Are You Afraid Of Dying?

Are you afraid of dying?It’s a simple question.  Are you afraid of dying?  In her beautifully written essay over at When The Table Turns, Judy Fox posed the question to her mother, for whom she is a full-time caregiver.  In a moment of clarity, Judy’s mother answered no, that she wasn’t afraid, and actually “she was looking forward to it”.  When Judy asked her why, she explained that she “would be at peace”.

Death and dying is such a tough topic for many folks, myself included.  The realization that we have a finite time-limit in this existence is difficult to get your arms around.  How much more time will I have with my parents?  How much time will I have with my children?  How much time will I have with my husband? These are all fundamentally difficult questions to consider.  No one wants to run out of time, so clearly the key is to make your time count.

In a previous post we took a look at just how much quality time we have in our lives (away from work, commutes, sleeping, and more).  The reality is that the hourglass has been tipped for each of us.  What we do, how we do it, and who we do it with defines us whether we like it or not.  Being able to “be in the moment” matters, and so is consciously loving AND being loved.  Judy Fox captures these thoughts so eloquently in her essay entitled “Catching The Fleeting Moment“.  Here are a few excerpts:

A few days after writing this I was talking to a friend who had recently visited a relative in hospice. This relative didn’t seem to realize she was dying and consequently it wasn’t discussed. I realized how lucky I was that my mom has so openly accepted her dying and how much that has affected our whole being together. There are no hidden corners…we can talk about dying and death; we can say how much we love each other with the awareness that we have limited time together on this earthly plane. This is very much a result of my mother’s openness. She has made this possible.

So I am like this fisherwoman catching these fleeting moments in time and giving them space, giving them room to expand and grow. I open a door and then all sorts of reflections and conversations get aired and ignited.

And like a fisherwoman, I want to share my “catch” with others whose lives are probably very different from mine – circumstances different – and yet I know that what touches me will touch others; not in the details necessarily, but in the mystery of life; in all these tender moments that contain such jewels.

Judy often stops by and visits The Senior List on Facebook, so you can catch her on FB, or at her website. We’re so very appreciative that Judy shares such an important narrative with us. The fact that she does it with such style and grace is icing on the cake.

Part-Time Janitor Donates Millions

Janitor donates millions

Janitor Donates Millions

We’ve all heard the adage, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, and that theme revealed itself again today with some incredible news out of Vermont.  Today.com is reporting that a part-time janitor in Brattleboro Vermont passed away recently and bequeathed $6 Million dollars to the local hospital and library.  Ron Read lived a private life, but no-one in town knew what he managed to stash away in his 92 years on this earth.  $4.8 million dollars is going to the local hospital and $1.2 million is going to Brooks Memorial Library.


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Chris Serico of Today.com reports that Mr. Read was an incredibly frugal man on one hand, but a stock-picking-whiz on the other!  He managed to amass an $8 million dollar fortune that no one knew about (not even his step children).  Townsfolk used to try to buy him meals and/or look out for him because of his appearances.  His jackets were held together with safety pins for goodness sakes!

It’s an incredible story of rags-to-riches, but in some ways it has a sad ending.  Ron Read will never be able to see the true goodness that these donations will bring to his community.  Perhaps though it’s fitting… and just the way Ron would have wanted it.  Read the entire story at Today.com.

Alzheimer’s Patient Shops For Flowers In Act Of True Love

alzheimers patients and wanderingMight as well grab a tissue now… Yes, before reading this post or watching this video.  If you know anything about Alzheimer’s Disease, you probably know that people with dementia can get confused and wander at times.  Did you know that 6 in 10 people with dementia will wander?  It’s an incredible statistic and it can have very serious consequences.

The Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org) says that “A person with Alzheimer’s may not remember his or her name or address, and can become disoriented, even in familiar places. Wandering among people with dementia is dangerous, but there are strategies and services to help prevent it.” A few of those strategies include the assurance that all basic needs are met, using devices to signal when a door (or window) is opened, and keeping car keys out of sight.

True Love -“A Moment Of Clarity”

Back to that tissue advice.  Did you grab one?  OK good…  So imagine when Doris Amrine of Little Rock, Arkansas noticed that her husband Melvyn (a dementia sufferer) turned up missing.  Melvyn normally needs help walking around the block, so this was particularly concerning.  Melvyn had given flowers to his wife every Mother’s Day since the birth of their first child.  The day he went missing was the day before Mother’s Day.

Even though the mind doesn’t remember everything, the heart remembers. – Doris Amrine

When police finally found Melvyn, he was lost but he knew what he was doing.  Police reported, “It was absolutely a moment of clarity for him”.  He was trying to find flowers for his beloved wife.  With their help, he completed his mission proving that at times “Even though the mind doesn’t remember everything, the heart remembers.” Enjoy the video.

