Should I Join AARP?

Mark's AARP Card.JPG

(Danville, California)

It arrived, just days after my birthday! No, it wasn't a belated B-day card. It was my AARP Membership Card!

I was warned the American Association of Retired Persons would find me when I turned 50, and they have. Much as I tried to hide, they hunted me down, just like all my other friends who turned 50 this year.

The AARP is one of the most influential lobbying groups in Washington, D.C. Traditionally, people 65+ had the most consistent voting block in the country--the highest percentage of turnout for any demographic. It's probably still true, though young people surged to the polls last year in their greatest numbers ever.

Why would I join at 50? My normal retirement age for Social Security is 67. Aren't they jumping the gun? Obviously they want to get into my wallet-- and my voting habits-- at an early age. I'm no good to them when I'm dead, so invite me to the party early.

Some underemployed and unemployed friends of mine were joking recently, that we might get fake ID cards, so that we can lie about our age and pretend we are older. That way, some of these entitlement benefits may come to us early (and before they run out). This is not unlike the 16-year-old kids in my high school who got fake IDs so they could pose as 18 and buy beer early (not that I participated in this, of course).

So what should I do? Pay the $16 annual fee and join AARP, or try to hang on to my youth a bit longer?

I'll let my loyal readers decide. Write in at the "comments" section and tell me "yes" or "no" on joining AARP, and give your reasons why!

In the meantime, buy my book! "Age of Obama: A Reporter's Journey with Clinton, McCain and Obama in the Making of the President 2008" is available by clicking on the blue book button on the right side of this screen. Sorry, we don't offer the AARP discount!

For years I have contemplated joining AARP. I thought the discounts might be a good thing. However, I just read an article that pointed out that many of the AARP discounts are already being offered to people who are at least 55-60 years old. Under 55, sorry. For a number of years I have been hearing complaints about their political positions, along with increasing insurance offerings. This brings me to question AARP's true motivation. Assisting others or perpetuating a business and lucrative executive pay i.e. The March of Dimes. Perhaps when it was established in 1958 it was more relevant than today. I do agree with many that few people have the ability to retire at 50 years old. Have they always used the age of 50 as a threshold or has it been lowered to create more customers? I'd like to thank the author for his thought provoking question. So I asked myself the question, "Do I or anyone else actually NEED what AARP offers?" For me the answer is no.

AARP, no thanks. Here's some interesting reading.

I joined AARP when I turned 50 & at that time I thought what I paid was for a lifetime membership! To my surprise, I received a notice saying my dues were due! During the time I had AARP I never received a discount on anything maybe because I didn't try but I remember checking a motel rate normally & with the AARP discount & it was cheaper to go with the normal rate! Figure that! Anyway, I am not going to say AARP will not save you money, I just haven't seen any benefit yet to pay for my yearly rates! I'm 60 now & still believe I paid for a lifetime membership but I might rejoin one day as I get older if I see that there are good benefits to AARP!

I have just received my seemingly monthly re-invite to join AARP. The new registration form arrived with two embossed cards and an offer of a free messenger bag. Unfortunately, within the packet was not a listing of benefits if I join?

This time I will RSVP with a no thanks.

I will soon turn 65 and I have not joined Aarp just received info about their insurance plan but to get discounts must first join group...I am not convinced...I believe when any group or entity gets to big it no longer serves the people but serves those at the top running it

My late mother paid and paid and paid AARP for years, and when she needed help later, they hardly paid for ANYTHING. I have already received several cards from them - with my name already on them - and I have torn them up and trashed them, each and every one.

Thank you all for your comments and for helping me decide to throw AARP in the trash can!

Thank you all for your comments and for helping me decide to throw AARP in the trash can!

In my opinion they do nothing but for themselves! AARP is for AARP, Case in point is AARP's support for the Affordable Care act. Very small ssi raise ,some times no raise. Also THEY endorse legislation which will hurt seniors. I will not join AARP I NEED MY MONEY THAT IS NOT MUCH.

As I am several years pass 50. I went on several sites about joining AARP.........decison: Nope, don't think I will. Tks

AARP is a "strange animal." They claim to advocate for seniors, but often endorse legislation which - in my opinion - will hurt seniors. Case in point is AARP's support for the Affordable Care... Act, commonly known as Obamacare. NOW the biggest news of the day is that AARP has been granted a waiver exempting that organization and presumably those it insures from participating in Obamacare. What utter hypocricy! So now they join the State of Nevada, certain unions and a number of large corporations, as well as numerous businesses in Pelosi's Congressional district, as a privileged group. I hope Obamacare will be repealed. In the meantime, all waivers should be voided.

I joined AARP when I turned 50, then after a couple of years, I purchased a 5 year membership at reduced cost. I am now nearly 58 and my membership is up for renewal. I am debating whether to stay a member or not. In my opinion, they have become too large and too political in addition to beeing too much of an insurance broker. So, I am looking for an alternative, of which there seem to be several. In your case, I would shop around. I am thinking more and more that I will not renew my AARP membership.

Well I just got my card on the mail, problem is I am 49 and 1/2??? They must be desperate to get more people in.

Mark, I just shredded the latest mailing I received from AARP. They have been haunting me since I turned 50 a few years back. I remember getting that first mailing. It made my stomach turn. I just can't bring myself to admit I'm eligible for membership. Besides I find that my AAA membership gives me just about the same discounts for travel, etc. so thanks AARP, but no thanks.

I have to admit the discounts for AARP members are attractive. However, AARP sometimes takes positions with which I don't agree. I don't like their pretending to speak for all seniors. In some regards, AARP makes me think of certain unions. In its earlier years it stood up for seniors and did some good work, but as the organization has grown in power and wealth, its leaders have not always used their clout in the best interest of the country. They seem to me to be uber-liberal.

They may have good discounts, but they screw you in other ways. If you have medical coverage they will probaly find a way to get it cancled, they did to my sister. They say they are there for the mature people, but they are not they only help themself and a few of the richest people.

So if I were you I would look to other groups like the Alliance for Retired Americans they work real hard to make life better for all people.

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