No matter whether you're rich, poor or somewhere in between, a discount is great at any age. These days, many stores, restaurants and brands offer discounts to seniors, especially if you're a member. From percentage-off savings to buy-one-get-one-free deals, discounts are a definite benefit of aging.
"Thousands of dollars of savings" are available to the older generation, including restaurants, travel, groceries and entertainment, says Art Koff, founder of RetiredBrains.com, a Web destination for boomers, retirees, people planning retirement and people caring for older family members.
While all these deals are available, they're not always used.
"The key is to always ask if there is a senior discount available," says Koff. "More than 50 percent of the companies that offer these discounts tell RetiredBrains that those entitled to them do not ask, and in most cases, the discounts are not offered unless they are requested," says Koff.
Getting a deal can be an everyday opportunity.
"We know a large number of AARP members are still in the workforce, so the offers available are designed not just for leisurely activities, but also to make everyday costs a little more affordable and are relevant to members whether they are retired or still working," says Dave Austin, vice president of marketing services for AARP Services Inc., a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for those over age 50.
You have to be one of AARP's 37 million members to get their discounts, which include 15 percent off of the whole check at Denny's restaurants nationwide, 10 percent savings off monthly service charges at AT&T, and 5 percent off domestic and international shipping services at The UPS Store.
AARP members can also get savings for financial and health services, such as AARP Vision Discounts provided by EyeMed and AARP Prescription Discounts provided by Catamaran.
Many moneysaving offers don't require membership. For example, some of the deals listed on RetiredBrains include 15 percent off Amtrak fare for ages 62 and up, 10 percent off Greyhound for adults over 55, at least 10 percent off Best Western's regular rates for those over 55, 10 percent off Banana Republic for customers 50 or older, and 30 percent off movie tickets at Regal Entertainment Group if you're 60 or older.
Restaurants, including Applebee's, Boston Market, IHOP and Subway, give senior discounts, too. Retail stores like T.J. Maxx, Kohl's and Kmart offer discounts, typically once a week. Check with stores near you to see which ones offer senior discounts.
Lots of supermarkets have senior discounts, too. According to The Senior List, grocery deals include Great Valu, Kroger, Publix and Waldbaum's. Check with individual stores to find out the specific discount days and savings.
Redeeming discounts can be as easy as clipping a coupon or showing your AARP or AAA card. There's a modern approach, too: apps, emails and text or Web deals. AARP, for example, has a free AARP Member Advantages Offer Finder app, which identifies and provides directions to nearby businesses that give senior discounts.
Don't feel overwhelmed by the process. Start small by looking into savings opportunities with your favorite products and services, and sign up on their website. They'll email you offers on a regular basis. In most cases, you don't even need to print the coupon, just show the cashier the offer on your smartphone. Sites like RetailMeNot offer daily coupon codes.
Consider signing up for text message deals from retailers and restaurants, too. Be aware you'll be charged for data and text messaging rates from your cellphone provider.