Is an AARP Membership Really Worth It?

is an AARP membership worth it? A look at the benefits and why you should just admit that you are now 50 and enjoy the perks!

When my husband started getting membership applications from AARP around his 49th birthday, he was the laughing stock of the family. “Ha, ha, dad,” the kids would jeer. “You’re officially old.” Not wanting to admit his advancing years, he threw the offers in the trash.

A few years later, the same mailings started coming with my name on them. But before I tossed, I remembered a hotel clerk once asking me, “Do you have an AARP or AAA membership?” So I opened the mailing to see what the American Association of Retired Persons had to offer.

is an AARP membership worth it?  A look at the benefits and why you should just admit that you are now 50 and enjoy the perks!

Publications

Six times a year AARP Magazine brings celebrity profiles, breaking health news, financial advice, book and movie reviews, travel information and more to member mailboxes. (That’s the box on the street, not the one on your computer, ha.) 10 times a year the AARP Bulletin brings even more in-depth information on health, finance, Social Security, and consumer protection in a newspaper format. In addition to these publications, members can access AARP TV and AARP Radio, webinars, and other media channels.

Insurance

AARP members can secure policies to insure everything from home, auto, and health, to credit and identity theft protection. They also provide healthcare tools, resources, and discounts on prescriptions. A few of the great tools they offer are:

Financial Information

Since Americans are living later and later, AARP finds it helpful to guide their members through the financial maze of retirement. With sites for work and entrepreneurship resources, online money tools, investor protection resources, and more, a member is sure to find the answers to their financial questions through AARP.

Discounts

This is the area that drew me to the AARP in the first place. Just a couple trips to Denny’s and my husband and I have covered the $16 yearly membership with the 15% discount we get on our meal. Other discounts include (but are not limited to):

  • Amazon Kindle
  • Angie’s List
  • Carrabba’s Italian Grill
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Michael’s
  • Movies Unlimited
  • Outback Steakhouse
  • Papa John’s
  • Reebok
  • Rockport and
  • The UPS Store

Travel

As I already mentioned, I was reminded of the advantages of an AARP membership by a hotel clerk. But getting hotel discounts is just the tip of the iceberg where travel help is concerned. AARP members also receive discounts on select airlines and railways, resorts, cruises and tours, and automobile rentals. You can get information on all your AARP travel benefits at AARPTravel.com.

A few other benefits that are worth pointing out include tax help, legal advocacy, and housing solutions for those 50 years old and older. AARP offers the largest free, volunteer-run tax preparation and assistance organization in the nation. The AARP Foundation Litigation assists members in fighting, through the legal system, consumer fraud and discrimination in healthcare, housing, employment, and more. And lastly, through counseling, education, and resources, the AARP Foundation’s Housing Solutions Center assists older members who are at risk of losing their homes.

For information on all that AARP has to offer its members, visit their website at AARP.org.

Is an AARP membership really worth it?  Why you should just admit that you are now 50 and enjoy the benefits

My friend Betty turned 85 last week. Sunday, at church, I asked her when I could call myself old. “You’re not old,” she said. “What are you, about 50?”

“Fifty-one,” I replied.

“You’re not old until you’re 80,” she said.

Whether you consider yourself old or not, what other resources have you found in support of older Americans? I’d love you to share them with us in the comments!














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24 Comments
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  1. tom rice

    Thanks for your newsletter. I would not join aarp because of its support of many very non conservative organizations/affiliations. I like to support many organizations which uphold principles and creeds conservatively and biblically. AMAC is a much better alternative which aligns with my values.

    • Good for you. What ever floats your boat. Different strokes for different folks. I know that AARP has fought here in the state of NJ to keep phone costs and other utility charges down.

