Aug 28th, 2012 | By | Category: Senior Finances

Seniors Negotiate Costs

The Huffington Post recently published an article on the ten costs you should always negotiate.  Writer Alicia Ciccone outlines all ten, and they are summarized here.  Seniors will give a boost to their finances if they learn how to negotiate some costs they encounter.

  • Vehicle Purchases: It’s a good idea to bargain over the final price of the vehicle, and forego looking at the monthly cost as a basis for buying or leasing a car.  And if you are buying a used one, be sure to find something that needs fixing or cleaning and make that the basis for bargaining over the price.

  • Mortgages: If you have a good credit rating, you can generally negotiate a better interest rate on a mortgage.  You can also negotiate closing fees.  Shop around if you aren’t satisfied with your first offer.
  • Rent: Rental rates are very negotiable, especially if you are an existing tenant and always pay your rent on time.  Owners and leasing agents would much rather keep a good tenant rather than take a risk on a new one.
  • Cable/phone/Internet Service: Most of us start these services with promotional rates.  When that expires, look around for other offers and then call your current company to request their matching other offers.  If they won’t negotiate, you will have to decide whether or not to switch.
  • Credit Card Fees: The best plan is to charge no more than you can pay at the end of the month, and always pay your balance in full.  When that is not possible, and again if you are a good customer, you can negotiate interest rates as well as any penalty fees you are assessed if you miss a payment. It’s worth a phone call to make the request.
  • Gym Memberships: Seniors have an advantage when it comes to gym memberships.  Shop around and determine the fees of those gyms that you would consider joining.  Then compare costs and negotiate with the one you want to use, based on the lowest price you found.
  • Home and Yard Maintenance: Again, seniors are at an advantage here.  Many companies have ‘senior citizen rates’ and negotiating for that benefit is common and encouraged.
  • Clothing: If you find a seam out or a stain you can remove on your own, you can ask a salesperson to discount the item in a clothing store.  Or one better, find your local Goodwill and Thrift stores; many bargains are available there for seniors and these stores often offer discounts to seniors.
  • Anything Used: Garage sales, thrift stores, classified ads…  any venue that carries used goods are great places to negotiate prices.
  • Vacation Packages: Shop around for packaged tours and then negotiate with the sales rep either in a Travel Office or online for a better price; again, senior citizens often find discounted rates just for seniors.

The word for seniors is to be sure to use your ‘senior citizen’ status to get discounts on almost anything you buy.  Our local grocery store has senior citizen day every Tuesday, and offers a 10% discount on anything purchased that day.  Keep your eyes open for good deals like that!

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