Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Pros and cons of senior discounts – Fenton Tri County Times

 If you’re 65 or older, the chances of getting a senior discount anywhere you go is highly likely. If you’re lucky, you can find some places that give a discount at 50, and even more of a discount at ages 55 and 60.

 As a reward for aging, senior citizens pay less for just about everything. They get discounts generally all over the place — if they remember to ask for it.

 If you’re a hardworking young person, you may be wondering — why not me?

 The idea that seniors are a group in need of help and protection dates back to the 1930s, when America’s senior citizens were disproportionately poor and affected by the Depression wiping out everyone’s savings. In 1935, President Roosevelt passed the Social Security Act, which gave federal assistance to the elderly. This became the norm. Aid to seniors increased over time, in particular with the creation of Medicare in 1965 and the passage of an amendment indexing Social Security to cost of living increases and creating an additional Supplemental Security Income for seniors in 1972. 

 Restaurants, in particular, are famous for offering a 10-percent discount to senior citizens, and seniors respond in kind by giving them all their business.

 Some people who qualify for senior discounts don’t ask for them. They don’t see the justification for giving a group of people a discount just because they’re still breathing.

 Seniors aren’t the poorest among us anymore.

More from this section

• Adults not working — 31 percent

• Single moms — 26 percent

• Adults with a disability — 25 percent

• Adults without a high school diploma — 25 percent

• Black Americans — 21 percent

• Foreign born non-citizens — 19 percent

• Hispanic Americans — 18 percent

• All children — 18 percent

• Single dads — 12 percent

• Seniors – 9 percent

• Married couples — 5 percent

• Adults with college degree or higher — 5 percent

• Full time working adults — 2 percent

 According to an article in the Huffington Post, “Seniors will tell you how discounts are a way of honoring or showing respect. The reality is, however, that a 10-percent discount does not show a lot of honor and respect, when a better way to do that may be to fund Medicare to the level where it would pay for some of the things most seniors actually need — eyeglasses, hearing assistance, and dental work? And if we really respected their age and the wisdom that presumably comes with it, why aren’t we hiring more of them instead of making them feel unwelcome in the workplace and telling them how they aren’t a good cultural fit?

 “People in their 60s can’t have it both ways: They can’t insist they are somehow entitled to pay less to get into the movies and in the next breath ask to be seen as a younger person’s equivalent — like in a job interview. We are equal all of the time or none of the time. But not just when it suits us.”

 Of any age group, senior citizens are the most likely to have a mortgage-free home, a retirement nest egg, Social Security income and a job-related pension. The data is indisputable that seniors have continued to fare better financially than younger generations

 A Pew Research Center survey found that from 1984 to 2009 (years that include the Great Recession), the median net worth for people 65 and older increased 42 percent, while the median net worth of those younger than 35 dropped 68 percent.

 According to, some believe discounts should be given to those who carry student debt or still live with their parents.

 Across-the-board senior discounts begin as early as age 50. That’s about the same time when the top income-producing years kick in for skilled workers and managers.

 The question then remains, should seniors get discounts simply because they live? Tell us what you think in our online comment section at

Ask first, but seniors can usually get a discount on:

• Shopping (i.e. clothing stores, etc.)

• Mortgage

• Credit card debit payoff plan

• Groceries

• Membership to Senior Discounts Club

• Special mortgage programs

• Home repairs

• Car insurance

• Life insurance

• Medical bills

• Dining out

• Energy bills

• Cruise discounts and perks

• Auto warranty extension

• Movies

• Home security systems

• National parks entry and tours

• Massages

• Amusement parks

• Health insurance

• Public transportation

• Cell phone plans

• Flights

• Museums


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