by Sherrin Griffin, VP, Operations, Sidney SeniorCare –
Having just arrived at my 55th birthday last month, I’ve been privy to a sea of cheeky remarks and quips about turning pre-senior, or a senior “tweenie,” as I like to call it. “Now you can start getting those senior discounts,” friends and family have jokingly said. To be honest, I hadn’t really thought about getting any breaks, since I wasn’t 65 yet, an “official” senior. Curious to see what was available though, I decided there was no harm in checking out my options. Surprisingly, I found quite a few that I am already eligible for and others that I thought I would share.
Of course, if you plan to start down this path, be prepared to prove your senior status by always carrying government-issued ID such as your passport, driver’s license, provincial health card or birth certificate. Being a senior tweenie, it would be interesting to see how many proprietors asked for my ID, prompting old memories of being carded in my late teens while trying to be too big for my britches.
My first interesting find was CARP, the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, for Canadians aged 50 and above. How did I not know about this? With an annual fee of only $19.95, CARP members have access to various benefits including discounts in retail stores, rental car rates, accommodations, travel, etc. Even Rexall offers a 20% discount to CARP members.
Moving up to my own newly minted age, Michaels offers a 10% discount on all purchases by seniors who are 55 and above, while Shoppers Drug Mart offers a 20% discount on the last Thursday of every month to seniors (age 55 for some store locations and 65 for others) with a valid PC Optimum card. In terms of dining out, Denny’s has a 55+ menu, as well as IHOP. Seniors who are 55 or older can also enjoy 10% off daily rates plus a $50 dining credit at participating Fairmont Hotels.
And, as you settle into your full-fledged senior years, there are even more discounts to look forward to:
• All public transportation systems in B.C. offer a discount to seniors 65+. BC Transit offers $45 monthly passes to seniors 65+. (vs. $85 regular pricing for adults). B.C. seniors 65 or older travel free on major BC Ferries routes Monday through Thursday with the exception of certain holidays.
• ICBC offers a 25% discount on their Basic Autoplan insurance if both vehicle owner and principal driver are 65+, and don’t use the vehicle for commuting, business or delivery. The five-year license renewal for seniors 65+ is only $17.
• All Cineplex theatres typically offer seniors discounts at a minimum of 20%, but best to inquire at time of ticket purchase.
• In terms of retail stores, The Bay offers 15% savings to people 60+ on the first Tuesday of every month, Bulk Barn offers 10% savings to those 65+ every Wednesday, and M&M Food Market offers 10% in savings every Tuesday for those aged 60 or older.
• Salvation Army Thrift Stores offer a 10% savings every day to everyone 60+.
• Even banks, including TD Canada Trust, RBC and CIBC offer savings and rebates to senior customers.
So while I may have initially felt a brief pang of loss for my younger pre-senior years, after settling in for a bit I now feel like I’m part of an exclusive club with super cool members full of knowledge, life experience and fascinating stories. There are indeed some pretty great perks, and I look forward to what lies ahead with brimming optimism … and a few extra dollars saved in my wallet to boot!