Aging certainly comes with plenty of problems. Wrinkles,
gray hair, vision and hearing loss and general aches and pains are
all common ailments. But there are also many perks of growing older,
especially where your finances are concerned. Here's how getting older can save
Senior discounts. If
you're willing to admit your age, you may be able to get a discount on your
next restaurant meal or retail purchase. Many museums, movie theaters and
entertainment venues will provide reduced admission prices to people who are
above a certain age. AARP negotiates discounts for members, who can join as
early as age 50, often allowing you to start using senior discounts at a
younger age. Discounts are sometimes available on necessities such as groceries
and clothing. Not all senior discounts are publicized and are sometimes given
only to those who request them and show proof of age.
Travel deals. Many
hotels and rental car companies will provide a discount to seniors who are
above a certain age or AARP members. Travelers age 62 and older are eligible
for 15 percent off some Amtrak fares and 5 percent off Greyhound bus tickets.
Southwest Airlines has senior fares for passengers age 65 and older.
Perhaps the best travel deal of all is provided by the National Park Service.
Citizens age 62 and older can get a lifetime pass to over 2,000 federal
recreation sites for just $10 in person ($20 online or via mail).
Tax deductions for
seniors. People age 65 and older are eligible for several extra tax
deductions. The standard deduction is $7,850 for individuals age 65 and older
in 2016, $1,550 more than younger taxpayers. The standard deduction is also
$1,250 more for each spouse who is age 65 or older, or $15,100 if both spouses
were born before Jan. 2, 1951. If you are above a specific age and sometimes
below a certain income level, you might also qualify for property or school tax
deferrals or exemptions. Also, if an individual or at least one member of a married
couple is age 65 or older, you can deduct medical expenses that exceed 7.5
percent of your adjusted gross income, compared to 10 percent for younger
Relaxed tax filing
requirements. People 65 and older can bring in $1,550 more (or $1,250 more
per spouse age 65 and older if filing jointly) than younger people before they
are required to file a tax return. Seniors can have a gross income of up to
$11,850 as individuals or $23,100 as part of a couple where both members are 65
or older before they are required to file a tax return.
account limits. Workers age 50 and older can defer paying income tax
on as much as $24,000 that they contribute to a 401(k) plan, $6,000 more than
younger workers. The IRA contribution limit is also $1,000 higher for workers
50 and older, or $6,500 in 2016. The catch is that you are typically required
to withdraw money from traditional retirement accounts and pay the resulting
tax bill after age 70 1/2. However, retirees age 70 1/2 and older can avoid
paying income tax on any amount up to $100,000 that they transfer directly from
an IRA to a qualifying charity. No more early withdrawal penalty. Once you
turn age 59 1/2, there's no more 10 percent penalty to withdraw money from your
IRA. And if you leave your job at age 55 or later, you can begin taking
penalty-free 401(k) withdrawals from the account associated with the job you
left at an even earlier age. However, you will have to wait until age 59 1/2 to avoid
the early withdrawal penalty on withdrawals from 401(k)s associated with
previous jobs or IRAs.
payments. You can sign up for reduced Social Security payments as
early as age 62 or claim the full amount you have earned at your full
retirement age of 66 or 67, depending on your birth year. If you delay claiming
your payments past your full retirement age up until age 70, you will earn
delayed retirement credits that will further boost your monthly benefit.
insurance. Retirees don't need to worry about finding a job that
provides health coverage or the sometimes high out-of-pocket costs of health
insurance plans purchased through state health insurance exchanges. Once you
turn age 65, you can sign up for Medicare. Most retirees don't pay anything for
their Part A hospital insurance. The premium for Medicare Part B, which covers
doctor's visits and medical services, is $104.90 per month for most retirees in
2016 (although some beneficiaries pay more), which can be deducted from your
Social Security check so you won't get a bill. Retirees can fill in some of the
co-payments and deductibles by purchasing a supplemental plan and get their
prescription drugs covered through Medicare Part D.
Senior services. Many
communities provide low-cost taxi or van services to help seniors citizens get
to doctor appointments or do grocery shipping. Some cities even provide free or
discounted public transportation to people above a certain age. Senior centers
might provide low-cost meals, affordable classes and entertainment and an
opportunity to socialize with other seniors. Your local library or community
center might also have events specifically for older residents.
Free college. College
costs are a major expense for young people. But retirees might be able to take
classes for free or at a very low cost. Many public colleges and some
private institutions provide senior citizen tuition waivers or allow older
people to audit classes for free or a minimal cost on a space-available basis.
And there are over 100 Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes on college campuses
that offer affordable classes specifically for retirees.
here to access the full article on U.S. News Money.