In 2010, the average life expectancy was 78.7 years, and nearly a quarter of retirees said that finances were the biggest retirement challenge. Whether you've already retired, or are nearing it, the loss of income that comes with many retirements underscores the need to prioritize spending and find opportunities to save on everyday purchases. Here's a roundup of just a few of the perks that come with being a senior.

Though you may not self-identify as a senior at 50 years old, that's the age you can join the AARP and start reaping the benefits of senior discounts. For $16 a year (or less if you join for multiple years), joining the AARP opens up access to savings on travel, entertainment, technology, health services and even insurance.

Movie Discounts
According to the National Association of Theater Owners, the average cost of a movie ticket was near $8 in 2011, which means enjoying "dinner and a movie" as a retiree can add up quickly. Though most movie theaters offer some form of a senior discount, this is one area where spending a few moments investigating offers at your local theaters, both by phone and online, and being flexible in your schedule is worth the effort. For example, on Tuesdays AMC theatres offer a discount of 52% off standard adult prices for seniors who are at least 60 years old. A senior discount of just $2 is offered on the weekends.

The cost of food is steadily rising, but being a senior can offset those costs, based on where you shop. When it comes to senior discounts, locally owned grocery stores tend to be the most aggressive and blatant with their senior discount programs, though you can find savings at a few larger chains as well. Harris Teeter, for example, offers shoppers ages 60 and older a 5% discount on total purchases, every Thursday. Select locations at Kroger and Publix offer seniors savings too, though you'll need to inquire with customer service for the details offered at your location.

Apparel and Consumer Goods
Kohl's offers a 15% discount every Wednesday to shoppers who are 62 and older, and Ross Stores offer a 10% discount, on specific days, to customers who are 55 and older. Though the discount and participation varies by location, Banana Republic even extends a senior discount, so inquire with your sales person before you pay full price.

If you prefer to fly, Southwest Airlines offers discounts to travelers who are 65 years and older, and all senior fares are fully refundable. If you're not quite 65, it's also worth inquiring for potentially lower rates. According to, "Southwest Airlines has other discounted fares for those not meeting the above age requirements."

If you're at least 62 years old, Greyhound offers a 5% discount on ticket fare, and Amtrak discounts 15% from the lowest fare on most trains. If you're traveling on cross-border trains, Amtrak will discount 10% off fares for passengers who are at least 60 years old. Many hotels offer discounts for travelers, too. For example, Marriot properties extend travelers 62 and older a discount of 15%, and Hyatt reduces rates by as much as 50% for travelers of the same age. Holiday Inn Express and Doubletree hotels offer senior discounts for those 62 years and older, too.

Through its "Living More" program, Rite Aid offers seniors (age varies by state), the opportunity to save up to 20% on certain days, and 10% off of prescriptions every day. AARP members can also save 5% at Walgreen's pharmacies.

Car Services
If you're renting a car, this is one area where carrying an AARP discount can pay off. Hertz, National Car Rental, Enterprise and Budget Rent A Car all offer lower rates for AARP members. Though discounts vary by location, some Jiffy Lube and Midas service centers also offer a discount to seniors for auto repair and maintenance.

Food and Drinks
Senior savings are common at restaurants and fast food establishments, and range from free coffee, to drinks, to discounts off your total order. However, offers vary by location and many aren't actively advertised. For that reason, it's always worth inquiring about discounts with the server, provided that you're at least 50 years old. Chains known for their senior discounts include McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King, Applebee's, Arby's, Chilli's and Friendly's.

The Bottom Line
Though the recession has caused some retailers to pull back on senior discounts, they are anything but a thing of the past. No matter what you're buying, or where you're buying it, simply inquiring if a senior discount is available can lead to major savings. Speak up, and make it known that you're a senior.

Related Articles
  1. Stock Analysis

    Will J.C. Penney Come Back in 2016? (JCP)

    J.C. Penney is without a doubt turning itself around, but that doesn't guarantee the stock will respond immediately.
  2. Entrepreneurship

    How an Internet Sales Tax Will Affect Your Small Business

    Learn about how the Marketplace Fairness Act may impact small business owners should it pass in the House and what the act requires from business owners.
  3. Savings

    Craft Beer Clubs – Bargain or Not?

    If you're an aficionado of artisanal brews (or would like to be), a beer club can be a palate-pleasing, albeit pricey, way to expand your hops horizon.
  4. Stock Analysis

    When Will Dick's Sporting Goods Bounce Back? (DKS)

    Is DKS a bargain here?
  5. Stock Analysis

    Has Urban Outfitters Lost its Way? (URBN)

    Urban Outfitters just made a bold move. Will it pay off?
  6. Stock Analysis

    Is Walmart's Rally Sustainable? (WMT)

    Walmart is enjoying a short-term rally. Is it sustainable? Is Amazon still a better bet?
  7. Savings

    Are Wine Clubs Worth It?

    Some points to consider, before committing to a membership for yourself – or as a gift. The right club can also help you save money over the holidays.
  8. Stock Analysis

    Kohl's: Should You Stock Up or Sell? (KSS)

    Many traders are bearish on Kohl's, but long-term investors might want to take a closer look for this simple reason.
  9. Stock Analysis

    GoPro's Stock: Can it Fall Much Further? (GPRO)

    As a company that primarily sells discretionary products, GoPro and its potential falls right in line with consumer trends. Is that good or bad?
  10. Stock Analysis

    How Macy's Will Refresh its Brand

    Macy's is heading in the wrong direction, but what's the potential for a turnaround?
  1. Where can you buy NetSpend reload packs?

    You can only purchase NetSpend reload packs at Giant Eagle, Albertsons, Roundy's and Pathmark supermarkets. NetSpend cards ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Are continuing care retirement communities accredited?

    Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) can be accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What does marginal utility tell us about consumer choice?

    In microeconomics, utility represents a way to relate the amount of goods consumed to the amount of happiness or satisfaction ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What are some common ways product differentiation is achieved?

    There are many ways to achieve product differentiation, some more common than others. Horizontal Differentiation Horizontal ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and a VAR ...

    An original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is a company that manufactures a basic product or a component product, such as a ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Is the retail sector also affected by seasonal factors?

    Generally speaking, the retail sector is highly seasonal. Almost invariably, sales in the retail sector are highest in the ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center