The American Association of Retired Persons is the largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization in the United States dedicated to giving adults 50 and older the power to choose how they want to age (AARP).
If you’re thinking about joining, we can tell you all about the benefits.
This article will go over the various AARP discounts and resources in depth, as well as membership costs, requirements, and how to sign up.
What Exactly Is AARP?
“We fight for and empower each individual to live their best life,” says AARP, also known as the American Association of Retired Persons.
The organization, which currently has approximately 38 million members, achieves this goal by:
Speaking out for people over 50 on local, state, and federal political issues such as housing, Social Security, and health care; providing medical, financial, and social support to its members;
Policy reports are distributed through its research teams, and access to hundreds of discounts on restaurants, shopping, and other expenses is provided (additional details below).
One advantage of joining this club early is that the benefits of your membership contributions will grow as you approach retirement age.
Don’t dismiss AARP because you’re old; it’s an investment in yourself and your future.
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Ethel Percy Andrus, a retired California educator, founded AARP in 1958.
Andrus created market solutions such as low-cost group health insurance, a prescription drug discount program, and a travel service to help older Americans stretch their dollars and improve the quality of their lives.
The current membership of the AARP is just under 38 million.
AARP’s mission, which has offices in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands, is to help improve the quality of life for senior citizens.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Join the AARP?
Although the average retirement age is 65, there is no age requirement to join AARP.
Until recently, AARP had a separate membership category for people under the age of 50. (called Associate Memberships).
Anyone, regardless of age, can now easily sign up for a membership online.
So, if you’re under the age of 50, can you join AARP?
Yes, you can! Visit the AARP membership page to sign up. You’ll pay the same as everyone else.
You may only be eligible for some of the benefits available to people over the age of 50.
For example, to qualify for some retailer discounts that have age restrictions, you must be over 50.
Nonetheless, everyone can reap numerous benefits.
Price reductions on medical equipment, prescription drugs, and many travel-related items are among them.
What Does an AARP Membership Cost?
AARP offers three membership tiers, each of which is automatically renewed at the end of the term (you can cancel at any time). You can also sign up a spouse or partner for a full membership for free.
Tier pricing (as of 2022) is discounted in the first year and when paying for multiple years at once.
- The first year costs $12, and each year after that costs $16. If you agree to have your membership automatically renewed, you will receive the discounted first year.
- Three years for a single payment of $43
- Five years for a single payment of $63
What Services Does AARP Offer?
AARP provides a comprehensive list of member benefits, including special offers that can make membership worthwhile the first time you use them.
They are as follows:
- AARP Health and Wellness initiatives
- There are health insurance programs available.
- Delta Dental Insurance Company offers an AARP dental insurance plan.
- New York Life’s AARP long-term care options.
- Medico offers AARP short-term care insurance.
- Prescription drug discounts at several pharmacies (Walgreens, Walmart, and Kroger) as well as other medical items such as eyeglasses (LensCrafters, Target Optical).
- Medical equipment.
- AARP Brain health assessment by Staying Sharp.
- Calculate your BMI.
- Discount from WW (formerly Weight Watchers).
- UnitedHealthcare benefits (insurance plans, supplemental insurance, RX plans) that are Medicare-eligible.
- Services and resources for family caregivers.
- Calculator for long-term care.
- Discounts for in-home caregiving.
AARP Travel Advantages
The AARP benefits page displays your options for car rentals, travel packages, and travel discounts.
For example, if you book a Grand European Travel package for one of over 30 river cruises in Europe, Asia, or Egypt, you can save $100 per person. You can also get 50% off a few river cruises and 10% off stays at various hotels and resorts with the $100 savings.
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Members also receive the following travel advantages:
- Vacations by Rail cruise tours are discounted by 5%.
- Park Ride Fly USA locations are offering 12% off reservations with luggage assistance and an airport shuttle.
- British Airways flight discounts range from $65 to $200.
Shopping Discounts from AARP
Your AARP membership entitles you to discounts at a variety of retailers.
Members, for example, receive a coupon book worth up to $1,000 from Tanger Outlets, 20% off gourmet gifts from Harry & David, and 5% to 15% off goods and services at The UPS Store.
Other shopping deals include:
- Printable grocery coupons for free
- Get a 20% discount on your first $50 in Schwan’s Home Delivery purchases.
