Saturday, September 22, 2012

What Age is a Senior Citizen? 50? 60? 62? 65? 70?


What Age Is a Senior Citizen

Have you ever asked yourself the question What age is a senior citizen? If you have, you are not alone as there are many people throughout the country that ponder the same question each day.

The Confusion Surrounding the Question

The main reason that the question arises is because there are many different places that use the term senior citizen, and their age requirements vary. Some places refer to those over 50 as senior citizens. Yet there are many other places that say you must be 55, 60 or 62 to be considered a senior. Finally, there are those that consider the age of 65 to be the real age of a senior citizen.
In fact, definitions of the term senior citizen in dictionaries are just as vague and confusing when it comes to an actual numerical age. For example:
  • The Merriam Webster online dictionary simply says that a senior citizen is an elderly person, especially if that person is retired.
  • Dictionary.com gives a similar definition stating that a senior citizen is a person that is elderly or aged especially if that person is retired or collects Social Security benefits as a main source of income.
  • The Free Dictionary by Farlex states a senior citizen is a person of an age that is relatively advanced especially a person that has reached, or is over, the retirement age.
In the United States, generally people qualify for full benefits from Social Security at the age of 65 and that is the reason many people consider 65 to be the real age of a senior citizen. However, the age of receiving full Social Security benefits is also a variable, based on your year of birth. For example:
  • If you were born in 1943-1954, you are not eligible to receive full retirement benefits until you reach the age of 66.
  • If you were born in 1960 or later, you are not eligible to receive full retirement benefits until you reach the age of 67.
Adding to the age confusion, based on the dictionary definitions, Americans will become senior citizens at different ages.

What Age is a Senior Citizen?

The answer to that question is simply, there really is no set age that qualifies a person as a senior citizen. Even the age requirements for senior citizen state and federal government programs, which are determined by legislative action, differ. Depending on the program, the qualifying age of a senior citizen is:
  • 60
  • 62
  • 65
  • 70
Since there is no actual age definition of being a senior citizen, take advantage of senior discounts offered by restaurants, hotels and stores.


Discounts for Senior Citizens

Discounts for seniors begin as early as the age of 50 and can save a substantial amount of money on everything from car insurance to going on a vacation.

Vacations

There are numerous travel discounts for seniors 50 and over. Among the many hotels and motels that offer discounts are:
  • Best Western
  • Econo Lodge
  • Saint Regis Hotel
  • Super 8 Motels
  • Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites
  • Days Inn
  • Wyndham
Senior travelers also often enjoy discounted cruise and vacation packages.

Travel

Travel discounts for senior citizens are generally available from airlines, Amtrak and Greyhound Bus Lines.
  • Many airlines offer discounts to seniors 65 and over. These discounts range from 10 to 75 percent off the regular prices.
  • If you are 62 or older, Amtrak offers a 15 percent discount on tickets for most trains.
  • Greyhound Bus Lines gives five percent off a ticket price if you are 62 or older.

Restaurant Dining

Whether you crave a burger and fries at a local fast food place or want a lobster dinner at an elegant restaurant, do not hesitate to ask if they offer a senior discount. You may be pleasantly surprised to find specials offered to senior citizens as young as 55.

Additional Senior Citizen Discounts

Senior citizen discounts are offered for a variety of things.
  • Reduced rates on tickets to movies, sporting events, museums and cultural events
  • The Golden Age Passport from the National Park Service is for seniors 62 and older
  • Discounts at golf courses, fitness centers and health spas
  • Special days for discounted shopping at supermarkets, department stores and thrift shops
  • Lower rates on insurance
  • Discounts from mechanics, tradesmen and contractors

  • Love to Know Senior Citizens