Discounts Eliminated for Senior Citizens

by Ping

Many establishments are doing away with the Senior Discounts they once offered. Other companies force their workers to accept negative raises annually. WHY?

AMC theaters eliminated their Senior Citizen Discount to the movies, so in places like Midwestern states, a 2D film in the evening costs $10.29 or more even for the aged on a small fixed income. This holds true even if the senior is a military veteran. Other chains offer discounts to both groups. The AMC 3D IMAX film costs over $15.00.

This pricing may be OK, if you are an oil well owner, but many cannot afford it.

Marcus Theaters have kept the senior discount and theaters like the non-profit Gateway Film Center just south of The Ohio State University Campus in Columbus, Ohio offers an even bigger senior discount.

NO! Stop hurting Senior Citizens.
NO! Stop hurting Senior Citizens.

Many Senior Discounts Have Been Eliminated or Modified

Considering that the seniors citizens are taking over the largest  sector of the American  population, many of them work after retirement, and these folks have some discretionary income. you'd think that theaters nationwide would be courting that sector more reasonably. Some of the large theater chains are not doing so.

I see that several fast food and casual dining chains have raised he age for their senior discounts. A decade ago, age 50 was the criterion for the discount to be offered. Gradually, the age at which people qualify for the senior discounts at several places in my Midwestern town rose to 55, 60, 62, and finally 65. One person jokes:

"Every time I hit the discount age, they raise it!"

Coincidentally, couponing in the grocery stores took a dive during the same years. Shoppers were historically able to purchase just one of a product in order to use a cents-off coupon. Gradually, this type of offer began to require the purchase of two or three of an item, all the way up to 10 items in one shopping trip. To me, 15 cents off of 10 cups of yogurt is not worth the time needed to cut out the coupon. 

Negative Raises

Less money every year

Senior citizens are being put at a disadvantage by businesses in many places around America.  

At the same time, the age for Social Security Retirement has been rising, thanks to the congressional actions taken by the US Congress under President Ronald Reagan. The age for receiving full benefits from SS Retirement has risen among Baby Boomers to 66 and 67. Reagan's Congress put into place a mandate to raise the age to 75. Our Generation Z may finally receive no income from this fund at all.  I wonder if they know that?

H#@*! -- Some individuals of Generation Y and Z are telling older employees to quit work, based on the fact that the oldsters have "worked a lot of years and are being selfish to continue working." Some of the younger workers are telling the senior workers that they are evil and taking jobs and pay raises away form them. Hey! Many people ages 55 - 65 today earn less than $12,000/year from work and the Social Security they would receive at retirement is scheduled for a cut in 2016.

The low pay often comes from the status of the older worker as a contractor not benefitting even from the Minimum Wage, or through Negative Raises.

One construction company in my city forces employers to accept a 2% reduction in wages annually, beginning on their 50th birthday. The company is non-union in an at-will employment state, so nothing can be done legally to prevent this - or so the employees have been advised.

Senior Citizen Riot

It happened once in Boston

I am surprised that seniors have not risen up and rioted about the reductions in income and discounts they might need in order to stay alive. A riot in Boston nearly 100 years ago by the seniors of the city against a high-priced hospital succeeded in lowering healthcare costs at the time.

Medicare rates rise yearly, but the Social Security Retirement checks to which Medicare is attached and deducted will be reduced.  

We might as well follow some of he more obscure Native American traditions of the past and stand the seniors out under a tree, forcing them to stand there until they die.

Our seniors today who are not wealthy may be - or become - too sick and disabled to come together to riot. I am reminded of a high rise retirement center in Chicago circa Summer 1995. The windows were sealed shut to prevent falls. Many residents were bedfast or wheelchair bound, but they had elevators. During a heat wave, the air conditioning stopped when the power went out on every floor. The elevators were useless.

Unfortunately, the few staff people in the building left and 500 sick and disabled seniors died from the heat. Senior citizens deserve better.

Updated: 06/15/2015, Ping
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Ping on 06/18/2015

You certainly had some good service over the long term I think. I've friends in Canada who are very happy with their national service.

The dental portion of our Obamacare plans, Medicaid, and Medicare seem to be the best administered part in my state.

frankbeswick on 06/18/2015

We have the National Health Service. We are entitled to free medical treatment, though prescriptions cost for people between childhood and the age of sixty. Glasses are free for children, but while older people get free eye tests we must pay for frames and lenses. Dental services are provided on the same terms, but pregnant women and nursing mothers receive free dental care. The health system is well-intentioned, but it suffers problems of size and trying to meet demand.

I have only once had bad service from the NHS, when a physiotherapist wrote me off as incurable after two sessions. I went privately to an osteopath, who took seven sessions to cure me. Paying for the restoration of my ability to move properly was worthwhile! One bad service in sixty five years is not a bad record.

Ping on 06/18/2015

@frankbeswick - The eliminated discounts are from private companies. Social Security reduction in monthly checks is federal govt.

A government related Golden Buckeye discount for small reductions in retail prices is through the state and has always begun at age 65.Bus service is city govt. - private combination and half price for 65 and older.

Medicare for ages 65+ costs a monthly premium, they have to buy supplemental policies for medicines and other things. Senior housing for lower income has a wait list in my area of 2+ years for both private and public apartments.

Eye tests are proving a problem with Medicare and Medicaid insurances - many covered doctors say they will not accept the low-cost or free insurance once you get to the office. In Central Ohio, many doctors will not accept patients over about 55 year old.

UK seems to offer better service and discounts.

frankbeswick on 06/18/2015

Are there discounts offered by the state or federal governments? Here in the UK I enjoy free off peak travel [after 9.30 am] on buses, trams and local trains, though our government is pushing back the age at which you can receive it. I received my pass at 60 and three months; my friend received it at sixty and nine months. I also receive free medical prescriptions on the National Health Service and free eye tests. My local council gives me a half rent on my allotment, as I am over sixty.

Ping on 06/17/2015

Hi candy47 - I was surprised when matinee prices increased several months ago at AMC and started reading the fine print on the price signs. I saw that Seniors, Veteran, and Students no longer had discounts - only children. AMC has a program of concessions discounts if you buy a membership @ $12/year and that provides a very few free movies on early release or special screenings per year. I kind of think this is poor business.

candy47 on 06/17/2015

I'll take the senior discount anywhere I can get it. This is an eye-opening article. Thanks Ping.

Ping on 06/16/2015

I never thought of that, but it makes sense. Some other companies tell their employees to automatically give the discount to those who has any gray hair at all. That prevents asking, but someone younger with gray hair might be offended by it (?)

blackspanielgallery on 06/16/2015

I have had places afraid to ask for an age. Age offend some, so I can see why the clerks ignore the issue, causing the company to dissolve the discount. But, when offered one I accept it.

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