Senior Discounts: Investing in a Worthy Cause
The need for senior discounts is not new. In fact, the history of the senior discount dates back to the 1930s, when American senior citizens were granted federal financial assistance through President Franklin Roosevelt’s Social Security Act to mitigate monetary distress. Covid-19 has proven to be similarly devastating to seniors, who are not only at a higher risk than the general population of experiencing illness and death from the virus, but face financial challenges brought on by the pandemic. Compared to other groups, seniors are more likely to experience economic instability due to higher medical bills and lower income. The possibility of contracting Covid-19 is a daunting concern on its own; adding the price tag of hospitalization and intensive care only further intensifies seniors’ fear. Now more than ever, seniors are looking for ways to cut costs and stay healthy.
Although senior poverty rates have declined over the past five decades, the overall number of older citizens in poverty has increased since the mid-1970s due to the aging Baby Boomer generation. The Congressional Research Service reported that 4.7 million people aged 65 and older had incomes below the federal poverty thresholds in 2017. Seniors above 80 have even higher rates of poverty due to greater vulnerability to income risks. This can be attributed to the fact that many have little to no earnings and are more likely to incur increased medical expenses. By offering a senior discount, businesses can give older customers one less financial concern to worry about.