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Get Your Senior Citizen Entitlements

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When you retire make sure you get all your senior citizen entitlements. In some countries (such as here in W. Australia) you can get discounts with a Seniors card, many years before you get your pension. I get 50% off my Council rates each year, saving me hundreds of dollars. My utilities bills for gas and water and electricity are all subsidized since I am on a pension.

Every Sunday and public holiday, all my travel on public transport is free, so I go down to the local farmers markets and buy all my weekly fruit and vegetables for a third of the price charged in the supermarkets.

Whenever you are buying something expensive, ask them how much the discount is for pensioners. If you assume that there is a discount, the vendor will feel mean and guilty if you don't get a discount. Always phone around and see how much discount you can get for cash payment, pensioners card, seconds or shop-soiled products, then make the dealers compete in a sort of reverse-auction to beat the cheapest offer.

If you enjoy concerts, make sure that you discover the nearest barbershop singing concerts and claim your senior citizen discount tickets to get in.

Do you have hearing problems? I get my hearing aids for free as a pensioner. I could also choose to pay extra to get built-in computers in each hearing aid to make speech clearer, but I'm still at the stage where I can hear normal speech, and if people mumble it means that they aren't really saying anything worth speaking up.

Do you have bad teeth? I was told that I needed crowns on all my front teeth, which would cost between $14000 and $24000, and that I would need partial dentures for my back teeth, costing several thousand dollars. How could I afford that sort of money on a pension?

Simple. I contacted the local school of dentistry. Students practice on me for free. That means that they are under expert supervision, and if they don't do something well enough the first time, they have to go back and do it right. I trust them more than I trusted my expensive dentist, because nobody was checking the quality of her work.

The obvious drawback is time. A student will take two hours to do a job that my dentist would have done in twenty minutes. It probably will be better quality than the rush job done by my commercial dentist, but it means that I have to be there for a long time. Fortunately I'm retired, so don't have any tearing hurry to be elsewhere.

The last of my senior citizen entitlements gives me one free trip per year. Last December I traveled hundreds of miles South with my Barbershop Quartet to sing at a country festival. I got two nights free accommodation when I got there.

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