There’s a running joke that when AARP starts sending you advertisements that you’re officially “over the hill.” While it’s true that AARP’s target audience is people over 50 and those that are retired, the membership is actually open to people of all ages.
There are a lot of reasons why an AARP membership might be worth it to both older and younger individuals, see for yourself.
What Is AARP?
Dedicated to making life better for seniors, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is a nonprofit organization. Official AARP membership is granted to those over 50, but an “associate membership” with almost the exact same benefits is open to anyone.
AARP has no political leanings and considers itself nonpartisan because it does not donate any money to political parties. Their focus is on providing cost savings, social advocacy, and health benefits to people of retirement age.
Started in 1958 by a woman named Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, the AARP has been serving seniors and community members for over 60 years.
What Are The Benefits Of Joining AARP?
First of all, joining AARP is very cheap. Not only does it cost only $16 a year (or less if you pay in advance), but your spouse or partner gets a membership for free. So your $16 annual investment is for two people.
AARP Annual Membership Rates:
- 1 year – $12 (with automatic renewal, $16 without)
- 3 years – $43 ($14.34 per year)
- 5 years – $63 (12.60 per year)
Now, on to the actual benefits of an AARP membership. Get a full list of benefits on their website, but here are some areas where the benefits really shine.
AARP has become a go-to place for seniors to get financial advice. They have a lot of free financial tools and resources to help you get the most out of retirement. They also have discounts on identity theft services, banking, and tax services. Some of the financial products are legally only available to people over a certain age.
Medicare isn’t exactly cheap, and AARP offers a great health care supplement plan in partnership with UnitedHealthcare. They also offer discounted insurance plans for eyesight, hearing, and dental, three areas of senior healthcare that most insurance plans are lacking in. AARP also has a lot of live and online events with free wellness information. They have several partnership programs that can help you save on prescriptions as well.
Not everyone knows this, but AARP puts out a great magazine full of insightful tips and informative articles. No matter what your age is, you’ll probably find something to enjoy. You can see the types of articles they create on the free digital site for their magazine. When you are a member, you will get a glossy printed copy monthly.
Free AARP App
Noticing that seniors who are close to retirement today are actually coming out of an in-between generation that grew up with, and without, the internet, AARP has launched its own app. You can get information, advice, and access to your discounts on the fly. You can also play free games to keep the mind sharp.
AARP members get access to lots of insurance discounts, including auto, home, health, life, and even pet insurance. The insurance discounts alone are a great reason to join. Seniors can experience an increase in car insurance rates as they get older. AARP provides discounted car insurance through The Hartford. The same insurance company also offers discounted homeowners insurance to members.
Member discounts are where AARP gets all the hype. You can get discounts on travel, including airfare, hotels, car rentals, resorts, and cruises. You can check out AARP’s detailed travel page for more information. You can even get travel planning services through AARP to help plan your vacation.
There are also lots of restaurant discounts available. Just a few restaurants they partner with are Applebee’s, Big Boys, Bubba Gump Shrimp, Golden Corral, IHOP, Outback Steakhouse, and many more. There are other discounts for those that like shopping or entertainment.
Does AARP Have Any Competition?
Yes, there are other senior advocacy groups out there to join. However, you have to be careful as many are owned by an insurance company or financial planning company and have an ulterior motive to get you to sign up for financial products. Other competitors are local groups, political groups, and faith-based groups. None have the size and popularity that match AARP.
One of its close competitors is the Alliance for Retired Americans, a non-profit senior advocacy group established in 2001.
|Cost||Between $12-16 dollars a year for two people.||$10 a year per person|
|Memberships||38 million||4.3 million|
|Health Benefits||Discounts on health insurance plans including medicare supplements, hearing, vision, dental, pet, and life insurance. It also has prescription savings.||Some benefits on vision, hearing, and dental, and prescription savings.|
|Financial Benefits||Access to financial planning and discounts on financial products.||None besides insurance savings.|
|Travel Benefits||Extensive travel benefits including hotel, airfare, cruises, and rental cars.||Some travel discounts, mostly on flight booking.|
|Entertainment Benefits||Discounts on many restaurants, movie and concert tickets, shopping discounts, free online games, and more.||Discounts on movie tickets and select live events.|
|Money To Politics?||No.||Yes. Some money goes to support political measures that support seniors.|
AARP Membership FAQs
How old do you have to be to join AARP?
Surprisingly, AARP membership is open to everyone! If you are younger than 50, you will get an associate’s membership. You’ll get all the same discounts except for a few health or financial products that are only available by law to people of a certain age.
How do I get a free AARP membership?
There are two ways to get a free AARP membership. The first is to have a spouse who signs up for AARP. The membership comes with a free add-on membership for married couples and partners.
The second way to get a free membership for one year is to watch for Special Walgreens promotions which have happened roughly once a year since 2017. You can also find coupon codes online for reduced membership fees.
How do I add my spouse for free?
Add your spouse or any adult living in your house at any time by accessing your online account. Log in and then go to the account details tab. You will find the area to add your secondary member under “personal information.”
How do I renew my AARP membership?
You can choose membership with auto-renewal to your debit or credit card so that you’ll never miss a beat. If you don’t want to opt-in to the automatic renewal, you will be reminded by e-mail in advance of your membership’s expiration date, reminding you to renew.
How do I contact AARP customer service?
You can e-mail AARP or fill out the contact form on their website. If you need immediate assistance, you can call them at 1-888-687-2277. Their customer service phone line is open Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 11 PM EST.
How do I get a digital membership card?
If you always forget your membership card, then you’re in luck. You can download the AARP smartphone app on Android or iOS. The app contains your digital membership card and easy access to a list of local places you can use your AARP discount.
How do I use my AARP membership to increase my loyalty rewards?
Several loyalty programs, including Walgreens, credit card companies, and airlines, will super-charge your rewards if you connect your AARP membership. For example. You can earn an additional 50 points per dollar spent at Walgreens if you are also an AARP member.
Who Should Join AARP & Is It Worth It?
If you love to travel, enjoy restaurants, and want discounts on everything from insurance to breakfast, then you should probably join AARP. Certainly, everyone over 50 can benefit from the retirement and financial planning advice plus all the discounted financial and healthcare services.
Even people younger than 50 can get a lot of your membership in the travel benefits alone, not to mention the entertainment and other discounts.
The AARP membership price is so low, covering two people at $12 to $16 a year, that you won’t have to worry about coming out ahead. Not only will AARP help people of all ages save money, but you also get satisfaction knowing your membership fee is going towards supporting senior advocacy.