Turning 50 can be scary... besides becoming increasingly worried about your impending empty nest, the uphill battle to defy the effects of gravity, and getting called "ma'am" by just about everybody, you also start dreading mail deliveries and the arrival of your AARP senior discount card which, in your mind, means you're officially "old." Ick. But don't toss that card and your newly-minted "senior" status out just yet. Yep, turns out, if you can just get over the unsexiness of the "senior discount," there are actually plenty of reasons to get stoked about the milestone. Here are a few of the best:
Hopefully, with your kids leaving home soon and your other responsibilities winding down, you'll have gobs more free time to take those dream trips on your bucket list (which sits collecting dust).
No doubt, for many drivers, a major money suck is costly insurance rates -- as well as maintenance costs -- that seem to keep going up and up each year.
- Some insurance companies offer special perks for post-50 drivers. GEICO for one has deals geared specifically toward baby boomers. If you complete a defensive driving course, have a squeaky clean driving record for over five years, insure multiple cars, or are a member of a credit union or other organizations, you could save up to 26 percent.I Drive Safely offers a driving course for drivers over age 55, promising up to 15 percent off your monthly premiums. The cost of the course is minimal and varies by state.
Whether you're buying a little something for yourself or treating your kids or grandkids, any money saved on clothes, accessories, and other everyday items adds up quick.
- One of the best ways to get more bang for your buck is to hit up outlet malls, which offer name-brand stores, at a reduced price compared with regular retail. Tanger Outlets offer coupon books to AARP members with deals saving you up to 20 percent off at stores like the Gap, J. Crew, and Tommy Hilfiger. Most Premium Outlets locations offer 50-plus shopper perks on Tuesdays, saving you 10 percent on your purchases.
FOR TIME WITH THE KIDS AND GRANDKIDS
We love our little ones, but let's face it: entertaining kids can get pricey when a regular old board game or day at the park just won't do.
- When the kiddos just can't wait to see the latest summer blockbuster on the big screen, a trip to the movies can end up costing a fortune with popcorn, drinks, and snacks often costing more than your tickets. If you're 60 or over, many major movie theatre chains offer a discounted rate including Regal Cinemas, and Landmark Theatres (62 in most markets). Some AMC theatres have a designated senior day in which you can enjoy a special rate all day if you're 60 or older.
- No trip to the movies is complete without a pizza dinner afterwards. AARP members can enjoy 25 percent off their entire order at select Papa Johns Pizza locations when they order online and use the special AARP promo code. A number of other chain restaurants, ranging from fast-food to buffets to sit-down eateries also offer discounts varying by age and location, which you can ask for on the spot or check out on recommended savings websites like Sciddy.com or SeniorDiscounts.com.
Did we miss anything? Make sure to share your money-saving tips and tricks with us in comments below.