The Benefits of Being a Senior

609796128Last week’s Struming, Turning 65, recognized my recent 65th birthday and the good (and bad) that comes from aging.

I made a couple of points in that Struming worth recapping:

1. I do not like 55+ communities.

Obviously, we have been eligible for 55+ living  for 10 years. When we downsized last year from the large suburban home to a smaller town home, we did not (or at least I didn’t) consider living in a 55+ community, even for a minute. That’s not a put down of those that do. Actually there are some very nice 55+ communities nearby in Southern NJ and in PA too. I really would have liked them IF they weren’t 55+ communities.

My issue is segregated living with a homogeneous group. It’s not for me. I would not live in an all Jewish/old/young/fat/tall/or whatever community. I believe diversity is important, and makes life interesting.  That’s why I encouraged our children to attend public school and public universities. I like seeing children walking through the neighborhood. Exposure to differences is good and builds greater appreciation of others, so no 55+ living for me.

In any event, there could be a time later in life where segregated living makes more sense—that’s what assisted living is all about. Cross that bridge when I come to it, if ever. Hopefully not too soon.

2. I love savings.

On this dimension I am all over senior (and non senior) savings and proud of it. Last week was a biggee for me in the savings department. Medicare started the 1st of October, and I can now ride PATCO into Philly for 70 cents and ride the NY Subways for $1.35. All these 3 relate only to those 65+.

But there are savings up the ying-yang to be had for “seniors” for some as young as age 50, when AARP recognizes your aging. Savings for those less than 65 also include:

–Half price NJ Transit (age 62)

–AARP savings on restaurants 10% on Bonefish Grill is a personal fave

–AARP savings at Dunkin Donuts (free donut with a large coffee—just what I need another donut)

–AARP savings at hotels

–Movies, restaurants, travel etc. this list goes on

In short, Senior Discounts aren’t Just for Seniors Anymore. There are many ways to save a buck.

Since I am a marketing guy I have no “shame” in seeking savings. Promotion is good. I have a wallet full of frequent user cards for hotels, food, etc. These are not age specific. And obviously smart shoppers who have discipline understand the cash back features of various credit cards. Costco is very good (4% on their gas, 3% restaurants etc. is very generous), and there are many other generous programs as well. And these aren’t even age based.

Obviously social security is around the corner–actually available as young as 62, with full benefits at FRA (Full Retirement age) and enhanced benefits up to age 70–I am holding off til 70. Better ROI if you live past 79 as I hope to. BTW,  I really don’t like the term “entitlement” because it makes recipients sound like petulant children whining for candy. How about a short, snappy term like “I paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for these benefits thank you. Damn straight I am entitled”–or something like that. Sorry Mitt, I have joined “the 47%” and I am proud of it. (BTW, Mitt you are looking much better these days as compared to you-know-who).

Yes, as I noted in my Turning 65 piece I did view 65+ folk as relics in my earlier years. Now I know better. I may be a relic in the eyes of others, but I am a smart, vibrant, wise relic with the desire work, live, go to Yankees games and the beach and yes, save dollars at any opportunity.

You got a problem with that?

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