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9 Things Seniors Didn’t Know They Could Get for Free (or Discounted)

There's no better time than the present for seniors to find ways to stretch their retirement dollars. Here are some discounts and free things to help your bottom line.

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An AARP membership

An AARP membership will provide you with myriad opportunities to save on such things as supplemental health insurance, rental cars, and hotel stays, with discounts beginning at around 10 percent. A one-year membership to AARP runs $16, three years is $43, and five years is $63. Go to aarp.org to learn more about what discounts you may be eligible for as a member. Here are the 10 best jobs for senior citizens to work in.

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National parks and historic sites

A Senior Pass is a great way for people over 65 years old to gain free lifetime admission to more than 400 national parks and historic sites. For a one-time charge of $10, a pass can be purchased at all participating sites. You can also purchase one online for $20. But, as they say in infomercials: Act now! The U.S. Congress is reviewing these programs, so expect prices to change in the near future. Not sure which one to hit first? Get inspired with these gorgeous national park photos.

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Historic Hotels of America discounts

While you're tooling around the country, do not overlook Historic Hotels of America. These unique places to stay, including the Don CeSar Beach Resort in St. Petersburg, Florida, The Peabody Memphis, and the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco, will give you a glimpse into our country's past in ways that cookie-cutter chain hotels and motels simply cannot provide. AARP members can expect a 10-percent discount by showing their membership cards at check-in. Travel to their website and let the planning begin. To help get you started, these are the most historic hotels in America.

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Amtrak discounts

This is another classic (and hopefully less stressful) way to see the country, especially up and down the East Coast Corridor. Amtrak travelers 62 years old and up are eligible for a 15 percent discount on the lowest available rail fare on most Amtrak trains. To find more about the ins and outs of these discounts go to amtrak.com. Here are 9 other travel discounts you probably didn't know you're eligible for.

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New York City discounts

Speaking of travel, sometimes a trip to the Big Apple can seem a bit daunting and too costly for a retiree's pocketbook. Well, think again, there are some surprising discounts that will enable you to zip around the five boroughs for much less money than you might imagine. To ride the city's subways and buses, seniors, 65 years old and older, can show a government-issued photo ID and get a 50 percent discount on travel fare. You can buy reduced fare Metro Cards at subway tollbooths or just drop in the exact change when you enter a bus. Getting into the city from the area's airports can be expensive, so consider transportation such as the Newark Airport Express, where seniors pay only $8.50 one-way. For a list of other senior discounts in New York City, go to seniordiscountlist.org. Use those discounts to discover the NYC hidden gems most locals don't know about.

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Fitness discounts

Maybe you feel like increasing your range of motion or tuning up your core. Check with your doctor to see what types of exercise might help and then look into Silver Sneakers. This nationwide organization helps insured seniors find free gyms, exercise programs, and classes covered by their policies. Just go to their website to learn more and fill out a simple questionnaire to find out if you qualify.

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Walgreens discounts

Chances are, no matter where you are, there's a Walgreens just around the corner. So mark your calendars, during the first Tuesday of each month when 20 percent discounts are offered to all Walgreens Balance Rewards card holders who are 55 years old and older. Go to walgreens.com for all the info.

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Dining around

Fast food restaurants including Wendy's, KFC, and Taco Bell offer tasty discounts for seniors. For a complete list, check out wisebread.com. Also, don't miss the 15 ways to get free food at your favorite restaurants.

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Free tax filing

Let's say you still have taxable income before and after all these savings and you need help in filling out and filing your tax forms. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less. To learn more go to irs.gov. For more freebies, here are 17 legit ways to get free money from the government.