Surprising Age 55 Benefits
The benefits accompanying that 55th birthday are many, and some of these benefits may surprise you. Advantages of becoming a “senior” can include perks in just about every area of life: finances, health, transportation and travel, everyday purchases, fun, and even education. Here are a few of those perks that you may not know about:
· Reduced insurance premiums: Although many insurance companies view “getting on in years” as an insurance risk, at the age of 55 you qualify to take the AARP Driver Safety course, which can earn you a discount on your annual premiums. This discount is even mandated by law in some states. Contact the AARP or AAA (if you are a member) regarding this program.
· Free legal advice (from a real lawyer!): As a member of AARP (you can join at age 50), you can take advantage of their legal program – if you have a legal question, there are attorneys from the AARP Legal Services Network in your area who will provide a half-hour of their time for a free consultation with members. There are also free legal helplines for seniors in the majority of states (check out www.legalhotline.org).
· Lower property taxes: Okay, this benefit does not apply to 55-year-olds; you are still far too young to enjoy it! The Senior Citizens’ Exemption actually applies to some lower-income individuals age 65 and over. If you are 65+ and your annual income is $29,000 or less, you may be able to shave up to 50% off of the property taxes you pay on your primary residence – whether levied by county, school district, or city.
· Free continuing education: Thanks to the Senior Citizens’ Higher Education Act, after age 55 you may be able to take credit-earning college courses without paying any tuition. This benefit is also income-based: your taxable income in the previous year cannot have exceeded $15,000 to get the free courses. Even those seniors with more income get some benefit, though: they can audit a credit-earning course – or take a non-credit course – free of tuition.
· Active Adult Community: At age 55 you legally qualify to live in a 55 plus community or active adult community.
· Senior Center: Many senior centers or as some of them are called “active adult centers” have age 55 requirements. Before you laugh, you should check out today’s senior centers in your neighborhood.
This list is just the tip of the iceberg. There are also Silver Sneakers gym programs, prescription medication discounts, senior travel deals, and benefits at grocery stores, national parks, movie theatres, hotels, restaurants, and many other locations. These offers for 55+ customers may not be publicized, so you should check with the local Chamber of Commerce, or simply flash your ID at your favorite businesses and ask, and you may be amazed at how much you can save.