Island Senior: The Benefits of Becoming a Senior Citizen

Selfie With Gray Hair – Photo Peggy Sue McRae

Having just celebrated my sixty-fifth birthday I am now a bonefide senior citizen. Some may set a lower bar, but at sixty-five there is no denying it. I have officially attained elder status. Before bemoaning getting older in our “youth culture” let me say, there are indeed some benefits to reaching this benchmark. For one thing, I’m not dead. Whatever challenges I face now, I have to concede that just getting here is somewhat miraculous.

There are other benefits too of course and Medicare is a big one. Thankfully here on the Island we have Curt Van Hyning, our local Medicare expert. Curt is a SHIBA volunteer (Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors). He has an office at The Village at the Harbour and gives his valuable advice as a free service. If you’ve been listening to the news lately you know that healthcare as we know it may change dramatically in the near future. As a senior with a low income it is kind of scary. It is good to know we have someone who can help guide us through the changes.

There are plenty more bargains for seniors. Sometimes you just need to ask. We Islanders can appreciate getting senior half-fare rates on the ferries. The Palace Theatre, Browne’s Home Center, and Horse Shu Ranch are just a few local businesses that give senior discounts. Friday Harbor High School sports events are half-priced for seniors. The Mullis Senior Center offers mainland trips for the very low price of $10 for members twice each month, once to Mt Vernon and once to Bellingham, plus serving regular low cost and delicious hot lunches ($5 suggested donation or $6 if you are under 60) every Monday and Thursday. Mullis Center programs, classes, and events are low cost and well worth checking out. Membership in San Juan Senior Services is only $20, a great bargain!

National Parks Senior Pass

Further afield there are discounts on the Skagit Shuttle Bus, SeaTac Shuttle bus, Seattle buses and monorail. Tuesdays at Fred Myers and Wednesdays at Good Will are senior days and many restaurants and lodgings have discounts if you just ask. By far one of the most loved senior passes, according to my non-scientific Facebook poll, is the National Parks Senior Pass at a one-time cost of $10 for life. “National Parks Sr. Pass is truly the BEST benefit of being a senior that I’ve experienced so far. I love it!” is how Robin Atkins put it and you only have to be 62 to get this one.

Posted on March 16, 2017 at 5:56 am by

Categories: Around Here, Island Senior

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