Who doesn’t love the feeling of getting a great deal on something – whether it’s a new car, pair of shoes, or even a half-priced latte? Sometimes the challenge can lie in knowing where to go for the best prices – and that’s especially true for our senior population, mostly because of the sheer volume of discounts available to them. If you’re new to this age group, or trying to help mom or dad navigate the retail landscape, here are some strategies for getting a handle on what can seem like an endless flow of (mostly useful) information.
First, wherever you shop – whether it’s for a retail product or car insurance – always ask if they offer a senior discount. Many places do without advertising it, so don’t make any assumptions based on what you see or don’t see. Also, don’t count on just any employee to know – they may have to ask a manager.
Second, before starting to look into available deals, consider joining the AARP. They offer lots of exclusive discounts and specials available only to their membership, and yearly dues are just $16 – well worth it considering the potential savings. You won’t be privy to all pricing info until you actually join, but you can get a decent idea of what kinds of deals they offer by browsing their website.
The broader world of senior discounts is where things start to get hazy; not only are there thousands to learn about, but they vary in terms of age eligibility. Take retail clothing, for example. Banana Republic offers 10% off across the board to people 50+, while Clarks limits its 10% discount to those 62 and up, and it only applies to shoes. Kohl’s offers 15% off to those 55 and up, but only on Wednesdays. Luckily, there are some fantastic websites that do an enormous amount of research to find these deals and organize them in a way that’s easy to navigate. Here are a few of our favorites:
- The Senior List is a thorough and comprehensive list of available discounts, grouped into five categories: Travel, Restaurants, Prescription, Retail, and Grocery. Their full lists for 2016 and 2015 are still up on their site, the majority remaining current. As of this writing, their 2017 restaurant list is up, with the other categories forthcoming.
- Tough Nickel also lists discounts by category – principally dining, travel, and retail – but also throws in some helpful information about getting reduced pricing on utility payments, glasses, exercise, phone plans, and movie tickets. They also offer some sound advice on how to get the best deal from financial institutions, how to negotiate a car loan at a senior rate, as well as tips for finding the best online coupons.
- The financial help site Penny Hoarder has a great section on senior discounts organized by age eligibility, with an added section on AARP discount deals.
All of these sites are updated regularly, and welcome readers’ contributions; if you come across something they haven’t listed, let them know!