Best Senior Discounts: Retail And Apparel

Senior Discounts for Retail StoresIf you’re looking for senior discounts, you came to the right place.  Here at The Senior List, we’ve been busy updating our 2015 discount lists in a wide variety of categories.  So far, we published our BIG list of restaurant discounts which includes over 50 restaurants that offer discounts to boomers and seniors.  We also published our list of prescription medicine discounts for seniors (including government programs for prescription help).  For all the frequent travelers out there, we updated and published our list of travel discounts for seniors.  This list includes airline discounts for seniors, rental car discounts, hotel discounts, and more!

Today’s post focuses on senior discounts for retail and apparel outlets.  We offer this list with one caveat.  It’s always best to either call ahead, or ask when you arrive (so you have the proper expectations).  As in any chain store, some local establishments will offer discounts and some won’t.  Also, we always remind folks that if you’re looking to save money while you’re shopping, or eating, or whatever… It never hurts to ask the question; “Do you offer a senior discount?” For many boomers and seniors, every penny counts, so don’t let your ego get in the way of your wallet.  Just ask the question.

Best List of Retail Senior Discounts

Banana Republic: 10% off (50+)
Bealls Outlet: 15% off with free Monday Club Card (Mondays 50+)
Belk’s: 15% off first Tuesday of every month (55+)
Bon-Ton Department Stores: 15% off on senior discount days (55+)
C.J. Banks: 10% off every Wednesday (60+)
Clarks: 10% off (62+)
Dress Barn: 10% off Tues and/or Wed (call ahead-varies by location 55+)
Goodwill: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Hallmark: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Kohl’s: 15% off on Wednesdays (55+)
Marshalls: 10% off on Tuesdays (varies by location)
Michael’s: 10% off on Tuesdays (with AARP card)
Modell’s Sporting Goods: 10% off
Rite Aid: 10% off on Tuesdays & 10% off prescriptions
Ross Stores: 10% off every Tuesday (55+)
The Salvation Army Thrift Stores: Up to 50% off (55+)
SteinMart: 20% off red dot/clearance items first Monday of every month (55+)
TJ Maxx: 10% on Tuesdays (varies by location)
Walgreens: 20% off once a month (55+ and AARP) “Balance Rewards” Card required

As usual, we’re asking for your feedback regarding our latest retail discount list. If you have any stores to add, or any advice for our readers, please let us know in the comments below.

Making The Best Of A Delayed Flight

A delayed flight with the Port City SoundYou know the drill… You hop on your flight and get buckled in when the captain comes on the intercom with this announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen we’ve been placed on a weather hold because of storms rolling across the greater Chicago area.  The tower has asked us to hang tight here in the gate area while this weather moves through.  Current estimates put our hold at around 30 minutes or so.”

Naturally, a delayed flight is anxiety inducing and uncomfortable for all.  This is usually the case, but on a recent US Airways flight to New Orleans a flight delay got you a free ticket to hear the Port City Sound, an award winning barbershop quartet!  Kari Mann a flight attendant for US Airways captured the moment and the smiles that went with it.  Hats off to these guys for making this a flight to remember.  They’re incredibly talented and get 2 thumbs up from The Senior List!  Watch the video below.

Senior Discounts On Travel 2015

We love digging deep into the world of senior discounts.  After being interviewed by several prominent news organizations recently, we’ve come to understand that there’s a lot of interest in discounts for boomers and seniors these days.  Because so many of you have asked for additional updates to our big list of senior discounts, we thought we’d get a jump start on updating this year’s list of senior travel discounts.  Keep in mind that senior discounts can change from time to time, so we rely on our Senior List community members to let us know about updates, additions or changes as required.

If you haven’t read our updated list of senior discounts for dining out you’ll want to get your hands on that (and share it with friends). We’ve also produced a list of senior discounts on prescriptions, and where to turn if you need government help for your prescription medicines (there are a number of programs available to people in need).

So without further adieu, here is our 2015 list of Senior Travel Discounts!

List of Senior Travel Discounts

Senior Discounts on Airfare

senior discounts on airlines

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American Airlines: Various discounts for 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
Continental Airlines: No initiation fee for Continental Presidents Club & special fares for select destinations
Southwest Airlines: Various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
United Airlines: Various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
U.S. Airways: Various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)

Senior Discounts on Rental Cars

Senior Discounts for Rental Cars

photo credit:flickr/gillfoto

Alamo Car Rental: Up to 25% off for AARP members
Avis: Up to 25% off for AARP members
Budget Rental Cars: 10% off; up to 20% off for AARP members (50+)
Dollar Rent-A-Car: 10% off (50+)
Enterprise Rent-A-Car: 5% off for AARP members
Hertz: Up to 25% off for AARP members
National Rent-A-Car: Up to 30% off for AARP members

About Us: The Senior ListSenior List Traveler Tip: Many of the discount warehouse clubs and other organizations offer discount codes for rental cars.  Costco, BJ’s, AARP, USAA and AAA all offer discount coupons for rental cars. (*Note: You’ll need to be a member to access car rental deals through these clubs.)

