The idiom “with age comes wisdom” is heavily attributed to the 19th-century poet Oscar Wilde but only represents half of his thoughts on the matter. The complete phrase? “With age comes wisdom, but sometimes age comes alone.” For most of us, the older we get, the wiser we get as a matter of experience, especially when it comes to our finances. Trial and error leads us to be more cautious with our money, but it should also make us savvier in sniffing out cost saving opportunities, in both the short and long term, which benefit our wallets.
Age also brings time and those unburdened by the daily grind can finally get away and enjoy the world in its splendor. As a senior, you can do it at a discount, so take note and be sure to do your research before embarking on seeing the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.
6 Savings strategies for those traveling by land or by air
1.Some airlines offer discounts on tickets
Airfare discounts are available to senior citizens from several major airlines, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines. Some discounts may require you to be an AARP member. Others may not be advertised on the airline's website and require you to contact the company directly to book your ticket. However, you could save hundreds of dollars on tickets, depending on where you’re going and when you plan to travel.
2.An AARP membership can get you hotel and rental car discounts
Traveling remains one of the more expensive activities you may engage in, but AARP membership comes through with big savings on travel. Many rental car companies and hotel brands offer senior discounts for AARP membership holders.
Do you always need to be a member of AARP? Not at all. Many companies use AARP memberships as a guideline. Most will still give discounts, even if you’re not an AARP member. All you need to do is call and provide evidence of your age to get the discount. Some hotels may offer 50% or more off of the price, while some rental car companies could give you discounts of 25% or more.
3.Stay up to date on your defensive driving coursework
Many car insurance providers offer a discount for drivers who take a defensive driving course from a certified driving school. The certificate can be presented to the auto insurance provider, which may, in turn, provide you with a 10% to 15% discount on your liability, collision or medical payments insurance premiums. Generally, defensive driving classes cover how to drive in hazardous and unexpected road conditions to avoid traffic accidents. Auto insurance companies are happy to offer discounts for those who prove they’ve learned about defensive driving, as this skill can help reduce the insurance company’s costs.
4.Accident-free and good driver discounts
The longer you go without an accident or receiving a traffic ticket, the more likely your insurance provider is to give you a discount. Positively, this one is also automatically applied after three to five years of driving with a clean record. Not all insurers provide this discount, so you may want to check with yours to see if it’s offered. For those insurers that do provide one, the amount can vary.
5.Safe driver discount
Another reason to mind the speed limits on that cross country trip, being classified as a safe driver saves you as much as 10% on your auto insurance premium, depending on which insurance provider you have. “Safe driving” can be broadly defined by the insurance company but typically includes driving under the speed limit, less aggressive braking, wearing seat belts and other habits that are considered “safe.” To take advantage of this discount, you may need to install an on-board diagnostics (ODB) device or a mobile app with location tracking.
6.Low mileage and usage discount
Enjoying being a passenger and not using your car often? Good news: You can possibly earn a discount from your auto insurance provider. Depending on the provider and the amount of activity (or lack thereof), you could see as much as a 30% discount on your insurance premium. This is part of why providers refunded billions of dollars to policyholders during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Aging may not be high on your wish list, but it doesn’t have to be all bad. Take the “wise” approach and make the most of your adventures by getting as many age-related discounts as possible.
Maxime Rieman is Product Manager at ValuePenguin. Educating and assisting shoppers about financial products has been Rieman's focus, which led her to joining ValuePenguin, a consumer research and advice company based in New York. Previously, she was product marketing director at CoverWallet and launched the personal insurance team at NerdWallet.
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