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Discounts abound for those over 50

Jessica AlbrechtJessica AlbrechtHave you been missing out on some great deals? Restaurants and fast-food joints, locally owned and chain supermarkets, thrift stores and other retailers, automotive rental and service centers, and many other places all across the country offer discounts for those over 50, 55, 60, 62, or 65.

The key to finding discounts in all types of venues is simple: just ask. Many places that do not visibly advertise special pricing for seniors and boomers will provide discounts to those who ask—but be prepared to provide proof of your age in return if requested.

If you’re going to be traveling this summer, consider companies that offer senior discounts when searching for the best deals. Southwest Airlines offers a special fare for those ages 65 and older, Amtrack offers a 15% discount to those over age 62, and Greyhound also offers a 5% discount to the 62+ crowd. Don’t forget to check with your hotel—most offer between a 10-30% discount for seniors.

If you’d like to add some entertainment into your summer plans, be sure to ask about discounts at movie theaters, symphonies, plays, ballets, museums, aquariums, and zoos, which usually provide reduced admission rates for seniors over age 60, 62, or 65. The National Park Service offers a pass, called, “America The Beautiful,” which covers a lifetime of entrance fees at national parks and federal recreational lands for you and three other adults (children under age 15 are admitted for free). The lifetime Senior Pass, available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over, costs $20 by mail with application and documentation (includes a $10 processing fee) or $10 online (visit store.usgs.gov/pass/senior.html) or in-person at a federal recreation site (when available). U.S. Citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities of any age with documentation may receive a free Access Pass in-person or pay $10 for processing through mail.

Discounts are often a benefit of having a membership with various senior organizations, such as AARP, The Seniors Coalition, the American Senior Association, or the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.

If you have access to the Internet, a great place to find hundreds of thousands of senior discounts for those over age 50 is www.SeniorDiscounts.com. This website offers free searchable listings in categories from airlines and auto services to golf, pets, restaurants, and more, as well as a premium membership option, costing $12.95/year at the time of this writing, that gives you access to additional discounts. Another free website, www.sciddy.com, allows you to search for senior discounts near your chosen location.

When inquiring about a senior discount, keep in mind that a better deal may still be available, so plan to compare all prices before making your final decision.