  2. I would run as fast I can from AARP. They supported Obamacare and are just a mouthpiece for liberal progressive left.

  3. Barbara T.

    A great resource is CAS – Convolescent Aid Society, Pasadena, CA. As a result of buying hospital equipment for patients to use at home and having those items returned when the need no longer existed, we have built up a warehouse full of hospital beds, wheelchairs, commodes, bath benches, lifts, walkers, crutches, canes and other durable medical equipment. Now the free loan of medical equipment for in-home use has become our focus. The Convalescent Aid Society has become the model for the re-use and recycling of this critical equipment. After my elderly father had a stroke, I was able to get a free loan wheelchair and other home medical equipment and supplies, i.e. a commode, diapers. This is a generous service that really helps people in need.

    Also, SCAN a medicare advantage plan offers many benefits at no cost, like prescription drug coverage and many other benefits too many to mention.. Medicare alone does not include that. You have to pay an additional premium for medicare part D-prescription drug coverage.

  4. AARP is one of the more progressive – left wing – anti growth – anti balanced budget organizations in America – it is totally hard to believe that folks would sell out their Christian principles for a few discounts. There are Christian – conservative alternatives that are worthy of a Christian’s support.

    • The question was “what other resources have you found in support of older Americans…?” Can you list the alternatives you are referring to, rather than criticize the organization mentioned in the article? This would be helpful.

      • Thank you, Sandi. If I knew of alternatives, I would check them out.

      • Here are several other alternatives to AARP. National Association of Conservative Seniors (NAOCS) – naosc.us, Association of Mature Citizens (AMAC) – amac.us, American Seniors Association (ASA)- americanseniors.org, Conservative Senior Association of America (CSAA)- conservativesenior.org, Generation American – generationamerica.org, 60 Plus Association – 60plus.org. There are many who are just turning 50 and beyond who are very interested in these alternatives because of the way aarp has acted towards different legislation in the last few years. Hope there’s at least one of these that help. The one I have heard of the most is AMAC.

    • Ivan is correct. They were strong promoters of Obamacare. They are extremely liberal in their lobbying .

      I had been considering using some of the for fee services with Christian PF but this article and recommendation of AARP, especially without mentioning the better alternatives is scaring me off.

  5. Amen to that comment. We dropped a arp when they supported Obama and “spoke” for us. Obama care is not In the best interest of us older Americans!

  6. Sandra

    The Association of Mature American Citizens is a GREAT alternative to the left wing AARP. As you say, AAA is another great alternative…anything AARP can do AMAC and AAA can do and BETTER…because they don’t support liberal causes and the redistribution of wealth as promoted by Obamacare.
    Other alternative groups: the National Active Retirement Association, American Seniors, Fox promotes Generation America…these are some wonderful alternatives to AARP AND, unlike AARP, they fight FOR seniors, not against!

  7. Bill Harry

    I just can’t get it out of my mind that AARP endorsed the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare). They apparently buckled under the weight of the Current Administration and the Democratic Leadership.
    They use to be a strong PAC to deal with protecting the needs of senior citizens, Now they appear to be just like other groups…it’s all about their bottom line.
    I have been receiving offers from AARP for about 5 years, as has my wife. We 86 the propaganda applications.

  8. Thank you, everyone, for sharing the AARP alternatives. I had no idea of their political agenda when I wrote this post.

  9. Sherri

    I was a member of AARP for many years but dropped my membership this time around mostly because of their support of Obama Care along with some other issues. Thanks to those who gave alternatives. At 63, I like to keep up with issues affecting the senior population.

  10. Kathleen Bailey

    Thank you but no thanks in regarding to signing up with AARP.. This organization has become very liberal and sides with the liberal agenda which is not in the best interests of our country or spiritual values. A more conservative option is AMAC that is friendly to
    seniors and is not liberal orientated.
    Thank you for our time.

