A series of reports by CBS News and USA TODAY explores the aging of an iconic generation and the impact on the nation.
Good news for baby boomers: You're getting older - but that brings with it lots of discounts!
"The Early Show" kicked off a joint CBS News/USA Today series called "Senior Moment" on Tuesday.
It's in honor of the first wave of baby boomers - who turn 65 in July. So boomers are beginning to turn into seniors!
"Senior Moment" will help people plan for their older and wiser years.
In its first installment, Ken Budd, executive editor of AARP The Magazine, showcased discounts available to seniors on everything from gym memberships to Jiffy Lube!
Demographers, sociologists and the media define baby boomers as those born between (and including) 1946 and 1964, Budd points out. In 2010, that would make boomers between 46 and 64 years old, and next year will be the first year that boomers turn 65.
There are about 75 million boomers in the U.S., representing about 29 percent of the population. "I think," Budd told CBS News, "people have a certain perception of what it means to be a senior or a baby boomer, but the reality is that being 60 today is a lot different than it was several generations ago."
And no one should be self-conscious, Budd says, about taking advantage of seniors' discounts. "The savings," he told CBS News, "is something that you've earned and, in this economy, there's nothing wrong with being smart about it. Getting 10 percent off here or there adds up pretty fast and, by doing it across a wide range of categories, you'll be shocked at the thousands of dollars you can save in your budget from year-to-year. And, the savings aren't only confined to seniors 65 and up. There are plenty of deals that you may not know about that start at age 62, 60, 55 and even 50 years of age, so it pays to be informed."
Number 10 on our list is travel. When it comes to discounts, they're available on rental cars, trains and planes. When it comes to renting cars, AARP members get online discounts of up to up to 20 percent off from Budget, up to 25 percent off at Alamo, Avis and Hertz and up to 30 percent at National. One comparison of online reservations showed savings of up to $100 on a two-day rental from National. By train, Amtrak gives a 15 percent discount to riders who are 62 or older and regularly offers larger breaks on particular routes. Early this spring, for example, senior passengers traveling up the New England coast got a 50 percent break on fares. If you're traveling in Europe, Eurail offers senior passes to travelers 60 or older in various countries. When it comes to flying, you should check with individual airlines on their discounts, but Southwest and United Airlines are two airlines that offer discounts to seniors. And, with United, travelers 55 and older get savings on travel with their travel partners… as much as 50 percent off at luxury hotels and resorts by joining their Silver Wings Plus program.
When it comes to hotels, most offer discounts to seniors. You just have to make sure to ask for them when you're making your reservation and some will require proof of your age in the form of an ID to guarantee the discount. At Best Western, for instance, you can get at least 10 percent off of regular room rates for seniors 55 and older. Marriott Hotels will offer seniors 62 and older 15 percent savings off of normal room rates and participating Hyatt Hotels will offer between 25 to 50 percent savings on rooms to seniors 62 and older in both the United States and Canada.
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USA Today Series: Senior Moment
Gold's Gym and Bally Total Fitness both offer special membership rates to older gym members, though the terms vary depending on which gym you walk into. At Bally's Total Fitness, where yearly memberships can be several hundred dollars a year, those 62 and older are offered discounts of between $50 to $100 on that membership! That's a lot of savings.
Once again, you have to check with individual retailers, but Banana Republic, for instance, offers a 10 percent discount every day for people 50 years of age and older and one day every week, Kohl's has a senior discount of 15 percent in you're 62 years and older. The day varies per location, but you can check with your local store to see when the discount is available to you.
Many Supercuts locations offer $2 off the regular adult price for a haircut to people 60 and older. (The discount amount, and participation may vary by location, so be sure to ask in advance.) MasterCuts offers customers 60 and older a 20 percent discount on all salon services and hair care products, Monday through Thursday only. You must, however, present a senior discount card that can be obtained at any location.
From movies to museums, amusement parks to Broadway shows, there are savings on a variety of forms of entertainment. Regal Entertainment Group offers theater tickets at its 546 theaters at a 30 percent savings if you are at least 60 years old. At Cinemark/Century theaters, you can save up to 35 percent off the regular adult ticket prices if you are 65 years and older. Don't want to see a movie? Go to a museum. Most have senior discounts, and in New York, for example, The Whitney Museum of American Art offers seniors a $6 discount. As far as amusement parks go, seniors can get Disneyland discount coupons, however, these are subject to availability and you have to produce an ID at the time of purchase. Many Broadway shows discount their Wednesday matinee shows for seniors where you can get $5 to $20 less than regular ticket prices.
According to the Labor Department report, "those over age 55... spend more than $160 a month eating out." If you want to grab a meal or a quick bite, most restaurant chains offer some sort of discount to seniors but you really have to do some investigating to find out what it is. Applebee's offers a Golden Apple card and if you're 55 and older, you can get special deals and discounts. From Wendy's to Boston Market, Pizza Hut to Burger King, most fast food restaurants have some sort of savings as well. And, none of this takes into accounts places like Krispy Kreme which offers a 10 percent discount that starts at age 50.
Various supermarket chains offer discounts for seniors. Ask about them!
Check your local stores, but some bigger chains like KB Toys offers a 10 percent discount to shoppers over 50 every Tuesday
The discounts to seniors are really limitless, so it pays to take advantage of everything you have coming to you. Some of the most unusual discounts include those with contractors, veterinarians, plumbers, car washes and car dealers. It really never hurts to ask. For instance, 800Wine.com gives seniors 50 and above 10 percent off all orders. No minimum purchase amount is required. Many Jiffy Lube and Midas Auto Service locations, and some Valvoline locations will offer a standard 10 percent discount on labor and services to its older customers. Goodwill has a 10 percent discount one day a week for ages 55+, and specifics may vary by location.