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!