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Re-Thinking Senior Discounts?
Old 04-08-2019, 05:04 AM   #1
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Re-Thinking Senior Discounts?

Ran across this article this morning. It is likely behind a paywall--may get the first read free-- but the essence is that senior discounts should be re-thought as 1) many seniors are well off and 2) others may be in more need.

Just throwing it out there.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/20...GOO/story.html

Excerpt:
"But some question whether senior discounts are warranted in an era when many of those enjoying them are relatively well off, while large numbers of younger folks strain under the weight of student debt and labor in a gig economy bereft of benefits.

David Wallis, who leads the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, a nonprofit that supports journalism focused on inequality, argues that the deals for seniors are a relic of an earlier time. He calls for replacing them with income-based discounts for people of all ages.

“The senior discount should be radically rethought,” Wallis said. “Let’s say you have a very comfortable lifestyle. Do you deserve cheap seats at the movie theater?”..."

The article does finish up with examples of some seniors who rely on the discounts but it does lean more toward discounts based upon need more than age.

The lead photo of implied 'rich' elders at a ski resort helps drive home the point.
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Old 04-08-2019, 05:08 AM   #2
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Somehow, if I have achieved the age required to qualify for senior discounts, i'm going to use them with no guilt about doing so.

Didn't we all have to earn our stripes going through the following : "younger folks strain under the weight of student debt and labor in a gig economy bereft of benefits".
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Old 04-08-2019, 05:25 AM   #3
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I don't use senior discount often. Does "over 65" on 1040 form count?


But, to be more serious, I would gladly assign my senior discounts to someone who would benefit to a greater extent.
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Old 04-08-2019, 05:35 AM   #4
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OP here.
Personally, a 5% discount on a cup of coffee doesn't make or break my day and if saving $2 on a theater ticket makes that much of a go/no go difference, then maybe you should stay home.

The senior discount is nice--almost a fun thing-- but that's as far as it goes for me.

Yes, I got a senior discount at Deer Valley saving $51 over the $169 one day/adult ticket, but if you're a young'un in need, I doubt saving $51 bucks would make a $250 day of skiing any more affordable.
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Old 04-08-2019, 05:59 AM   #5
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...if saving $2 on a theater ticket makes that much of a go/no go difference, then maybe you should stay home
Eh, we're not yet "senior discount" eligible, but we will go on the cheap day if we're not in a rush. I can get $6 matinees with recliners on Tuesdays so why not (less people there too is nice).
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Old 04-08-2019, 06:05 AM   #6
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He calls for replacing them with income-based discounts for people of all ages.
Really? You'd have to show your 1040 to get a discount to a movie theater?

Are the senior discounts really based on the idea that seniors need them? Are ski resorts and restaurants in charge of wealth redistribution?

I thought senior discounts are a marketing strategy. In most cases seniors are an attractive crowd for any business. They have time flexibility, so are more likely to dine before the busy period. They probably won't ski as long into the day, nor are they usually reckless and endangering others. And yes, many are well off, which makes them a very good target for your business, even if you have to lure them in with a few % off.

I didn't try to read the whole article but from your summary I think he's totally missed the mark.
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Old 04-08-2019, 06:07 AM   #7
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Yes, I got a senior discount at Deer Valley saving $51 over the $169 one day/adult ticket, but if you're a young'un in need, I doubt saving $51 bucks would make a $250 day of skiing any more affordable.
If you're of any age and in need, skiing probably isn't the activity for you. Just another example that the discounts aren't charity-based, but rather trying to get the clientele you'd like to have at your business.
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Old 04-08-2019, 06:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marko View Post
Ran across this article this morning. It is likely behind a paywall--may get the first read free-- but the essence is that senior discounts should be re-thought as 1) many seniors are well off and 2) others may be in more need.

Just throwing it out there.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/20...GOO/story.html

Excerpt:
"But some question whether senior discounts are warranted in an era when many of those enjoying them are relatively well off, while large numbers of younger folks strain under the weight of student debt and labor in a gig economy bereft of benefits.

David Wallis, who leads the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, a nonprofit that supports journalism focused on inequality, argues that the deals for seniors are a relic of an earlier time. He calls for replacing them with income-based discounts for people of all ages.

“The senior discount should be radically rethought,” Wallis said. “Let’s say you have a very comfortable lifestyle. Do you deserve cheap seats at the movie theater?”..."

The article does finish up with examples of some seniors who rely on the discounts but it does lean more toward discounts based upon need more than age.

The lead photo of implied 'rich' elders at a ski resort helps drive home the point.
The author should mind his own business, and leave us seniors to our discounts.
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Old 04-08-2019, 06:15 AM   #9
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I had a few minutes before I need to go this morning so I read the article. It's as totally off-base as I thought. If he thinks businesses are offering senior discounts as a charitable benefit and for the good of society, he's way off.
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Old 04-08-2019, 06:16 AM   #10
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We haven't gotten any benefit from old-people discounts. For us, they're strictly a marketing ploy that we see through.

