So, in addition to a birthday cake and warm wishes from friends and family, your 55th birthday opens up a whole new world of benefits and discounts as well!
These benefits cover a range of aspects from health, finances, transportation, education, travel, and everyday purchases.
If you are of the opinion that age brings nothing with it apart from poor health and long hospital bills, then you need to reconsider your opinion. With age comes discounts and perks as well. These discounts not only reduce your expenses but also increase your savings. Besides saving on taxes you can save a lot on your daily expenses.
But to avail the discounts and perks you need to be a member of AARP and a age-proof ID.
What is AARP?
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), is America’s leading organization for people aged fifty and older, providing AARP members benefits, marketing services, and lobbying on their behalf.
This article takes a look at the benefits that you can get at the age of 55 or older.
Reduced Insurance Premiums
Ever heard of AARP driver safety course? If no, then if you are 55 or more you need to know this offer. after you have become an eligible senior through the AARP driver safety course you can avail discounts on your car premiums. This means that if you are aware of this law and own an AARP card you can avail this benefit and save a good amount on car insurance premiums.
Tax Deductions for Senior Citizen
Tax deductions are extra incentives or benefits for an eligible senior. Eligible seniors are offered higher standard deductions once they are of the age 50 or above.
If you’re employed, even if it is a part-time job, make use of retirement savings to defer tax amount or eliminate it all-in-all.
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Older Americans can take the standard tax deduction on home mortgage interest, charitable contributions, real estate taxes, and even medical expenses. As an older adult a deduction is available for you which is $1650 more than the deduction to other tax payers.
On the other hand, seniors can now skip the required minimum distributions for 2020 as part of the Coronavirus relief bill. If you’re aged 70 or older, you can avoid having to pay income tax on any amount up to $100,000 provided that the amount is transferred from a qualifying IRA account.
To top it all, you’re also allowed to have a high-deductible health plan and set aside a deposit of an extra $1,000 to your health savings account.
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Free Continuing Education
Have you heard of the Senior Citizens’ Higher Education Act? If you haven’t, 55 is a good age to read up on what it is, as the Senior Citizens’ Higher Education Act helps you learn or gain wisdom even after 55.
Hence, you can anytime take admission in a college and study your favorite course. However, you can avail this benefit only if your previous year’s taxable income was less than $15000.
Okay, so who doesn’t like a discount!
And for eligible seniors and adults surviving on fixed deposits or low-income, that is for older adults aged 55 and above, discounts help increase savings.
With a valid age-proof ID, elders can receive a number of discounts on purchases at the restaurant, retail stores, movies, and many other such places.
Seniors of age 55 and above also get many offers from businesses. Generally they are offered goods and services at very low prices. However, they can avail such offers only after showing the age-proof ID.
Most commercial institutions provide discounts to people of the age 50 and above, but this may not be the case everywhere.
Eligible seniors can avail of these discounts on food items, prescription drugs, and clothing.
Tip for older adults: Not every business advertises such discounts, hence, you need to step up and ask for the senior discount on the items or services you have purchased.
Retail Senior Discounts
Here are some of the retailers that offer senior discounts- Walgreens, Amazon, Kmart, Kohl’s, Rite Aid, Banana Republic, Home Depot, Savers, and many more offer older adults a senior discount if they show proof of the age requirement.
Senior Discounts On Grocery
Grocery discounts for an older person aged 55 and above are available in Publix, Safeway, Food Lion, and many other grocery stores. The markdown and the products on markdown may be limited, but it is still a way to save some bucks.
Not only grocery discounts, there are some biggies in the market that offer shopping discounts and perks to the elderly. Some offer the perks throughout the year, while some offer day-specific perks such as once or twice a week.
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Senior Discounts In Restaurants
In the USA almost 90% of restaurants offer senior discounts. But like I said earlier that most of them might not advertise it. Hence, don’t forget to ask for such discounts.
Some of the restaurants that offer these discounts are Dairy Queen, Subway, Taco Bell, etc.
Entertainment Senior Discounts
As you age and approach retirement age, entertainment becomes an essential part of life. And companies out there are utilizing the opportunity to drive in customers with an exciting senior discount. Some of the establishments that do so are Disneyland, Regal Cinemas, Disney world, etc.
Again, these may not be announced publicly, when you shop around for a product or service don’t forget to ask for senior discounts.
Tax Deduction on Charitable Contributions
Giving back to society is also one of our social responsibilities and once we attain a certain age the feeling to give becomes more prominent. But, if you don’t know, contributing to charities is a great way to reduce taxes. The amount you give away as charity is reduced from your income as expenses which lowers your total tax amount.
If you are donating property instead of cash then you can deduct the fair market value of the property from total income to come to the taxable amount.
Tax Deductions on Medical Expenses
After attaining a certain age the medical bills start growing longer and longer. But if you are bearing very high medical costs which include expensive drugs you can get tax breaks. However, this is only available if your medical expenses exceeds 7.5% of your AGI (Annual Gross Income).
You can very well utilize your earned money and old age to travel the world and behold the natural beauty of our planet. If you are planning to take a world tour after your retirement then this information is for you. You can avail discounts on various hotel deals, air travel deals etc. which you can avail. Not only on international trips you can also avail the discounts and deals on domestic travels as well.
Travel and Hotel Reservation Discounts
Travel is another activity that seniors have time for after retirement. Even if you have not retired, and use public transport to get to work, you can avail travel discounts.
Also, when it comes to air travel, airlines like Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Delta, Alaska Airlines, etc. offer travel discounts for senior citizens or citizens of age 55 and above. Next time when you plan a trip be very careful and choose only those airlines that offer senior discounts. This will not only help you save some money but also increase your overall traveling experience.
Also, before you rush for hotel booking check on the senior discounts in hotels like, Hilton hotels, Candlewood Suites, Days inn, etc.
Exemption From Early Withdrawal Penalties
If you retire at 55, you’ll be permitted to access and withdraw from your defined-contribution retirement account without attracting penalties that are often associated with early withdrawals. If you get terminated from your job and you are above 55, you are not penalized for taking the money out. So in effect, the 10 percent penalty is waived off, but you are still paying tax on the withdrawal.
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National Park Discounts
Visiting national parks is also a great way to spend old age. But if you were postponing your plans due to monetary issues, don’t postpone them anymore. You can avail awesome discounts on entrance passes. Surprisingly you can get lifetime entrance passes to national parks only at $10. If you opt for other activities inside the national park like camping, hiking, fishing, boating, etc. you can get additional discounts.
No Cost Legal Advice
If you own one AARP card don’t worry if you need some legal advice from some expert attorneys. If your age is 50 or more, you can take free legal advice through the AARP’s legal service network.
Now, we hope that you have enjoyed the perks associated with turning 55 in America!
We would love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Do let us know whether you have any suggestions or recommendations for us.