frugal

Senior discounts for the 50-plus crowd

The financial perks of being 50-plus
The financial perks of being 50-plus © Deborah Kolb/Shutterstock.com

If you've made it past your 50th birthday, you have some rewards points to cash in.

Financial perks don't end with the discounts touted in that AARP membership invitation that arrived in the mail well before your "big-five-O" birthday cards. There are dozens of ways to save money -- including some programs that aren't widely advertised -- if you're not too modest to boast about your chronological credentials.

David Smidt, president of SeniorDiscounts.com, advises his website's readers to be assertive about sleuthing out those hidden rewards.

"Always ask," Smidt says. "That's the No. 1 tip we try to get through."

While you might expect to start seeing fewer discounts as the population of boomers and older consumers soars, Smidt says that for the most part, the deals are sticking around.

"The one area where we've seen pullback is in travel-related sectors," he says. "That's largely due to the takeover of online booking for car rentals, airlines and hotels."

Read on to discover some of the categories in which you can still enjoy a seniority advantage.

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If you're 50 or older, you may be entitled to some discounts on a lot of consumer goods and services.

While your bill statements won't likely announce available discounts, it wouldn't hurt to ask your cellphone, cable, trash pickup and utilities companies if you are eligible for a discount. Even modest reductions on recurring bills can pay off big.

Also, many car insurers apply an automatic discount for customers who have reached a certain age, but check in with your agent just to make sure you're getting all the discounts you're entitled to. If you're traveling by plane, train or renting a car, be sure to ask if you can get a discount.

The National Park Service makes a $10 senior pass available to those ages 62 or older in exchange for a lifetime of free access to more than 2,000 federal recreational sites.

Closer to home, you can find senior discounts at movie theaters, retail shops and participating restaurants. Just ask!

 

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