Senior Discounts on Hotels

senior discounts on hotels
Photo credit:flickr/Elliott Brown

Best Western: 10% or more for AARP or senior guests (55+)
Candlewood Suites:  Discounts vary (62+)
Crown Plaza:  Discounts vary (62+)
Days Inn:  Discounts vary (60+)
Holiday Inn:  Discounts vary (62+)
Howard Johnson Hotels:  Discounts off best available rate (60+)
Hyatt:  Up to 50% off (62+)
Knights Inn:  Up to 10% off (60+)
La Quinta Inns:  Discounts vary (65+)
Marriott:  15% off (62+)
Motel 6:  10% off (60+)
Super 8:  Seniors save 10% off (up to 20% with AARP card)
Travelodge:  Discounts vary (60+)
Wyndham Hotels:  Up to 20% with AARP card

Other Travel Deals For Seniors

There are plenty more travel deals to be had.  If you are traveling by bus, you should know that Greyhound, Peter Pan and Trailways all offer senior discounts (62+) for Bus travel.  If you’re traveling by train, Amtrak (and VIA Rail Canada) each offer senior discounts.  You can count on a 10% discount from Amtrak if your 60+ and a 15% discount if you’re 62 or older!  Another great source of senior discounts is available by joining AARP.  They have a great page dedicated to exclusive senior travel discounts for AARP members.

We find that senior discounts aren’t often advertised.  If they are, you can usually find them in the fine print.  If you frequent a business of any type, ask if they offer any senior discounts.  You have nothing to loose!  If they don’t, kindly as them to consider offering a discount in the future.  
As always, if you have any travel discount tips, or any updates to the senior discounts noted above, please let us know in the comments below!

Better To Give Than To Receive

Leave a Legacy of Giving

“Being rich is not about how much you have, but how much you give.” That’s the lesson in an incredibly inspirational video commissioned by the fine folks at Community Chest, Singapore, a non-profit organization that channels resources to the social service sector in Singapore.  This short video is a testament to the age old adage; It’s better to give than to receive.

Being a mother, a father, or a mentor is about making sacrifices for our children… And the lessons we leave them become our legacy.  I hope this short film about a father and his son fills your heart with as much love and inspiration as it did mine!

Being rich is not about how much you have, but how much you give.

How Much Time Do We Have?

How much time do we have?

What are you doing with all of your time?

How much time is left?

Your Life in JellybeansThese are tough questions to answer, but the video below puts them in perspective using 28,835 jellybeans of all things!  Why the number 28,835? Because this is the average number of days we have to live our lives.  Some have more days, and some have less… But on average, this is what we get.  In the video below by Zefrank1 on YouTube, each day is represented by a single jellybean.

What if I told you that it would take 5,474 days to turn 15 years old (ya I know that’s easy math).  At 15 years old we’re on the precipice of adulthood, and we have our whole life in front of us.  Now for some interesting statistics from the American Time Use Survey (creatively illustrated by Zefrank1).  After turning 15, you’ll spend 8,477 days sleeping, 1,635 days eating, drinking and preparing food, and 3,202 days at work (ugh).  Additionally (with special thanks to Lakers fans) you can plan on wasting 1,099 days in the car commuting to wherever it is you’re going.

Just how much time to we have left?  What else are we spending our time on? How bout watching TV, doing chores, caring for friends and family, bathroom activities, and community services.  After all that… What’s left over?  And more importantly, what does it all mean?  Watch the video to find out.

28,835 days

Senior Discounts on Prescriptions: Government Programs

Senior Discounts: Government Prescription ProgramsSaving on prescription drug costs is tough to do unless you know the full armamentarium available to you.  If you haven’t read our report on senior discounts and pharmacy discount clubs, you’ll want to check that out right away.  Another opportunity to save on the cost of prescription medications is to examine the many government programs available to seniors, and the public at large.

There are government agencies that offer assistance and advice on lowering prescription drug costs. Answers.USA.Gov offers a great resource for those that need some help with prescription drug costs. Here are some of their ideas to consider:

Senior Discounts From Government Agencies

  • Contact your local State Social Services Agency. These agencies can provide direct assistance to individuals in need and referrals to other service providers.
  • Local Health Centers can serve populations with limited access to healthcare. Annual income and family size determine ones ability to pay, and those guidelines are set to the most recent federal poverty guidelines.
  • If you are a Medicare or Medicaid recipient, you can call the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). They can provide information about government-run healthcare programs and referrals to state agencies that administer these programs.
  • Consider contacting the company that manufactures your medication. They may supply you with free or discounted medication. You may also get a list of discount programs, by company, through the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). They offer the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) program. You may contact the PPA at 1-888-4PPA-NOW (1-888-477-2669).
  • Veterans may with to contact the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA offers many programs designed to assist veterans.
  • Seniors can use the Administration on Aging’s (AOA) Eldercare Locator. This free service can help you locate resources and programs designed to help seniors in your area. You can also contact an Eldercare Locator information specialist by calling 1-800-677-1116.

