Great Deals and Resources for Seniors
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Don't Overlook These 15 Great Perks and Resources for Seniors

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Great Deals and Resources for Seniors
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The golden years bring golden opportunities. Many cultural institutions, retailers, supermarkets, and travel companies offer discounts to seniors. There are also many services available to help people navigate tricky issues that can turn this stage of life into a gray area of sorts. These 15 discounts and resources can help seniors save money and make their lives easier.

Cultural Experiences
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Virtually every museum in the country offers some kind of discount to seniors, and some host days when seniors get in free. For example, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago takes $7 off the suggested admission for seniors. Symphony orchestras, opera companies, and other venues offer discounts on concerts and season passes. Movie theaters usually give seniors a dollar or two off ticket prices, and some offer free matinee tickets. AARP members get $9.50 online tickets to Regal cinemas, a savings of up to 25 percent.

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The National Park Service offers seniors a 50 percent discount at national parks or park sites. Visitors 62 and older can buy a lifetime pass that costs $80, the same price as the annual pass for non-seniors. Seniors can also buy annual passes for $20. Since the park system also manages the National Register of Historic Places, the discounts apply to some registered presidential homes, such as those of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln.

Air Travel
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Some airlines -- although fewer and fewer -- have discounts for older travelers. American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and Southwest Airlines offer some options for discounted flights but only for certain markets, dates, and destinations. To be sure that discounts are available, it's best to call the airlines. There are so many other travel deals around, however, that a senior fare may not even be a bargain.

Utilities and Cable
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Many cable companies offer a discount to seniors. Although this is not generally publicized, speaking to a representative from a cable company often results in a lower price. Additionally, AT&T Wireless customers who are AARP members can get 10 percent off qualified monthly service plans.

Public Transportation
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There's almost always a senior discount for public transportation, a great boon to urban dwellers who may have trouble driving. In New York, for example, the senior MetroCard (age 65 and up) is worth half off the regular fare. In San Francisco, a Senior Clipper Card (65 and up) comes with an automatic discount. For those traveling farther afield, Amtrak gives seniors 15 percent off the highest coach fares. Many communities also provide transportation help for seniors through social services departments.

Public Libraries
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They are far from extinct. In addition to having tons of free reading material, almost all municipal libraries offer classes -- many specifically for seniors -- on basic computer use, including document creation, email, photo editing, and sometimes even website creation. Some also provide job-hunting help.

Monkey Business Images/shutterstock
Monkey Business Images/shutterstock


Several supermarket chains -- such as Publix, Albertsons, Waldbaum's (which owns A&P and Pathmark), and Kroger -- offer discounts of 5 percent or 10 percent for older shoppers (starting at ages 55 to 65, depending on the store). These are usually offered once a week -- always in the middle of the week, when working people are less likely to shop. Apparel chains -- Banana Republic, Clarks shoes, Dress Barn, Kohl's, and Marshalls among others -- offer discounts of 10 percent to 15 percent at their bricks-and-mortar shops, also usually mid-week.

Membership Organizations


AARP and other senior organizations like the conservative Association of Mature American Citizens provide many discounts for members. They charge yearly fees and offer deals on car rental, hotels, dental and vision plans, and Medicare supplemental insurance. AARP also acts as an information center for caregivers, job seekers, and anyone interested in saving money, or maximizing their retirement years.



Social relationships may help forestall the most severe effects of aging, and there are offices within city governments as well as religious institutions that give seniors places for recreation and mingling. In San Antonio, for example, the Department of Human Services runs senior centers that offer art, exercise, and computer classes, as well as field trips and work-search programs.

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While Medicare Part D covers prescriptions, it does not cover all prescriptions, nor does it cover all of the cost. For people with a lot of prescriptions, the expense can really mount. Medicare lists drug manufacturers' discounts, and there are also discounts through AARP and from pharmacies such as Rite Aid, Walgreens, and CVS.

Social Services


Social service organizations can help seniors obtain in-home care, assistance for caregivers, counseling, and information about housing alternatives. They sometimes also offer volunteer opportunities. For instance, Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders, or SAGE, addresses the needs of the aging LGBT community nationwide. The Eldercare Directory lists social services that states provide and links to each state's agency.

City Services


In Seattle, the Gold Card for Healthy Aging, available through the Mayor's Office for Senior Citizens, provides discounts on goods and services. A directory of participating businesses also lists nonprofit agencies serving the elderly, and the office provides information and referrals regarding caregiver support, home care, and other needs. New York and other cities have similar offices where the elderly can find discounts and services. Seniors can check to see what's available from their local municipality.

Car Insurance
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Many auto insurers offer mature-driver discounts along with discounts for seniors who take defensive-driving courses specifically geared toward them. The courses usually cost about $25 but are good for three years and can save close to $100 a year. Insurance providers offer details. People who no longer drive long distances and use a car only around town can get pay-as-you-go insurance, which usually nets a 5 percent to 10 percent discount.

Limited Pension Exemptions


Tax-wise, there are some advantages to aging. In addition to the standard deduction on federal income taxes, there is an extra deduction of $1,550 for single taxpayers over 65 and $1,250 each for married couples if both are over 65. Many states with an income tax also cut seniors a break by exempting all Social Security income, and many also allow some exemption of pension income. Local governments offer senior exemptions that lower property taxes.