Senior woman stretching on the beach

What Age Is Considered a Senior Citizen? Is it 60 or 65?

If you’re wondering what age is considered a SENIOR citizen, you’ll probably get many different answers. 

Different corporations and businesses have varying ideas of what age people qualify as senior citizens, confusing the matter. 

What is it about?

  • There is no official definition of age for the senior.
  • More than one in seven Americans are 65+. There are over 54 million of them.
  • More than 21 million people over the age of 75 and more in the future as people live longer.

The majority of people agree that people who are 65 years or older are considered senior citizens. Let’s take a deeper look. 

Senior Citizen vs. Elderly

While most of us can agree that people earn the title of a senior citizen at the age of 65, being considered ELDERLY is different. 

This term is vaguer. It is usually given to those beyond the title of a senior citizen and who are in their late stages of life. 

Milestones of a Senior CitizenAge
AARP (American Association of Retired Persons)50
Senior Housing55 (62)
Medicare65
Social Security SSI (Supplemental Security Income)66
Senior Discounts55-65
Retirement Plan Collection62
Retiring (with full benefits)65-67
Senior Housing55
Drivers License64-80
Car Insurance65-80
A senior golfer (in professional golf)50
Middle age40-60

Organizations and Their Senior Citizen Policies

As mentioned previously, many businesses have DIFFERENT ideas of what age they consider a senior citizen.

Below is a breakdown of the top organizations that offer benefits for senior citizens.

AARP (American Association of Retired Persons)

The qualifying age for AARP is 50.

This age requirement is significantly lower than society’s overall idea of the age of senior citizens.

AARP works on issues related to those 50 years and older and is a terrific resource for anyone in this age bracket.

Senior Housing

Typically, senior housing is based on two different age requirements. These associations will either accept tenants 55 and up or 62 and up.

Medicare

To qualify for Medicare, you must be 65 or older. It is also available to younger citizens with disabilities.

Social Security

To gain additional income from SSI (Supplemental Security Income), participants must be between 66 and 67 and be financially eligible.

You can learn more about the qualifications on the Social Security website

Senior couple walking on the sandy beach

Benefits of Being a Senior Citizen

You can receive many benefits once you’ve blown out the candles on your 65th birthday!

Senior Discounts

Plenty of businesses offers senior discounts that you are entitled to inquire about. 

Restaurants, hotels, department stores, and grocery stores often have discounts. 

Many movie theaters offer senior discounts. Depending on the location and movie theater, the age for discounts is 55 to 60 and older.

Check out this link for the most significant senior discounts in 2022.

Homestead Benefits

In some states, you can qualify for a homestead exemption which allows you to protect the value of your property from creditors and property taxes. 

The qualifications and terms vary state by state, so research your home state’s homestead benefits.

Retirement Plan Collection

Once you turn 65, if you have retired from your job, you can start collecting the funds from your retirement plan.

This money is the money that you worked hard to put away, so it’s time to sit back and relax for a bit!

More on Senior Housing

Senior housing is a great way to spend time in a community catered towards you. There are a variety of senior housing options available throughout the United States. 

If you’re interested in moving to a community that allows you to share your interests with others, do some research on senior living communities near you! Most retirement communities have a 55+ rule. 

Senior couple walking on the beach

Other Milestones of a Senior Citizen

Just because you’ve celebrated your 65th birthday doesn’t mean you want to be labeled a “senior citizen.” 

Not everyone will feel as though they’ve earned the title at a certain age, but rather when they’ve reached a particular milestone.

Drivers License for Seniors

States have different age policies regarding senior drivers. Typically, seniors must take a vision or driving test every time they renew their license. For example, the age is 64 in Georgia and 80 in Florida. 

A senior may voluntarily give up their driver’s license when they decide to stop driving.

Car Insurance for Seniors

As you age, your car insurance needs may change. You might retire, stop commuting, or move to a new state. There are several types of car insurance policies designed specifically for senior drivers. 

In general, senior drivers should be evaluated based on their driving history rather than their age alone. 

But seniors are usually considered higher-risk drivers

This means that the premiums for senior drivers are usually higher, and the policy will usually have more comprehensive coverage than for other drivers.

The best way to find the right car insurance for you is to shop around with a couple of reputable insurance companies.

Seniors in Golf

In golf, the term senior is used quite often. It has a different meaning when talking about golf competitions, getting senior rates at the golf course, or becoming a member of your local golf club.

Professional golfers older than 50 are considered senior golfers.

Some golf clubs allow you to join the seniors after 55. In other clubs, it might be 60.

A few courses offer senior green fees, with a minimum age of 60 or 62. Several courses no longer offer senior rates because many of their players are “of an age,” as they say.

There may be rules about what tees you can play from if you are playing in a local tournament. The senior tees are commonly used by golfers over 65-70.

Your country club may use a handicap-plus-age system if you participate in an event there.

Around the age of 60-65, many golfers begin to lose some of their grip and distance. Senior-shafted golf clubs are typically very forgiving. Senior golfers with slow swing speeds will benefit from the extra-large sweet spot.

Senior Olympics

There are many sports events for those over 50.

For example, National Senior Games, or “Senior Olympics,” is a multi-sport event in the USA for adults aged 50+ (events are grouped by five-year age groups).

Each U.S. state holds regional competitions every year. There is a national competition every two years. Events have been organized by the National Senior Games Association (NSGA) since 1987.

New Priorities in Life as We Get Older

Our priorities constantly change throughout life. We prioritize work and family for the majority of our time. 

As we get older, these will change. 

Suddenly, you prioritize friends over your work or new family over traveling. When you find yourself with more hours in the day, new priorities begin to appear.

Health Conditions

If you have been active throughout your life, you might see a change in your health as you enter a new stage.

Conditions like arthritis, hearing loss, or hypertension tend to pop up later in life. 

The appearance of conditions like these is usually a sign that times are changing for you.

Retiring

Suppose you’ve been working a 9-5 job your whole life, even past 65. In that case, you might not feel like a senior citizen until you officially retire. 

For some, retiring is an act of stepping into a new stage of life, not a claim of growing old.

As early as age 62, you can begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits. You are, however, eligible for full benefits when you reach full retirement age.

Since the average life expectancy has increased, the age requirement for full benefits has moved from 65 to 67.

Here is the retirement age calculator.

Age Stereotypes

Age is only a number, right? 

As we get older, we are expected to act in specific ways.

While TV and movies may tell us that senior citizens do nothing but play cribbage all day, we know that’s not true! 

Many senior citizens can focus on themselves with the free time they acquire. That could mean traveling, working on eliminating harmful habits, or spending more time with family. 

Related Questions

Below are some related questions that may be of interest to you.

What Age is Considered Middle Age?

Typically those who are middle-aged are between 40 to 60 years old. 

Are There Any Legal Matters Senior Citizens Commonly Consider?

Once you’ve hit a certain age, some matters should be tended to.

First, you will want to write out your legal will.

You will also want to determine an executor of your estate (the person who will handle your estate once you’ve passed).

They will also be able to make decisions for you if you are no longer able.

If you are ever mistreated in a workplace, consider finding a lawyer to help. Unfortunately, age discrimination happens, but that doesn’t mean you have to put up with it.

In Conclusion

It isn’t always easy to consider the fact that we get older. 

We say “it seemed like just yesterday…” a little too often. 

However, getting older is not a bad thing. There are plenty of benefits to a higher age. There is also a lot to consider as you grow older. Priorities, retirement, and stereotypes, just to name a few.

So while the consensus may say that senior citizenship starts at age 65, we still believe that age is just a number. You’re only a senior citizen when you say you are!

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