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Discounts give senior citizens many ways to save

Senior citizens - said by demographers to be the fastest-growing segment of the United States population - are getting more and more opportunities to save money.

But sometimes they have to speak up loud and clear to get them.

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At most US hotels, motels, inns, and lodges, discounts for seniors citizens run to 25 percent - providing they advise the desk or reservation clerks.

Car-rental companies help the over-65s, too.

Ten percent off is a standard discount, sometimes including unlimited mileage - but, in some instances, this discount can reach as high as 40 percent off.

Some discounts, it is true, are given only if the seniors are members of well-known groups, or of associations serving seniors.

But for those who are not, asking anyway often helps.

Airlines in some cases give seniors as much as one-third off coach rates, and buying tickets in advance can trigger a senior discount (if asked for) on some airlines. Bus lines and Amtrak also provide about 25 percent discounts for senior citizens.

And many chain restaurants now offer posted percentage discounts or a low-cost senior menus.

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What may be the best bargain for US senior citizens is the 5 cents (yes, 5) charged for unlimited bus rides - with transfer - in many metropolitan cities.

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