  11. I agree with the comments. They offer little that you can’t get with AAA. While I’m not a senior yet, my parents have elected to NOT participate due to their liberal agenda. I find it strikingly ironic that the generation which should have the depest Christian roots supports an organization like AARP. My decision to be conservative falls primarily on the decision to support Christian values. For me, not everyone, it’s hard to align with a party who not only supports such agendas like homosexuality and abortion, but celebrates it. When the President or First Lady personally calls an athlete who comes out and says he’s gay, something is wrong. I doubt Tim Tebow got a call from the President praising him for his bravery in being a steadfast Christian. I digress, but I think you can follow my logic. I don’t think that AARP is inherently bad, but I can’t support an organization who supports and aligns itself with the agendas mentioned above.

    The AARP is taking a significant hit as a result of it’s decision to be so openly left wing. From 2008 to 2010 – only 2 years – it lost 3 Million members – down from 40M to 37M. Maybe if they were openly conservative they would lose just as many. I’m not sure. However, if you are simply looking to save $$ consider joining AAA.

  12. I dropped AARP because I wrote them and ask them to speak out against the seniors being discriminated against on Federal Income Tax. Most people don’t know this but on the 31st day of Dec. you are 64 years old and worked and had earnings you can get the earned income tax credit. But if you turn 65 0n the 31st of Dec. you don’t get it. I ask them to check into it. They wrote and said to contact my Congressman or Senator . I dropped my membership there suppose to lobby for us.

  13. Wow so great to see so many who agree that AARP is not senior friendly.

    I am really shocked that you have this article here on CPF with out having checked on alternatives yourself to post along with this article. But maybe that was your intent to push liberalism off on us? I hope not one thing I like about CPF is that it is leans conservative.

    My husband joined AARP way back when he first turned 50 and we dropped it after we realized what they pushed. I enjoyed some of the feature articles and the discounts but it was not enough to combat the reality of their politics. We are now member of AMAC https://amac.us/ They are conservative, for seniors and for America. They are fairly new and so they don’t have a lot of places backing them up so they can give discounts. So when I see that a company I like is backing AARP I write an email or letter letting them know that I don’t like it. That I am a consumer too and I have conservative views and want the same consideration the AARP’s get or I won’t consume their products any more.

    Thank you to those who posted other Senior friendly organizations to check out.

  14. Great article. I can’t wait to sign up and receive the many benefits that AARP has to offer me and my same-sex spouse. I’m sure all the organizations listed by others have an “agenda”. I’m just glad we all have the choice to pick the one that best fits our own needs and views.

    • Thelma

      Good for you, Joan. I am shocked to read the comments from so-called Christian seniors. They are frightened by the President calling an athlete and upset that he didn’t call Tebow? Really, I suppose that age doesn’t necessarily bring wisdom. I do not understand how someone can get to this age and still think like the conservative, right wing, old, white, rich men. Obviously, life didn’t teach them anything about caring for others. No, I am not black so don’t even go there. What I am is an old, disabled, poor, full-time working woman that understands that the world has moved on; the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s are long gone. I am a Christian and was taught that I am not to judge others. I certainly would not question whether an organization was siding or leaning a certain way (aren’t you leaning, also). The elderly are often viewed as steadfast individuals; how you were raised is the only correct way, not open to change, and certainly non-tolerant of anything that’s a bit different. Love one another or don’t, but post your racist views on the many, many sites that encourage such ignorance. J C Penny’s has white sheets on sale…..

  15. I have been researching whether or not to join AARP. After reading information on discounts, etc. on several sites, I had nearly decided not to join. Then I read some of the racist, self-centered, comments posted here against AARP. So, I will be joining AARP. I am seriously disturbed by the hate, ignorance, and lack of empathy that comes out of the mouths of so-called Christians.

  16. Janis Barrs

    I too, am amazed by the right wing tilt of hate and supposedly conservative values – like taking from the poor and giving to the rich, a tax code and banking system that screws over everyone but the rich, fighting every war possible but not providing for the troops and corporate welfare galore. So sad.

    I will never understand why people do not support health care for all. We are the only developed country that does not provide health care for its citizens. Health care SHOULD NOT be tied to your job. People in this country have been brainwashed into believing that insurance companies actually care about people. Like all corporations, they only care about the bottom line – profits.

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