Here are a few ways that Seattle-area seniors can save a little money.
Older adults, particularly retirees on fixed incomes, tend to keep a close eye on their expenses. Local businesses and organizations are helping that effort by offering price discounts for seniors on a range of goods and services.
Here are a few ways that Seattle-area seniors can save a buck.
Good as gold
The Gold Card for Healthy Aging is a senior information and discount card issued by the City of Seattle.
With the Gold Card, Seattle and King County residents age 60 or older are eligible for discounts from numerous participating businesses, restaurants, theaters, and professional and public-service organizations.
Gold Card offers include free entrance to the Seattle Aquarium; reduced admission to Woodland Park Zoo; and a 50-percent discount on dog and cat licenses and “Golden Pets for Your Golden Years” adoptions at Seattle Animal Shelter.
Seniors can also receive free tickets to arts, recreational and cultural events on a first-call-first-serve basis. To learn more about these events, you can request a free subscription to Spotlight, a periodic newsletter published by the Mayor’s Office for Senior Citizens.
More information is available at seattle.gov/seniors.
Shop and save
Department store discounts can yield valuable savings for seniors, especially as the holiday shopping season approaches. Kohl’s, for example, offers a 15-percent discount every Wednesday for customers age 55 or older; they ask that seniors bring proof of age to receive the discount.
Whether exploring the Great Northwest or elsewhere in the U.S., seniors can save on entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites, including national parks.
The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass covers entrance fees at national parks and wildlife refuges, as well as standard amenity fees at national forests and grasslands.
Available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or older, a lifetime senior pass costs $10 and covers entrance and standard amenity fees for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle (or up to four adults at sites that charge per person).
As we get older, we tend to drive less and rely more on public transportation. Seniors on the go will want to have a Regional Reduced Fare Permit and keep it handy. The pass entitles riders age 65 or older to reduced fares on Metro Transit, Community Transit, Sound Transit, the South Lake Union Streetcar, Washington State Ferries and other public transportation systems in the Puget Sound region.
The Regional Reduced Fare Permit costs $3.
For those traveling beyond the Puget Sound region, Amtrak travelers age 62 or older are eligible to receive a 15-percent discount on the lowest available rail fare on most trains.
On cross-border services operated jointly by Amtrak and VIA Rail Canada, a 10-percent senior discount is available for travelers age 60 or older.
Many AARP members know about the discounts available to them for travel-related goods and services, such as car rentals, hotels, vacation packages and cruises.
However, they might be surprised to learn they qualify for additional discounts on everyday costs, such as groceries, car maintenance and movie tickets.
“AARP members often tell us they enjoy the popular travel and dining discounts that are available to them,” says Angela Jones, senior vice president of business development and lifestyle products at AARP Services. “However, they might not know they are missing out on additional opportunities to save every day.”
AARP members age 50 and older have access to these unexpected savings:
E-readers and books. Members save 10 percent on Amazon Kindle e-readers, 50 percent on a selection of Kindle eBooks and 10 percent on a range of print and audio books at amazon.com.
Shipping. Fifteen-percent off eligible products and services and 5 percent off domestic and international UPS shipping services are offered at more than 4,500 UPS retail locations.
Concerts and shows. AARP members can save 25 percent or more when buying event tickets in groups of four from Ticketmaster, and save up to 30 percent on Cirque du Soleil shows.
AARP memberships cost $16 per year and are available by visiting aarp.org/join.