By Peter Mastrantuono
Ben Franklin famously said “A penny saved is a penny earned.” The modern corollary may be “A dollar saved is two dollars not withdrawn from an IRA.” Among the many advantages of being a senior citizen, access to senior discounts may be the most satisfying one. Here are some of the best.
Top Senior Discounts
Travel, of course, is at the top of most seniors’ list of things to do in retirement and a wide range of travel-related discounts make it more affordable than ever.
Start with the “America the Beautiful Senior Pass” which is available to Americans age 62 or older for a one-time $80 fee. The Senior Pass gives the holder lifetime free access to the nation’s national parks, wildlife refuges, national forests and grasslands, including up to three other visitors traveling with a pass holder. The Senior Pass also provides a 50% discount on some facility and service amenity fees.
Of course, you’ll need to get there and for that seniors (65+) can receive a 10% discount on Amtrak so they can see America up close as they travel to our great national parks. (Seniors (60+) can also get a 10% discount on VIA Rail Canada, if their plans include seeing Canada the Beautiful.)
If train travel doesn’t appeal to you, you can fly to your destination and rent a car, both of which may be done with a senior discount.
Every senior knows that good health is a prerequisite to a rewarding retirement, so it’s important to stay fit. For that, seniors can enroll in Silver Sneakers, a free health and fitness program available to individuals age 65 and older that is included with select Medicare Advantage plans. Once enrolled, seniors gain access to over 17,000 fitness facilities from coast to coast. So, cut the gym membership fees and begin exercising for free. Plus, you can exercise while you’re on the road. Online classes are also available.
Many seniors are as avid about education as they are about traveling. In fact, the senior boom in higher education has grown to the point where university-based retirement communities are sprouting up all over the country. College is a great way to learn something new and meet new friends. Each state offers its own senior student discounts that may go as low as free! So check out your state university’s senior discount today.
Discounts are also available on a range of every day living expenses, from utilities and property taxes to phone charges and auto insurance. Simply call your town government or service provider and ask if a senior discount is available. Remember, every dollar saved is a form of tax-free income!
Because seniors are such an important demographic for so many businesses, discounts abound with restaurants, retailers, hotels and grocery stores, so check out this compendium of senior discounts.
If we’re truthful, aging can be a lonely experience, but it doesn’t have to be. One program, Pets for The Elderly, helps connect seniors with older dogs or cats. Seniors can also check out their local animal shelters for any senior pet adoption program they may offer.
Be sure to work with your financial advisor who can help you in other ways to make sure your retirement savings’ longevity matches your own.
Peter Mastrantuono is a contributing writer to MyPerfectFinancialAdvisor, the premier matchmaker between investors and advisors. Peter worked for over 30 years in the wealth management industry, focusing on retirement planning, investing, asset allocation and financial planning.