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AARP gives privilege to age
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We are accustomed to hearing people say, “Rank has its privilege.” While that is true in so many cases, rank is not the only thing that grants certain privileges.
Some people dread approaching the golden age of 50, but in so many instances, this age brings with it many privileges.
In an age of rapidly increasing pricing at the gas pump, grocery stores, department stores and restaurants, every dollar is stretched to the limit. Every penny saved helps to stretch the budget just a little more. When one hits the age of 50 (the age when some people are classified as senior citizens), they are entitled to many discounts.
At the age of 50, people have the option of becoming a member of the American Association of Retired People. There is an annual membership fee of $12.50. Along with the membership fee, members enjoy a variety of discounts on such items as health insurance, automobile insurance, homeowners insurance, travel, hotel reservations, income tax preparation, online service, computers, music, and much more. A monthly magazine, which is loaded with information on healthy living, financial planning, consumer protections and other pertinent information for seniors, is part of the package.
Many establishments in Liberty County offer senior citizens discounts on their products. Some businesses offer them beginning at age 50, while others offer discounts at ages 55, 60, 62, or 65. Whatever the age, seniors are enjoying those special discounts that are available to them.
Most seniors know how to shop for a bargain and to take advantage of the many discounts available to them. Discounts are given from businesses that include eating, exercising, shopping, utilities, entertainment, relaxation   and banking
Instead of paying a joiner fee of $100, seniors, age 60 and above, pay $25 at the YMCA. Additionally, they pay a monthly fee of $32.20, as opposed to the regular fee of $39.80. The rate for a senior citizen couple is $46.40 per month.  Membership in the YMCA entitles them to use of all of the facility and its programs. “A lot of the seniors like the water aerobics,” said Laura Jarrett, front desk reception with the YMCA.
The Liberty County Recreation Department Shuman Center in Hinesville offers a free AARP drivers’ course for seniors. The course is given three to four times annually and enables seniors to reduce their insurance premium. Senior citizens can also receive assistance with tax preparation during the March/April time frame from the Shuman Center.
Seniors also enjoys going out to dinner, the movies, and shopping. Various eateries have discounts available to make the dining experience a little more enjoyable.
According to Lisa Rude, Western Sizzlin’ Restaurant gives seniors (age 55 and above) $1 off on their meals every day except Sunday.
Shoney’s Restaurant offers 50 cents off each entrée for seniors age 55 and above. According to Candi Mobley, Captain D’s gives seniors a daily 10 percent off each meal. Senior Wednesday is also every week and features ten meals at $4.80 each (with drink) for seniors 55 and above.  
Kroger gives a five percent discount to seniors, age 60 and above, on Wednesdays. Goody’s offers a 15 percent discount on Wednesdays, and Beall’s gives 15 percent to seniors 50 and above on Mondays.   
After shopping and eating out, seniors can relax at the Hinesville Massage Clinic or go to the movies.  On Wednesdays, they can receive a 40 percent discount from the massage clinic. “The massage helps with circulation and blood pressure,” said Shelia Eichhorn, the clinic’s owner. Brice Cinema gives $2 off the price of the regular movie ticket.  
According to Pam Breeland, the Heritage Bank has the Prestige Plus program for seniors, age 50 and older.
“They do not have to maintain a certain balance; and monthly maintenance, money orders, traveler’ checks, and custom (basic) checks are free,” she said.
Seniors also need to take their clothes to the cleaners.
“Lamas Cleaners of Hinesville offers a 10 percent discount to seniors 55 and older,” manager Shawna Rhea said.
Based on income, the Hazel B. Carter Senior Citizens’ Center offers assistance with heating and cooling bills for seniors 65 and older. Coastal Communications also offers assistance to seniors based on income.
These are just a few of the many establishments that recognize our seniors and offer them discounts. There are a plethora of “goodies” available to senior citizens and many more businesses give discounts to them.
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