AARP Membership or Not

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AARP Membership or Not

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Nov 1, 2011, 2:35 pm

I just received my AARP application in the mail (how do they know I recently turned 50?). What are the pros and cons of joining?

Nov 1, 2011, 2:45 pm

If you like to travel, a lot of pros!

I have been saving money on hotels since I joined up, earlier this year.

You also get special discounts towards cell phones, etc.

Check out the AARP website for more information.

Oh, and if you join, and have a spouse, the spouse gets membership too, for no additional money.

For me, it was $16.00 well spent.

Nov 1, 2011, 2:54 pm

The travel discounts are sometimes good, although often not any better than AAA discounts -- you have to do a bit of comparison discounting to see what works best. Other than that, the only con I can see is that we get more life insurance junk mail since we joined.

Nov 1, 2011, 11:38 pm


Nov 2, 2011, 12:11 am

I find the only magazine I read cover-to-cover anymore is the one that comes with my AARP membership. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

Nov 2, 2011, 12:18 am

> 4

Why not?

Nov 2, 2011, 1:22 am

I've heard about how powerful the AARP lobby is in Washington and I'm reluctant to give my money to an organization that might push an agenda that I wouldn't agree with. I'm not sure what their positions are but I believe I've read that they're part of the reason that the problem of funding Social Security can't be solved.

Nov 2, 2011, 6:01 am

So many good reasons NOT to join: they will NOT oppose the raising of the age of retirement and SS benefits to 72, they will not oppose cuts to Social Security, they lobbied to only permit no more than 3 candidates in any one presidential debate, they supported a pharmaceutical bill--for which they were paid millions of dollars in lobbying fees......among others. Google: reasons to not join AARP and you will find many reasons. The benefits are equal to AAA as far as travel goes, in fact, I've found several instances where AAA was better. I know of what I speak because my father in law joined AARP.

Nov 2, 2011, 10:37 am

I've been thinking of dropping my AAA membership since they lobby for automobiles while I think it would be better for people to find alternatives to their cars. But that roadside service benefit is so useful.

Nov 3, 2011, 1:43 pm

I don't want the retirement age raised. I've seen too many people defer retirement, then get some illness and disability before they can get any enjoyment out of the end of their lives. Besides, in this day and age, what if you lose your job? Who's gonna hire someone who's 60+, much less 70? People over 50 have a hard enough time if they find themselves needing to look for work.

Out 10, 2012, 9:02 pm

I gave it a shot for a year...that was some time ago. It was for me a waste of time and money as their interests are incongruent to my own.Once I let the membership drop I kept getting all kinds of JUNK mail in addition to the PLEAS TO RENEW. I could not stop this annoying stream of irritation either by calling or writing... SOMEONE MUST HAVE FINALLY GOT THE MESSAGE or got tired of WASTING their time and money, for I think it is over a year that I have not received anything.

Nov 18, 2012, 3:33 pm

Speaking of travel, yesterday I met a couple who are going on a trip with the "Rhodes Scholars". I immediately started talking about a Yale Professor friend who leads trips for alumni.

"So are you both Rhodes Scholars?" I ask.

LOL! I never knew Elderhostel changed their name!

(Road Scholar, get it?)

Nov 18, 2012, 5:46 pm

12 > I guess they thought "Elder" made it sound old.

Nov 18, 2012, 8:40 pm

>12 Sandydog1:

When I first heard the term "Rhodes scholar", I thought it was "Roads scholar"

Jan 22, 2013, 3:20 pm

I have had a good experience with AARP. My dad is a member and he recently moved into assisted living, he doesn't drive but has a car that I use to take him to the doctor and things, when his insurance co of over 40 years wouldn't insure the car because it was at a different address then him, AARP was able to refer us to an insurance company that would cover him.

I'm also a member but so far all I've done is read the magazine.

Jan 22, 2013, 3:32 pm

I have been in both AAA and AARP. Politically AARP is powerfully offensive on many issues, as described above. It's magazine would be an insult, in style and content, to any nine-year-old who chanced to read it. By contrast, at-least once per issue I find something worthwhile in the tabloid-style Bulletin, though I could probably read it free on the 'net anyway. For discounts, AAA has an advantage over AARP in that the Canadian Automobile Association gives certain reciprocal discounts to Americans. Honestly, the advantages of either one are trivial compared to the un-met needs of retired persons. What's needed is a kick-ass new organization. Not sure, though, that I have the remaining time or inclination to start it -- ah me. -- Goddard

Mar 31, 2014, 9:20 pm

I get really tired of all the junk mail they send me. I also rarely agree with their political views.

Mar 31, 2014, 9:36 pm

>17 nmaners:

The best way I found to get yourself off the list is to contact the headquarters in addition to customer service or membership services. Also when the stuff shows up in the mailbox with a reply envelope, reply with the polite but firm request to stop pestering me. That is pretty much what I did several years ago. It took a while but once all the components of the system got the message I haven't been bothered (even the auto insurance stuff stopped!).

Abr 3, 2014, 3:03 pm

I joined last year because people kept praising the travel benefits they provided. After that year I concluded they really don't offer anything I would ever use and let it lapse. Also, they promised me a free tote bag when I joined and it never arrived :/

Abr 3, 2014, 3:35 pm

I've been happy with my membership. I don't use the discount benefits very often, but now and then they've come in handy. I like the publications. For instance, I've read some very clear and useful information about healthcare and Medicare in AARP magazines.

I've always gotten my free stuff, too.

My only complaint is sometimes they send mail with both my name and my late husband's name on it, which always depresses me. I requested that they remove his name, which helped for awhile, but I've gotten a few more recently. Probably because there are multiple databases involved.