Do you enjoy visiting national parks like I do? If you are 62 or over and don’t have a senior park pass yet, now is the time, even if you don’t know if you’ll use it any time soon. The price is going up from $10 to $80 on August 28! Too bad I’m not 62 yet!
by Jane Bennett Clark for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine
“Starting at age 62, you can get a lifetime parks pass from the U.S. National Park Service for as little as $10; the card gives you access to more than 2,000 national parks and federal recreation areas. At some sites, you can also use the pass to get discounts on parking, tours, boat launching, camping—even an ice cream cone at the concession stand.
If you’re 65 or older, you can get discounted fares on Southwest, United and American airlines. Discounts are off the standard fare and don’t necessarily deliver the lowest price for the seat. Still, senior fares have their privileges. For instance, unlike Southwest’s ‘Wanna Get Away’ fare, the senior fare is fully refundable and doesn’t require booking well in advance.
Travelers age 62 and older can get a couple of compelling discounts. Amtrak offers 15% off some fares and, better yet, at Washington, D.C.’s Union Station, you can go to the front of the line (along with business-class passengers), assuring you a seat in the often chaotic boarding process. At 62 you also qualify for a 15% discount or more at one of 4,000 Marriott hotels worldwide without having to book well in advance or forgoing full cancellation privileges.”
These picks are part of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s annual Best List, a roundup of the best values in all the areas we cover – from funds, stocks and ETFs to credit cards and bank accounts to cars, college, kid stuff, phone plans, travel and health. Discover all our Best List picks here.
Do you have an ugly sweater party coming up? The Arc Thrift Shore is a great place to find one. I’ve shopped at the Arc Thrift Stores for years. They have all kinds of goodies, from nicknacks to housewares to furniture to clothes and shoes, to books. They are a non-profit organization “dedicated to creating and funding programs that serve those individuals living with intellectual/developmental disabilities, with complex and evolving needs.”
If you are cleaning out your closets at this time of year to get a year-end tax deduction, The Arc will also gladly accept your donations.
If you don’t have an Arc Thrift Store in your area, check out Goodwill or Habitat For Humanity stores. They also offer discounts and take donations. Everyday is senior discount day at the Fort Collins Restore (15% off). Goodwill in Loveland has a 15% senior discount everyday and 25% off on Mondays. Check goodwill.org or habitat.org for discounts in the thrift shops near you.
If you find your award-winning ugly sweater at a thrift shop, send me a pic. I’d love to see it! Happy shopping!
The National Park Service (NPS) is celebrating its 100th birthday today!
You can enter any of the 412 national parks for free from August 25 through August 28. Seniors can celebrate for a lifetime with a NPS Senior Pass. Here are the specifics from the National Park Service website:
$10 Lifetime NPS Senior Pass
For U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over.
May be obtained online, in person at a federal recreation site or through the mail using this application form. The cost of obtaining a Senior Pass through the mail or online is twenty dollars ($20). Ten ($10) for the Senior Pass and ten ($10) for processing the application. Applicants must provide documentation of age and residency or citizenship.
May provide a 50 percent discount on some amenity fees charged for facilities and services such as camping, swimming, boat launch, and specialized interpretive services.
Generally does NOT cover or reduce special recreation permit fees or fees charged by concessioners.
Note: Golden Age Passports are no longer sold. However, these passes will continue to be honored according to the provisions of the pass.