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augustlan's avatar

Do the benefits of joining AARP outweigh the pissed-off-edness that comes with realizing you're old enough to join?

Asked by augustlan (47376points) April 5th, 2011

My husband qualifies to join AARP, but he’s been reluctant to do it. I know there are benefits to it, but I don’t really know if they’re worth paying for. Or if they’re worth listening to my husband bitch and moan about being a member. :p

We don’t travel a lot, we don’t buy a lot. I’m not one to buy extended warranties or road-side assistance plans, because I figure that the very few times I might need them, I’ll just pay out of pocket. Is AARP a similar kind of thing? One of those “it’s nice to have, but not really worth the money” things?

Has it benefited you?

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18 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Auggie, I get the cards. It sucks, but what’s your other option?

john65pennington's avatar

When I turned 50, my mailbox was flooded with AARP information. I joined for about a year and like you, I decided that the few benefits offered was not worth the money I was spending for it. So, I cancelled AARP and increased my AAA coverage, since my wife and I travel a lot. I realize there is power in numbers, like AARP, but for some reason, I feel my money is better spent in AAA.

That first AARP letter in the mail, is like a death notice that you have just joined the “over the hill gang”.

A bummer. jp

AmWiser's avatar

I remember when I became eligible for AARP, they start sending information when you turn 50 and you’re telling yourself..hey! I’m not ready for this s$%t. My husband on the other hand was thrilled to start getting offers and more discounts afforded older people, so he signed us up. Anywho, like any program, there are some good and some not so good benefits to joining. Personally, I find a lot of good useful information in their magazines.

JilltheTooth's avatar

AARP started sending me requests to join when I was 35. So I’d respond (because of discounts and such) and then they’d tell me I couldn’t. Mean buggers. So at 50 I was finally allowed to join and did. I like getting the discounts and stuff, more than that, I like that I’m still here and able to. C’mon, guys, all bitching about age aside, isn’t it better to be eligible to join than the alternative???

Judi's avatar

Even if you don’t use the discounts, they are a strung lobbying voice for us older folks. (I just became eligible a few weeks ago.)
Even without the discounts, I usually agree with rhe causes they champion.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I refuse to spend my money to finance an insurance company’s lobby. They make enough profit, they can hire their own.

gailcalled's avatar

I use the AARP medicare gap insurance plan. It has been a godsend to me, as an important supplement to Medicare.

I also enjoy the magazines and newsletter, particularly the tips about investing, health, role modeling and cooking. For the $10 or similar pittance per year, it’s a cheap benefit.

SpatzieLover's avatar

One of my aunt’s swears by her deep discounts at stores, hotels, trips and more.

My mom says “eh”...but she’s not really a discount user.

I’m not of age yet, however, I agree with @Judi. I tend to support the same causes they lobby for. When I am of age, I’ll send money.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Judi @WestRiverrat AARP sends out “free” memberships to people, and then uses the membership count when they do their lobbying. In other words, they are counting people who have not even formally joined. I don’t like being represented by a group that doesn’t even bother to ask my opinion before “representing” me.

Most AARP benefits are available to anyone over the age of 62, but if you join at age 50, you get an earlier chance at the benefits. I did not miss anything when I cancelled my membership.

The same or better discounts are available through AAA and you get travel protection as well.

WestRiverrat's avatar

AARP supported the medicare cuts in HCR. which will hurt senior citizens. But AARP will make $1 billion over the next 10 years because of it.

AARP does not support the average senior citizen.

Carol's avatar

While AARP Health is a collection of health-related products it does not provide Medigap Insurance or anything else. You don’t have AARP Medigap, you have United Healthcare, which you can easily buy on your own. AARP Medicare Complete (United Healthcare) claims to follow all medicare guidlines, yet they do not follow medicare guidlines, they do not recognize modifiers that Medicare requires on their billing codes, they do not cover the services Medicare covers and no one in their customer service department nor claims processing department even reads appeals when they are mailed in.

AARP gets kickbacks from the companies it directs you to. AARP makes enormous profits in directing their consumers toward the companies under their unbrella. That is its sole purpose.

Their membership fees are not due until Dec, however AARP’s 1st invoice arrived in March. As in past billing cycles, they mail this “fake” invoice stating “reply by May 31, 2011” every 2 to 3 months (just changing the reply by date each time). This seems unethical…preying on their members.

Regarding auto insurance, their first year rates at Hartford are reasonable, but the renewal rates keeps increase by with no claims or accidents. Their home insurances charges you 10% if you try to leave.

New York Life insurance company, endorsed by AARP is currently running a TV ad that is obviously designed to scare the elderly into buying their life insurance. They are suggesting that if you have outstanding debts such as medical bills, credit card balances and funeral expenses they may fall to relatives to be paid. This is tactic is despicable. No relative is responsible for any medical expenses or credit card balances beyond the ability of the deceased estate to pay.

The credit card they promote (Chase VISA) charges 24% for a cash advance rate PLUS a 3% fee. Such a deal.

AARP is only an advertising front – and a poor one at that. It’s a manipulative organization that lures people in with their low membership fee, a membership card for discounts, a monthly magazine filled with their ads. This seems great at first, then you realize someone must be paying for this. The advertising in their magazine are sponsored by AARP. What does AARP offer? Just over priced, no value insurance plans.

Once they have your name, they will mail you stuff forever on life insurance, car insurance, medicare insurance and offers to join AARP long after you’re a member. Even after many requests to be removed from their list….its goes on. and on.

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dabbler's avatar

As far as I can tell AARP used to be a very strong advocate for seniors rights before they got into the insurance brokering business. That distorts their agenda and as noted by @WestRiverrat they have taken what I consider to be the wrong tack on several major issues recently.

Oh, and it does suck to get the solicitations at 50 when you might have just reconciled yourself to middle-age.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@dabbler AARP has always had ties to insurance. AARP_Origins

lillycoyote's avatar

I was pissed when they lowered the age to join to from 55 to 50 because I’m running out of things I am too young to be eligible for and that was one of them.

SecondHandStoke's avatar


Thanks to science aging is hardly what it was.

So I can look forward to more age related problems in my lifetime. This only proves that humanity’s power to extend itself is working.

Mere growing pains in the most literal sense.

Are mice going to populate the heavens before us, thus rendering Earth obsolete?

Didn’t think so, WE are.

No matter what Frankie and Benji believe.


Judi's avatar

I got my first Senior meal at a restaurant the other day. When I asked the cu off age she just said, “We won’t card you. ”
I guess that’s better than saying “oh, YOU’LL have no problem.

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