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How Old Do You Have To Be?

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How Old Do You Have To Be?


How old do you have to be to get only one candle on your birthday cake?

How old do you have to be before it’s OK to back out of your driveway without looking?

How old do you have to be before the only way to find something lost in your house is to buy a replacement?

Let’s face it. Life is funny. We have to laugh about things like body parts we never noticed in our forties and now scream when it rains. Grin over hair, unlike the musical from the 60s, that’s gray, colored, or gone. Chuckle over snooty kids who offer us their seats on the subway . . . and we’re grateful.

The perks make up for having to eat dinner at 5PM and go to bed at 9PM. They’re easy – all you have to do is prove your age. Think of it as getting carded like when you were 16 and trying to get a rum & coke.

Consider this:

You can get a birthday card signed by the President if you’re 80 years or older (70 years for veterans).  It’s tougher to get an anniversary card from the Commander-in-Chief – it has to be your 50th, 60th, or 70th wedding anniversary.

With those milestones there should be a medal in the mail not a card.

Move to Illinois and you can get a Ride Free Transit Benefit. Go to Pittsburgh and take a senior discounted Segway Tour.  Head over to the largest commuter railroad in the nation, The Long Island Railroad in New York, and you can get a discount ticket labeled Sr/Ds-Md – Senior/Disabled & Medicare.  No comment on the pairing.

For a mere $10 you can secure a lifetime Senior Pass to over 2000 National Parks and Monuments. The hiking and rock climbing is free. The more cautious among us can see The Mets, The Yankees, or go to the movies cheap – all because of age.

Beware. It’s not always smiles like the time I bought senior discount tickets at a local movie theater. I was so pleased until I asked the scowling teenager behind the counter, “How old do you have to be for a senior discount?”

The kid glared at me. “Very old.”

Yeah, senior discounts and perks are designed for those who stay informed by reading newspapers not computer screens; and who prefer homemade cookies to what you buy packaged at the supermarket. What’s the best medicine for us?

Laugh. As hard and as long as you can. Remember what Charlie Chaplin said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.”

Don’t waste any days.  Put as many candles as you want on your cake; who cares if you set fire to the paper plates?  Don’t look when you back out of the driveway; use the rear view camera so you see everything without twisting your neck. Go to the store to replace that lost item in your house and count it as exercise.

Proudly laugh over your 5% discount at McDonald’s; giggle as you flash the Golden Apple Card at Applebees; and hoot when you get 10% off Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s.

Remember, Ben and Jerry get the same discounts as you.

Click on the sites below that list some hot Senior Discounts. Always ask anywhere if there’s a senior discount.

You never know.

DealHack (Discounts – just for US!!!)  https://dealhack.com/blog/senior-discounts-ultimate-guide

AARP Travel Center:  http://travel.aarp.org/

Vacations to Go: http://www.vacationstogo.com/senior_discounts.cfm

SeniorDiscounts It’s What You Deserve: www.Seniordiscounts.com

The SeniorList:  http://www.theseniorlist.com/


Editor’s Notes:  You can visit contributor Dr. Jeri Fink at her website, HauntedFamilyTrees.com. She believes “after fifty” is a creative, exciting time to grow and explore new ideas, places, and media – defying those creaky myths of aging. A recent project –Broken – is a seven-book series of thrillers that involves all ages, from baby boomers to new adults.  She tells us: “I challenged the art of storytelling by merging fact, fiction, and photography into riveting, bestselling novels. It emerges from my work as a Family Therapist; expertise in family psychology and history; research into psychopaths and The Psychopathic Spectrum; and passion in photography and photo analysis. My 28 published books, hundreds of articles and blogs, speaking engagements around the country, and active online presence all reflect my many life experiences.”


Dr. Jeri Fink, author, photographer, traveler, and family therapist, challenges the creaky myths of aging. She believes that now is a creative, exciting time to grow and explore new ideas, people, and places. Visit Dr. Jeri at www.jerifink.com,   www.hauntedfamilytrees.com,   or   www.bookwebminis.com to enter her world of discovery, fun, and insights. Her fiction project, Broken, is a series of seven thrillers that defy tradition. She is presently working on Book Web Minis – a series of fun, fast and positive mini books (50-70 pages long) where readers partner with the experts. Check it out at www.bookwebminis.com

She tells us: “I challenge the art of writing by merging fact, fictional elements, interactivity, and photography into nonfiction mini books. I draw from my training in social work, experience in individual and family therapy, professional research, and passion for exploring positive psychology. My 32 published books, hundreds of articles and blogs, speaking engagements, and active online presence all reflect who I am today.”

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