Is AARP membership worth it?

Yes, the dreaded moment has arrived - the Marketing Gods have heard about my upcoming milestone birthday and sent me the membership packet in the mail, complete with offer for Free Sporty Tote!

I am, first and foremost, a pragmatist. Is AARP membership worth the whopping $16/year, 25% off if you sign up for auto renewal? Or am I just as likely to find better deals on my own? In what situations might I find it worthwhile? We don’t tend to stay in chain hotels or eat at chain restaurants pretty much ever, and rent a car (domestically, anyway) maybe once a year if that.

You know what really makes it NOT worth it?

All the junk mail (email and regular) and phone calls you’ll get from AARP and all the other companies that AARP sells your name to.

Don’t start, they really will never let you cancel.

Dude, don’t do it. Never give them your name on purpose. Think of the trees. The poor trees that are sacrificed to send out all that paper to every baby boomer in the USA. Bad. Resist.
ETA oh, and the sporty tote is worth about 3 cents. Maybe.

Is it just me, or does ‘AARP’ sound like the sound a person makes just before he dies? ‘Aaaaaaaarp!’ croak

I fear the power of their lobbying and refuse to contribute to it. We boomers have done enough damage…

I had read, for years, about how AARP has such an amazing database of Americans, with their birthdates, and that how they start plaguing you with invitations to join upon your 50th birthday. I turned 50 three years ago, and never got a peep from them – and I still haven’t ever gotten a direct-mail piece from them. I felt left out!

However, my parents (who still live in the house where I grew up) recently told me that they’ve been receiving AARP invitations, with my name on them, for three-plus years. :smiley:

I always thought it sounded like a belch. Chugs down some beer “AAAAARRRPP!!”

It always reminded me of The world according to Garp. One of the characters can speak correctly and says Garp’s name, AAAARP.

I sighed up this year, and I’m 48! We just spent a week in New York and the AARP saved me $125 at a Hilton property. If I hadn’t had this specific use case, I would not have bothered.

I am a member of AAA. I get the same discounts through them and that membership has a practical use. And by the way, in all of the years that I’ve had a AAA membership and gotten discounts, I’ve never been asked for proof.

Nowadays with the Internet and sites that collect discount codes and such there’s very little advantage at all. We have a nice deal on roadside service thru them (which we used soon after starting it), but I don’t even bother using them for hotel/auto rental discounts since I can get at least as good a deal elsewhere.

What’s really fun is joining well before 50 because your spouse is eligible and then flashing the card to get a senior discount.

I joined, but I don’t see any value from it. As mentioned, you get the same discounts from AAA, which has been much more useful to me. And we keep forgetting to ask for our senior discounts when we’re out (we’re both in our 60s) so that’s not a factor.

I asked for an auto insurance quote thru AARP, and it was higher than I get with GEICO, so that was a bust. I get their magazine every month and it goes into recycling unread because I’m just not interested. When my membership is over, I don’t intend to renew.

They started on me before my 50th, and the same with my wife. I asked them many times over the next few years to knock it off, finally threatening to report them to the FTC for harassment and Do Not Call violations. I haven’t received any spam from them since, but it’s only been about a year.

I had the same experience the one time I used a membership-tied discount (alumni, in my case).

That’s what I came to say too.

This. Stay away from AARP. As long as you have a AAA membership, you’ll get the same discounts without all the additional deforestation.

Eh AAA send me plenty of paper crap. URGENT! Certificate of Eligibility! Maybe there’s some option I can turn off on their website that I haven’t bothered looking for.

AARP somehow got my name when I was an infant.

Yeah, all the free tote/cooler/pouch things they give out are made from that paper fabric that reusable grocery bags are made of.

IMHO, the lobbying is the biggest plus for AARP. Their efforts nudge lawmakers towards preserving Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and research toward curing the diseases that are lying in wait to kill us old folks. There’s plenty of lobbying out there to gut all that stuff, so that only the wealthy can afford to get old, sick, or crippled.

Mind you, they’re not completely altruistic. AARP is also a big insurance company. The insurance is not compulsory, of course, but they’ll remind you now and then that they sell it.

I turned 50 in July, and they sent me a birthday card prior to that, and I think I’ve gotten two more since.

My dad bought his Medicare supplemental plan way back when, and that’s been good for him so far. I suspect the current plans might not cover as much.

I was thinking about joining as well. For me, it would be for the lobbying effort. I don’t want the junk, or the junk mail, but I’m getting a lot of it the associated junk mail already anyway.