June 4, 2014

Baby boomers turning 50; discounts kick in

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — The last of the baby boomers turn 50 this year, and if they want to cry into their beer about getting older, at least they can now buy it at a discount.

That’s because the first of the so-called senior discounts kick in at age 50, generally along with an AARP card.

Sure, there are savings at some chain restaurants and movie theaters, but like everything else with this generation, the boomers have put their own mark on senior savings.

“Some of our discounts would not have existed 10 years ago,” said Lynn Mento, a spokeswoman for the Washington, D.C.-based AARP.


Today’s cardholders qualify for 33 percent off membership at Zipcar, an auto-sharing site; can buy three concert tickets at Live Nation and get a fourth for free; get 45 percent off a new membership at Angie’s List, a website that lets people review local businesses; and qualify for 15 percent off on HP computers.

Plenty of discounts are available for those who aren’t among the AARP’s 37 million members, though those often don’t kick in until closer to retirement age.

For instance, Fred Meyer Senior Discount Days are for those 55 and older, the National Park Service charges just $10 for a lifetime pass for Americans age 62 or older, and Southwest Airlines is one of the few carriers still offering a reduced fare for those 65 and older.

To find discounts, the simplest thing to do is ask, said Jim Miller, of Norman, Oklahoma, who has spent the past 13 years writing the syndicated Savvy Senior column.

He also recommends the website, which lists thousands of memberships and is searchable by location.

Don’t stop there, however, as senior discounts aren’t always the cheapest option. Sometimes, other discounts or promotions will offer greater savings. It pays to search the Internet and shop around.

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