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?” and wondering – What is AARP? So I opened the mailing to see what the American Association of Retired Persons had to offer.
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.
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:
- AARP Health Law Answers
- AARP Caregiving Resource Center
- Health Care Costs Calculator
- Online Health Tools
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.
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
- Movies Unlimited
- Outback Steakhouse
- Papa John’s
- Rockport and
- The UPS Store
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.
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!