Search for discounts getting old
Anyone else in the 50- andover crowd feel that every time they turn a milestone age, all the “good” senior discounts are for the people five years older and up?
I noticed, when I turned 50, that all the good “senior” discounts came to those 55 and older. On Feb. 17, I turned 55. And from what I could see, many of the discounts were for those 60 and older.
In a Facebook post, I jokingly (sorta) asked where the discounts were for those my age.
“Oh, haven’t you heard?” responded a childhood friend of my older siblings. “They raised the age to 60 as soon as I turned 55!” I told her I’d gone to a senior-discount website and noticed that I appeared to still be a “young thang” when it came to many of the discounts out there.
Several people suggested joining AARP — an organization that not only gladly accepts people at age 50 but which, in fact, sends out come-hithers to people before they’re even thinking of this particular milestone birthday. I had an AARP membership a few years ago by virtue of my husband signing up. He let that lapse.
The discounts aren’t all out of reach. Fortunately, a decent number of well-known chain establishments will bless 55-ers with discounts of usually 10 percent, or free small drinks. Some offer discounts at certain times of the month, or certain days (for whatever reason, Tuesday seems to be Senior Discount Day).
The one big downside to senior discounts in general is that it appears they aren’t offered or doled out automatically. We must inquire about them. I wonder whether the senior-discount beneficiary ranks are thinned due to those who don’t want to admit they’re a certain age … and possibly be treated like we were in the days of the old-school store checkout clerks who bellowed out those embarrassing price-check requests: “Got a senior discount on panties here!”
As for finding that the discounts I’m eligible for are fewer than I thought there’d be, I also wonder if some merchants panicked at the number of baby boomers starting to hit them up, and decided to raise the age-eligibility numbers.
Or, whether they sarcastically decided to take advantage of those “50-is-the-new-30, 60-is-thenew-40” viewpoints. As a matter of fact, the headline of an April 2015 story at The Daily Mirror website, mirror.co.uk, proclaims that “60 is the new 40: Healthy living means we now hit middle age later” and references “scientists who say longer, healthier lives mean people now hit middle-age
The story quotes Sergei Scherbov, who led a study on aging. “What we think of as old has changed over time, and it will need to continue changing in the future as people live longer, healthier lives. Someone who is 60 years old today, I would argue, is middle-
aged — but 200 years ago, a 60- year- old would be a very old person.” A September story at the Germany- based Deutsche Welle’s website, dw. com, reveals that “average lifespans are creeping up, and that’s affecting views on aging. Sociologist Francois Hopflinger … discovered that most elderly people today feel much younger than they did 50 years ago.” So some merchants might have
concluded that those of the “55- is- the- new- 35” crowd should pay what they feel.
At any rate, I wouldn’t be surprised to see discount offers stated thusly: “Ten percent off purchases for those age 55 and older. If, however, you’re still working a 9-to-5, still wearing heels more than 2 inches high, rocking an above-the-knee dress, driving a ‘midlife crisis’ sports car, swimming in men’s briefs or two-piece numbers
that show more flesh than the traditional ‘tankini’ and are dating someone your child or grandchild’s age, we figure you can afford to pay full price.”
Which, actually, might make for a good laugh. Followed by a need to seek a senior discount on some incontinence products.