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I’m over 65, but I don’t need a discounted bus fare

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 09 March 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i1365
  1. A Mark Clarfield, Sidonie Hecht professor of geriatrics,
  2. Soroka Hospital,
  3. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev,
  4. Beer-sheva,
  5. Israel
  1. markclar{at}

Universal benefits for older people who are healthy and well off are unnecessary and unsustainable

A bus driver recently asked me, “Senior citizen?” Sensing a saving, I readily answered in the affirmative and was pleasantly surprised by the 50% off. I wondered what other discounts would now come my way: to film tickets, parking spaces, meals at restaurants, museum entry, and more.

“You’re only as old as you feel,” the adage goes. I recently turned 65, but the truth is that I don’t feel elderly. I’m not sick. I feel fine. And I’m still working as a geriatrician with a reasonable salary.

I don’t need these discounts.

I’m sure that, for many people under and over 65, a …

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