What Is The Senior Citizen Age?
October 12, 2021General Retirement
We’ve heard the phrase’ “age is just but a number” countless times. But even with that, we still get defined by our age. For instance, an 18-year-old is officially said to be an adult. Youths are categorized between 18 and 35. However, when does someone becomes a senior citizen? While the term “senior citizen” is generally used to portray the elderly in society, what age is senior citizen?
The answer to what is the senior age can vary since there’s no universally accepted age at which an individual is considered a senior citizen. In other words, there’s no specifically defined age when an American citizen is considered a senior citizen.
So what is the senior citizen age? A person age 65 years or older is considered to be a senior citizen. This is because senior citizenship is closely associated with retirement and this is when most people retire.
So if you’ve been wondering about the senior citizen age, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s examine a few concepts revolving around senior citizenship.
Table of contents
What is a Senior Citizen?
Usually defined as an elderly or retired person, a senior citizen is someone who has at least attained the age of 60 to 65 years. In most cases, the term senior citizen is used to refer to somebody who is aged in society, but not in a bad way. Such a person is often seen as wise, experienced, and deserving of respect.
That being said, a senior citizen can be categorized purely based on social demographics. This is principally why a 30-year-old cannot be categorized as a senior citizen no matter his or her standing within the society. In most cases, a senior citizen has accomplished the responsibility of bringing up a family, has had a career, has done most things that’s is required of him or her in adult life, and is now taking a step back from the active life that’s often associated with teenagers, youths, and middle-aged adults.
Medically speaking, a senior citizen may be prone to health issues, which are mostly related to age. For instance, he or she may have vision, hearing, and mobility problems. He or she may also need the support of a caregiver to help in carrying out activities that he used to do himself.
In economic terms, a senior citizen has retired from active work and can now access his or her retirement savings and funds to help cover their expenses. In other words, a senior citizen will be hugely dependent on others, whether the government, relatives or other organizations, for their welfare.
So at What Age Does Someone Becomes a Senior Citizen?
Again, this may vary depending on many factors. For instance, Social Security considers 62 to be the beginning of senior citizenship although the official retirement age is 65. On the other hand, Medicare categorizes persons aged 65 years old or older as senior citizens. That’s not all, there are organizations such as McDonald’s and Arby’s that offer discounts that are only eligible for senior citizens from the age of 55.
With that in mind, age plays a significant role in categorizing senior citizens but there’s no specific age for senior citizens. If anything, a study by Del Webb shows that 96% percent of the current 50-year-olds do not consider themselves as senior citizens. Again, only 56% of the current 64-year-olds consider themselves as senior citizens.
Financial Matters for Senior Citizens
As we noted earlier, a senior citizen can be financially considered to have retired from work. In this regard, most Americans retire from work at the age of 65 but this trend is changing as many 65-year-olds or older continue to have an active working lifestyle. This may perhaps arise from a bad financial situation, especially if the senior citizens didn’t save enough money during his/her working life. But if the senior citizen planned appropriately for retirement and saved diligently, he/she shouldn’t have financial issues once he has attained the senior citizen age.
Many American senior citizens rely on Medicare health insurance and Social Security benefits for their welfares. Unfortunately, the Social Security benefits are so little to cater to a senior citizen’s living expenses. Again, Medicare health insurance might also not be enough to fully cover a senior’s healthcare bills. This is essentially why many Americans are always advised to save diligently for retirement or senior citizenship.
Senior Citizens’ Legal Matters
In most cases, a senior citizen may have legal matters revolving around his/her legal will and the executor of his/her estate. As a senior citizen, it is appropriate to write a legal will that stipulates who receives what upon your death. You should also appoint the executor of your estate, which is fundamentally the person who will make legal, financial, and medical decisions if you become incapacitated or can no longer make a sound judgment.
It’s also important for a senior citizen to consult with a legal practitioner if he/she feels discriminated against. Whether it is about age discrimination or being unfairly treated by a caregiver, there are laws that protect senior citizens and fight for their rights.
Senior Citizens’ Health Insurance Matters
A senior citizen can choose to either depend on public health care or private health insurance coverage. With private health insurance coverage the senior should be able to sufficiently cover for his/her medical bills.
On the other hand, seniors who cannot afford private health insurance coverage may depend on public health care, which is widely known as Medicare. This is a federal social health insurance program that is open for senior citizens at the age of 65 or older. It’s appropriate to enroll earlier or within the seven-month enrollment period to avoid penalties.
Senior Citizen’s Living and Care Alternatives
A senior can choose to live at home, in a retirement community or a senior living apartment. If the senior citizen can live alone and carry his daily activities such as driving and paying the bills, then he can live at home alone or with a caregiver. The senior citizen can also choose to transition to a living community or a retirement home where he/she will be taken care of by professional caregivers who ensure that they are given medication and are never neglected.
Senior Citizen Discounts
The logic behind senior citizen discounts is that they have limited assets and live on fixed incomes. As such, it’s appropriate to offer them numerous discounts to ensure that they not only live happily but also that they have enough to last them for the indefinite number of years. That’s why there are several senior citizen discounts in restaurants, sports tickets, airfare, hair salons, hotel accommodations and many more. Senior citizens can also choose to join AARP (American Association of Retired Persons), which offers many discounts to their members.
To this end, there’s no specific age for determining senior citizenship. However, there are a lot of issues that we all need to know as far as senior citizens are concerned. From their financial, medical, legal matters to other areas such as living options and discounts, these are crucial matters that we all need to be aware of.
About THE AUTHOR
With multiple family members currently in senior living facilities, David is in the trenches every week, learning the ins and outs of nursing homes, assisted living, memory care, and general senior living.Read more about David Bolton
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