columnist for The Boston Globe, has also been a reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Consumer Reports, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and AOL. He won the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer reporting online and was honored in 2011 for his reporting on child product safety.
Marilyn Lewis is an award-winning writer with a passion for getting readers clear, straight information that helps them stay out of financial trouble. A former reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, she works from her home in Port Townsend, Wash. Contact her at MarilynLewis@Outlook.com.
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