- a 20% discount on a Freshly meal delivery subscription
Additional AARP Member Advantages
Aside from travel benefits and retail discounts, AARP membership provides savings, services, and tools to help you maximize your retirement benefits.
- AARP Resume Advisor, as well as additional business and career assistance
- AARP Rewards for using the website’s features
- Apps, books, podcasts, television and video, and the AARP The publication
- Prescription drug discounts
- Financial planning resources, as well as free tax and financial advice
- Games, quizzes, contests, and other forms of entertainment
- Legal advice and representation
- Options for life, property, and auto insurance
- Discounts on banking and investment services
- Technology and wireless advantages
What Is the AARP Contact Information?
If you can’t find what you’re looking for on the website, please contact AARP at 888-OUR-AARP or 888-687-2277.
On Monday through Friday, the organization opens from 8 a.m. till 8 p.m. EST.
- For Spanish: 877-342-2277
- International: 1-202-434-3525
Dial 711 if you have a hearing impairment:
- English: 877-434-7598
- Spanish: 866-238-9488
Should You Join AARP?
If you don’t mind the group’s lobbying activities and can put up with the junk mail, it’s a great deal for most people over the age of 50.
Spending just one night in a hotel or a few nights out for supper each year can more than cover the membership fee.
The financial and healthcare discounts and tools are also exceptional, especially as you approach retirement.
If you’re still not convinced, consider signing up for a one-year membership that renews automatically to see what kind of discounts you get and how frequently you use the other perks.
When you consider what you get for your money, you have far more to gain than to lose.
How to Become a Member of AARP
Joining the AARP is simple when you use the AARP website. Here’s how you do it:
1. Navigate to the signup portal.
2. Fill out the form with your name, birthday, address, and, if applicable, your spouse’s information.
3. Create an AARP online account using an email address.
4. Determine the length of your membership.
5. Check the box to indicate your agreement to the terms and conditions.
6. Proceed with the payment.
7. Fill out and submit your billing information.
After submitting your online application, download the AARP Now app for member access on your smartphone to begin taking advantage of your member benefits right away.
In two to three weeks, you should receive your AARP membership card in the mail.
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Adding a Free Household Member to Your AARP Membership
If you already have an AARP membership, you can add your spouse or another adult living in your home as a secondary member to your account for free.
Even if they are under 50, they can have full membership status as long as you, the primary member, are.
They can also get their own membership card, which they will receive once you add them to your account.
You can add a second user to your account online at any time by following these steps:
1. Click the Login button in the red bar at the top of the screen. (If you are already logged in, skip to step 3.)
2. Enter your login information and then click Log In.
3. To access a dropdown list, locate and click on your name in the red bar at the top of the screen.
4. Select My Account from the dropdown menu.
5. Click on the Account Details tab. You can make changes to your account here, including adding a second user.
6. Scroll down to the Spouse/Partner section and click the Edit button.
7. Complete the fields for your secondary member and save.
8. To update this information, your spouse or partner must log in or register with aarp.org.
If you want to edit or delete this member from your account, please contact a representative at 866-684-9291 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday).
Is an AARP Membership Beneficial?
Absolutely. All of the above benefits are available with an AARP membership for the cost of a good lunch.
This is a no-brainer.
An additional benefit is provided by the AARP Prescription Discount card.
Non-members can also use this card, but members get even better discounts on prescription drugs.
The only thing required is that you pay the membership fee.
You can become more involved with the organization by joining local AARP chapters and volunteering for AARP programs.
The Downsides of Joining AARP
As an advocacy organization, AARP works with state and federal governments to advocate for senior-related policies.
That’s great if you agree with AARP’s positions on the issues it works to solve, but it’s not so great if your membership dues fund projects you oppose.
Another potential issue to consider is the amount of junk mail that will undoubtedly result from your membership, including from AARP itself.
The early and persistent renewal solicitations, which may lead people to believe that their membership is about to expire, are a common source of complaints from current members.
Because of its extensive benefits, free second membership, and affordable subscription, AARP is a desirable option for those aged 50 and up.
Others under this age can now join as well.
The 38 million members of AARP tell their own story! AARP is an excellent choice in general because it offers benefits in almost every aspect of life.
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