February 15th, 2018 by Ellen Piekalkiewicz
Everyone likes to save money but as we age it becomes much more important because so many of us will be living longer. The average life expectancy is higher now than in any other period in our history. Data from a recent United Nations report shows that the number of people 65 and older rose from 8% to 12% of the total population between 1950 and 2000. This figure is projected to rise to 20% by 2050 and will continue to rise steadily through the end of the 21st century. Living longer can be directly attributed to significant improvements in healthcare services, major investments in medical research, and a focus on universal healthcare coverage.
Figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that babies born in 1900 had a life expectancy of 50 years. In comparison, those born in 2012 have a life expectancy of 78.8 years, an increase of greater than 50%. The good news for women is that they generally live longer than men and one in ten will likely live to see 100. The even better news is that women who are 65 and older today will have a life expectancy of 86.6 years and men 65 and older today, 84.3 years.
The numbers are staggering. Ten thousand seniors turn 65 every day. And, with each day, living expenses begin to eat away at a lifetime of savings. This increasing longevity requires wise money management and budgeting. Saving money wherever and whenever possible is imperative for seniors who hope to maintain their quality of life.
In an attempt to help this growing population of seniors economize without having to give up too many of life’s special pleasures, five local senior living organizations and in-home care organizations have come together to support a local senior savings program, “Local Senior Discounts” www.LocalSeniorDiscounts.com.
The collaboration that includes Allegro Inspired Senior Living, Harbor Chase Senior Living, Healing by Nature Senior Care, Right at Home Senior Care, and Clarity Pointe Memory Care helped to minimize program costs that results in an amazingly low cost of entry. Local Senior Discount member cards are only $5.00 and there is no renewal fee. They are good for the life of the card and only need to be replaced if lost.
Gail McDonald of Allegro Inspired Senior Living praises the program, “We are here to help seniors, so supporting the program makes sense. We transport seniors to local restaurants using the Local Senior Discounts Dining Calendar and save them up to 50% of the cost of their meal. Stretching their dining dollars this way makes our residents very grateful.”
The Local Senior Discount Card, its website, and marketing program were created in 2009 by Lew Wilson. Easy to access, the website offers daily specials and a range of retail and travel discounts. Today’s seniors are quite tech savvy and can save hundreds of dollars with just a click of the mouse. Over 65% of households with someone over 65 have a computer and over 58% of those households are on the Internet regularly. Senior computer skills not only contribute to longer lives by expanding communications and research options, they now provide many great opportunities to save money.
Local Senior Discounts has joined in a revenue sharing relationship with non-profit Elder Care Services, Inc. According to Wilson, his goal can be simply stated, “We are here to help seniors save, to help local businesses grow and prosper and to help Elder Care Services deliver more meals and provide more service to frail seniors in Leon County.” In addition, Wilson also sponsors events at the Tallahassee Senior Center, further demonstrating his commitment to seniors in this community.
Elder Care Services, Inc. is a private non-profit corporation, dedicated to improving the quality of life for seniors in Leon and the surrounding counties, allowing them to remain at home with dignity. For more information, visit them at www.eldercarebigbend.org and follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/eldercaretally to learn more their services and how to access Local Senior Discount member cards.
Originally published in the Tallahassee.com Community Blog