Other articles you might be interested in: 2015 List OF Senior Discounts For Dining Out, 2014’s Big List Of Senior Discounts, List of Pharmacy Discount Clubs

2015 Senior Discounts On Prescriptions

prescription discounts for seniorsReaders asked us to research prescription discounts for seniors, so we sent our Senior-List-Sleuths on a quest to scour the internet (or “series of tubes” if you’re a fan of the late Alaska senator Ted Stevens) to see what we could find.  Here’s a nice list of prescription discounts and discount clubs for seniors to be aware of.

In many cases, these prescription discounts and discount clubs are available to anyone with enrollment in provider programs. Without exception, each of these programs is either free, or available for a nominal fee.  This is great news for boomers and seniors, and it’s great news for folks that need some assistance (especially if they aren’t carrying insurance).

List of Senior Discounts on Prescriptions

AARP:  With the AARP Prescription Discount Card (provided by Catamaran), AARP members and their families can access an average savings of 38% off prescription drugs (regardless of age or health status).  Must be a member of AARP to access benefits.  AARP boasts acceptance by 64,000 pharmacies nationwide.

Rite Aid:  Sign up for the Rite Aid Rx Savings Program.  Save 15% or more on thousands of brand name and generic prescription drugs1 by signing up for the Rite Aid Rx Savings Program. When you sign up, you’ll receive Rx Savings Card that gives you access to special discounts at Rite Aid pharmacy, including:

CVS Pharmacy:  Enroll in the CVS Pharmacy Health Savings Pass program. It’s easy and costs only $15 annually (per person). Whether you have limited prescription insurance or no coverage at all, you can sign up and start saving immediately.  This is not an insurance plan, it’s a prescription savings program. Under this program you can also receive 10% off MinuteClinic services inside select CVS/pharmacy stores.

Walgreens Prescription Savings Club:  Another great option for folks without insurance coverage. Walgreens Prescription Savings Club members get special discounts off the cash price of thousands of brand-name and generic medications as well as other benefits when they use their Prescription Savings Club Card. Additionally, if you don’t save at least the cost of your membership fee in one year, Walgreens will give you the difference.

Kmart:  The Prescription Savings Club at Kmart can be yours for a $10 enrollment fee.  You and the family are then covered  for certain generic drugs (starting at $5 for a 30-day supply and starting at $10 for a 90-day supply) * View Drug List.  In additional you’ll receive savings on non-preferred generics up to 65%, as well as 20% off brand name medications.  20% savings on flu immunizations and 10% savings on all other immunizations (e.g. shingles, whooping cough, hepatitis A&B, etc.).  You can even get discounts on pet medications with a prescription from your vet.

Target:  The Target Prescription Savings Program entitles seniors (and others in the household) savings of 10-50% on prescription medications (off of retail). One membership works for everyone in your household, and you can use your card at any (Target) Pharmacy.  In addition if you sign up for Target’s Pharmacy Rewards, and fill five eligible prescriptions, you’ll get a certificate for 5% off a day of shopping.  (Hey, every penny counts!)

Consumer Reports On Drug Costs

Did you know that Consumer Reports has secret shoppers that visit pharmacies (and other businesses) to investigate business practices?  When it comes to pharmacies, secret shoppers found that simply asking for discounts (like senior discounts, membership programs, or other incentives) tended to yield savings opportunities on prescription meds.  (Note: This is also a strategy we advocate when looking for senior discounts at restaurants.)  Additional prescription savings opportunities identified by Consumer Reports were:

  • Paying Cash – Some consumers report that NOT using their insurance benefit for certain meds has yielded savings.  Larger (big box) chains offer hundreds of popular prescription medications for just $4 per month, or $10 for a 3 month supply.
  • Join discount clubs like we’ve identified above.
  • Filling 90 day prescriptions could save you additional co-pays.
  • Shop around. All pharmacies are NOT created equal. Making a few phone calls could save you some serious money.

Government Help For Prescription Costs

In addition to these corporate prescription drug clubs, there are government agencies that can offer assistance and advice as well.  Answers.USA.Gov offers this advice for those that need some help with prescription drug costs.  Click through to our piece on Government Agencies Available to Help With Prescription Drug Costs.

The biggest lesson here is that consumers need to ask around. Don’t assume that the price is the price. Shop around and ask a lot of questions.  If you have advice for our community, please let us know what you’re doing to save on prescription drug costs in the comments section below!