Senior perks and discounts

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Growing older may come with some added laugh lines or a few extra aches and pains, but many will attest to the benefits and wisdom earned from a life well-lived. And if that's not enough, the discounts and other perks afforded seniors can make reaching one's golden years a bit easier to embrace.

Every day the list of companies offering special deals for people of a certain age continues to grow. Individuals willing to do the research or simply ask retailers and other businesses about their senior discount policies can be well on their way to saving serious money. Keep in mind that the starting points for age-based discounts vary, with some offering deals to those age 50 and up, and others kicking in at 55 or 60-plus.

The following is a list of some of the discounts that may be available. Confirm eligibility as companies change their policies from time to time. Also, the editors of Consumer World say that the senior discount might not always be the lowest price, so comparison shopping is a must to find out which discount or coupon is the best deal.

· Amtrak: Travelers age 65 and older can enjoy a 10 percent discount on rail fares on most Amtrak trains. For those who prefer ground travel but want to leave the car at home, this can be a great way to get around.

· Fast-food/sit-down restaurants: Establishments like Wendy's, Arby's, Burker King, Denny's, Applebees, Carrabba's Italian Grill, and Friendly's offer various senior discounts. Most are 10 to 15 percent off the meal. Others offer free beverages or an extra perk with purchase.

· Kohl's: This popular department store provides a 15 percent discount every Wednesday to shoppers ages 60-plus. Other stores like Modell's, Belk, Bon-Ton, and SteinMart offer similar discounts.

· Marriott: Travelers age 62 and older are privy to a 15-percent discount on room rates at Marriott brand hotels, subject to availability.

· Roto-Rooter: Plumbing problems can get expensive, but online sources cite a 10 to 15 percent discount depending on location for this drain cleaning service provider in North America.

· National Parks: The U.S. National Parks Service offers steep discounts on the annual pass, which provides entry to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites.

· Grocery store: Food shopping gets a little easier with discounts at Bi-Lo, Fred Meyer, Gristedes, Harris Teeter, Piggly-Wiggly, and Publix. Be sure to check with local supermarkets about senior discounts, as they vary, particularly as to what day of the week and for what age they kick in.

· AARP membership: It is important to note that many companies require enrollment in AARP for people to get senior discounts. AARP also has its own AARP Prescription Discount Card so that members and families can save around 61 percent on FDA-approved drugs that prescription insurance or Medicare Part D plans fail to cover.

· T-Mobile: This carrier offers two lines with unlimited talk, text and LTE data for $35 with AutoPay for seniors age 55-plus. Only the primary account holder has to be 55.

With a little digging, seniors can find scores of discounts to help them save money while enjoying their golden years.

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