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Baby Boomers Like the Savings but Hate the Phrase ‘Senior Discount’ — Dollars and Sense

eprater, flickr

With age comes wisdom — and eventually, senior discounts. But while the older set likes those cost-saving perks, they’d rather call them something else.

Seems baby boomers regard the term “senior citizen” as something that describes their parents, not them.

“There is definitely a different mindset between boomers and the World War II generations and the language you use encapsulates everything,” says Jo Ann Ewing, senior services coordinator for the town of East Hampton, CT.

This means that in order to avoid offending the lucrative boomer customer base, businesses often replace the phrase “senior discount” with something else. For example, the AARP, which calls its membership of people 50 and over “members” instead of “seniors,” doesn’t offer “senior benefits” or “senior discounts,” but rather “member benefits.”

But no matter what we call those bennies, should older people get them at all? Some argue that since they tend to have more money than their younger counterparts, such discounts are unfair.

Don Campbell, a former Washington journalist and university lecturer who’s old enough to get those perks, wrote in a USA Today op-ed piece earlier this year, “What I wonder about is why 30- and 40-somethings aren’t livid that senior citizens — the most pampered, patronized and pandered-to group in America — get to save money simply by maintaining a pulse.”


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