Contractors advertise "senior" discounts, and then tell us that "the senior discount is already included" or "we gave you the Angie's list discount instead - they're the same."

The one exception has been the library, where Mr. A. gets an over-65 discount on fines of 50%. Naturally, we both use his card!
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Old 04-08-2019, 06:16 AM   #11
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OP here.
Personally, a 5% discount on a cup of coffee doesn't make or break my day and if saving $2 on a theater ticket makes that much of a go/no go difference, then maybe you should stay home.

The senior discount is nice--almost a fun thing-- but that's as far as it goes for me.

Yes, I got a senior discount at Deer Valley saving $51 over the $169 one day/adult ticket, but if you're a young'un in need, I doubt saving $51 bucks would make a $250 day of skiing any more affordable.
I agree with the SD not making or breaking my day. I certainly don't go out of my way searching for senior discounts. Sometimes I will ask. If they have one, fine; I'll accept it as being their way of recognizing a lifetime of living, not recognizing me as needing financial assistance. If they don't offer a SD, I'm not going to go somewhere else. It is one of the small perks of attaining this stage in life. It is not a right to be demanded by seniors.
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Old 04-08-2019, 06:18 AM   #12
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You are not supposed to compare your young-person trials and tribulations with those of young people today. After all, back in '78, you just walked into a great job and benefits without any effort at all! Or so one reads.

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Somehow, if I have achieved the age required to qualify for senior discounts, i'm going to use them with no guilt about doing so.

Didn't we all have to earn our stripes going through the following : "younger folks strain under the weight of student debt and labor in a gig economy bereft of benefits".
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Old 04-08-2019, 06:54 AM   #13
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There's no government mandate that business need to offer senior discounts, the businesses are doing it of their own accord, and I'll go out on a limb and say they aren't doing it out of the kindness of their hearts, they are doing it to maximize profits. Just like student discounts these businesses are using price discrimination to maximize their income. Charge higher prices for groups that have more money, lower prices for groups that can afford less, and in doing so charge the maximum possible for each cohort. Either way, who cares, how many things in life involve senior discounts, I can't imagine it really adds up to meaningful sums, but maybe some seniors here know different.
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Old 04-08-2019, 07:03 AM   #14
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Eh, we're not yet "senior discount" eligible, but we will go on the cheap day if we're not in a rush. I can get $6 matinees with recliners on Tuesdays so why not (less people there too is nice).
I just checked and "Senior Discounts" start at age 50 through age 65. I had no idea what age you may qualify for a discount. I have never had one or asked if they have a discount. Lol
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Old 04-08-2019, 07:22 AM   #15
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I’d be happy to forgo senior discounts if I thought they would be offered to young families instead but we all know that won’t happen. And if I thought most people would enjoy showing a card or something proving they were needy to get a free coffee at McDonalds, I’d pay double for it myself. I wonder what the researcher thinks about military discounts....

I remember having young children and struggling a bit sometimes paying for the things we wanted for them (none of them essential, fortunately), but I didn’t think cutting others’ benefits and giving them to me was a good idea.
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Old 04-08-2019, 07:43 AM   #16
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Are the senior discounts really based on the idea that seniors need them? Are ski resorts and restaurants in charge of wealth redistribution?

I thought senior discounts are a marketing strategy.
IMO it is a marketing strategy.

But in the author's mind it is about 'deserving'..."do well off seniors deserve cheap theater seats" while youngers in more need go without.
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Old 04-08-2019, 07:46 AM   #17
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The writer of that article can stick it.

I spent my entire life watching people get a discount because of their age. Now it's my turn to collect and I take advantage of every discount that I can.
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Old 04-08-2019, 07:51 AM   #18
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I’d be happy to forgo senior discounts if I thought they would be offered to young families instead but we all know that won’t happen. And if I thought most people would enjoy showing a card or something proving they were needy to get a free coffee at McDonalds, I’d pay double for it myself. I wonder what the researcher thinks about military discounts....

I remember having young children and struggling a bit sometimes paying for the things we wanted for them (none of them essential, fortunately), but I didn’t think cutting others’ benefits and giving them to me was a good idea.
+1. I’m amused when I get a senior discount and I’ve probably missed most opportunities, but I’d rather see discounts going to people who need it most - of any age.

I’m guessing it’ll be a lot harder for today’s 20-something to achieve FI than it was for me starting in the late 70’s...
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Old 04-08-2019, 07:54 AM   #19
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FWIW, as of now, there are 231 comments below the actual Boston Globe article and almost all mirror the responses here!
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Old 04-08-2019, 07:55 AM   #20
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I don't use senior discount often. Does "over 65" on 1040 form count?


But, to be more serious, I would gladly assign my senior discounts to someone who would benefit to a greater extent.
Of course! You get $1,600 more off your standard deduction.
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