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!
tom rice says
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.
I thought some big thing was amiss so i did research. ONLY thing i could see was American health insurance. I am very religious and wanting Health insurance for all Americans sounds like what Chris would want. To love and help everyone.
If you find something that is actually hurtful against people, then let us know.
My son had American health insurance, that he could afford. My other son is able to get insurance even working part time, where before he would not have. Though i do not think it is perfect, it is not a anti Christian thing.
I would run as fast I can from AARP. They supported Obamacare and are just a mouthpiece for liberal progressive left.
James Corbin says
Janis Barrs says
And what is wrong with every American having health care?
Art Amor says
I have ‘Obamacare’ and love it. As a self-employed person, it is saving me a ton of money. The quality of the coverage is excellent too. Moreover, no one asked me about my medical history when I signed up. That ALONE makes the program worthwhile. Insurance companies can no longer discriminate. “Thank you, Mr. President!!”
Barbara T. says
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.
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.
Carol J. Alexander says
Thank you, Sandi. If I knew of alternatives, I would check them out.
Kirk Severs says
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.
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!
Speak for yourself! I am an older American, and even though I don’t need OBAMACARE, I am glad it is there for the less fortunate.
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!
Bill Harry says
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.
Carol J. Alexander says
Thank you, everyone, for sharing the AARP alternatives. I had no idea of their political agenda when I wrote this post.
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.
Kathleen Bailey says
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…..
<3 Me too. Thank you for speaking out!
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.
Janis Barrs says
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.
Inspector Gadget says
Good Day To You All, Liberal and Conservative Alike!
I am just turning of age where I have been receiving mailings for AARP. I blogged to see “what the honest to goodness” benefits are, Pros, Cons, etc.
What I see is a pattern of so called “Conservatives” very much dissatisfied with the representation of the AARP organization, and while I try very hard to remain objective and respect everyone’s views, I have to agree that the predominant motif here is that most all comments appear to be from strongly Conservative Members that disagree with the Liberal posture of AARP.
I try to respect everyone’s views, and that can be hard for anyone as we all have our own and remaining objective is difficult at times. What I would like to ask in a sincere and informative way is “What exactly, being of a liberal nature, makes AARP bad?”
Would someone be kind enough, besides siting “Obama-Care”, what Liberal stances/lobbying that the AARP has done that has been so harmful to it’s constituents? I would like to make an informed decision before I indeed opt to join this organization or not, and it appears that many of you out there (Both Conservative AND Liberal) seem privy to a great deal that I am not. Would you all be kind enough to elaborate, but do so in a manner that isn’t so opinionated as to nullify the examples to begin with?
Ultimately it would be great if AARP satisfied “Both” sides of the fence, but let’s face it, that is something that our governing bodies (Senate, House of Representatives) can’t even do, so why should we expect any specific organization to do the same?
Respectfully requesting some objective information,
Mike Hunt says
Well, actually I belong to AAA which actually does me some good ! I won’t support this liberal organization and give them my hard earned money so they could give it away to useless causes! Sorry !
Dick Burns says
I agree with Mike Hunt.
S. Jones says
Oh my goodness I am so ashamed for the people that posted negative comments towards other people.. As a Christian woman It has always been my belief that we are not to judge others that is our Lord And Saviors
Job. I’m not yet 50 but disabled due to a terminal disease I thank y’all that put the info on the other groups on this board I will research them all. Have a Blessed day
D. Richards says
Great comments here. I didn’t realize that AARP supported Obamacare, and I’m now joining.
I’m in my 50s and I make good money (top 2%, not far from top 1%). I don’t need Obamacare. But at one point in my life I did need it and could not get insurance. Obabacare is a terrible law. It’s got huge gaps and is far from idea. But it’s something – it’s the best bill congress could pas. I have spoken to both my my Senators about it and asked why they couldn’t do better. They both told me “the support in congress wasn’t there.” This is a terrible compromise. It’s still better than nothing.
FYI, I am fiscally conservative. Getting uninsured Americans on health care will SAVE us money long term. Go to you local hospital and ask the administrator what happens when somebody can’t pay for $500K in hospital costs. We’re already paying for it.
Here Here.. and thank you for speaking out. I am joining AARP as well.
When an organisartion cannot tell me what they are using my dues for – I run!
I have tried three times today to get an answer to what they use the dues for – and no one seems to know!
Mr Girard says
AARP gives the most bang for the buck of all the membership benefits association. They promote themselves as non-partisan although they continue to support more left-leaning causes. There are several right-leaning alternatives to AARP if you prefer. And there is one non-political, Christian alternative called CAP that puts Christ Above Politics. It’s small, has fewer benefits, yet it is getting better all the time. It’s not for everyone, but if your faith in Jesus Christ is stronger than your political affiliation, then you might want to join.
Tina M Bowen says
How much is it after your first year.
very simple we cannot present the pros and cons of anything without saying left wing liberal or right wing. we need to realize that most people have both conservative and liberal leanings. remember the bible says take care of the sick the poor and the crippled and as an independent who once was a republican i can say that most republicans have forgot that although declaring that they are christians. i can no longer be a democrat nor a republican because i deem them to be politicians.