- Personal Finance
4 Ways for Senior Adults to Save Money
Oldies Get Goodies
Sometimes the media gets bogged down in reporting all the negatives of senior citizenhood. Doom and gloom abound, it seems, and there is very little to look forward to except the privilege of transitioning from a "Miss" to a "Ma'am." However, I see it all differently. How is it that the press has missed all the good things that happen just because one reaches a magic number in age?
Everything described below relies on that number. Not one's health, not one's financial situation, not one's political affiliation. All these benefits come from just having survived the requisite number of days on this good earth.
Frugal Senior Bargains
The 4 E's of Bargains:
Here is what fuels some of my age envy. Advantages for seniors can be grouped in what I call the four E's.
Early bird special!
We've all seen the signs posted on the diner doors and other fine establishments. Perhaps you are chuckling, thinking of those poor elderly people who need to be in bed by 8:00. Well, I happen to have an early bird body and I have had it for quite some time. Especially after having pregnancies, I found my body's needs were not aligned with conventional eating patterns. I think my body clock is on Nova Scotia farm time. So, I am going to make out like a bandit when I'm finally "old enough" for the early bird special.
Also, some of those same places will offer a discount or the availability of smaller, cheaper portions at any time depending on proof of age.
In my area, one of the national chain gym clubs offers discounts to AARP members. (Here is where I cheated a little, because AARP does not discriminate against younger people for membership.)
Also, some of the Medicare supplement plans provide gym membership as a benefit. Therefore, my father started working out at such a place for the first time in his life at age 79. Way to go, Dad!
In addition, I have been to ski resorts with a sliding scale based on one's age and nothing else. At one forward-thinking such establishment in West Virginia, after age 70 you can ski for free! This is good stuff.
Discounts, discounts, discounts. Admission price lists often have three groups: children/students, adults, and seniors. Museums and historical associations offer these.
Also, sports events such as baseball or hockey game prices give the senior citizen a break.
I even know a senior who tries to milk this sort of thinking by suggesting to ticket sellers that they should give a discount to him, even if such a rate isn't posted. Sometimes it works. (By the way, it is not my dad.)
Now we are talking about something near and dear to my heart.
In my area, some of the colleges offer courses especially with the senior adult in mind. They are for enrichment, not college credit. Topics are selected with this group in mind and the courses run for a short time, perhaps one or two months at most. This provides opportunities for those who can't commit to being able to attend classes for a 4-month semester.
But now, here is where the old folks hit the real jackpot. Our state system of colleges and some of the other institutions permit senior adults to go to college tuition-FREE at age 60! If searching on-line, try the search term "name of college" tuition senior discount. It may not work for every institution, but it will be a start. Ka-ching! I can't wait to get to senior age. I am going to load up on degrees. Old dogs can learn new tricks.
Update as of September 2011 for Berks County, PA:
Penn State Berks - free tuition at age 60
Alvernia University - free tuition at age 65
Albright College - approximately a 70% discount for senior citizens
SHOW ME the MONEY!
So where others are coy about revealing their age, when I get "old enough" I can't wait to tell mine. I will emblazon it on my T -shirts and flash my ID everywhere. I am a senior citizen: show me the money!
Photo and text copyright 2008 Maren E. Morgan