Opinions on AARP membership please

I am in my mid-50s and have been getting AARP invitations for 5+ years and never really gave it much thought. They are running a discount now where it’s only $9 / year if you join for 5 years. It seems pretty reasonable that I could make that back in discounts.

If you’re a member, do you use the discounts? If so, which do you use? In general do you feel like you get anything out of being a member?

I’ve always refused to join AARP. The discounts aren’t anything I wouldn’t already get through AAA and the amount of junk mail you receive from AARP and their “associates” is a significant contributor to global deforestation. My mother was a member for a while and then could never get rid of them when she decided it wasn’t worth the fees.

YMMV, of course.

Likewise for my SO: not worth the fees to figure out how to actually use the discounts and they keep pestering her to rejoin.

I get useful information from the newsletter, I want to support their lobbying, and the ads are hrlpful for finding some things older relatives need (like phones with big buttons).

Same here. I was kind of pissed off the first time they contacted me, wondering how the hell they knew my age. Since then I get something weekly from them.

Recently a vendor mentioned that I could have 10% off my purchase if I had a AARP card. I told the guy I was 64 and not a member, nor would I ever be a member. He was a bit embarrassed (my tone might have been a bit pissy) and gave me the discount anyway.

I used their discounts mostly when I was in my 50s, which surprised people since I didn’t look old enough to be a member. I still use them now, but most places I go already have senior discounts.

I continue to be a member because I appreciate their lobbying work, I learn from their monthly magazine, and I appreciate their helping seniors drive safely.

I taught the AARP Drivers Training Class for ten years here in Montana, and many of my students hadn’t attended training since they were in high school. Many didn’t realize that driving laws had changed in the past 50 years.

Do they really lobby for anything helpful? I don’t want to join unless they promote things I care about.

For instance, since they start pestering you to join once you turn 50, they should advocate for Medicare for 50+ since right now any of their members who are 50-64 are SOOL.

I bought a year’s membership when I first became eligible, saw that they didn’t offer discounts on anything that I needed, and the first time I took my card out of my wallet was to throw it away, a year later. Since then, they’ve probably spent many more dollars trying to get me to sign back up than I gave them in the first place, by sending me multiple mailings & magazines & such.

I joined when I was in my early 50’s, I think, and then ironically dropped out shortly after I retired. Somehow along the way I had somehow acquired a 2nd membership, and when one expired, I canceled the other. For some reason, I have gotten nothing from them since then. Perhaps they are more aggressive towards the younger potential members? I don’t know, but I’m counting my blessings.

I never used the discounts, and I became disillusioned with their actual political clout and the uses thereof. You would think, for example, that they would be on the forefront against Republican efforts to maim and destroy social security and medicate, but not a whisper hear I from them about that. Perhaps the majority of their members are Republicans? Again, I don’t know.

Thanks everyone. I will continue to ignore them.

Exactly this. It’s totally useless.

I would like to respectfully disagree with those who say it’s not worth anything. I have been a member since my mid-50s, mostly because my Dad was. I typically find that the discount they offer me on hotel rooms is better than the discount I get being a member of the hotel’s loyalty chain. In addition, I use the discounts at two meal places fairly frequently (Outback and Dennys).

This year alone I saved more on hotel rates than my meager annual membership fee.

Finally, the fact that they are advocating for things that do help seniors makes me want to support their efforts. I can handle the junk mail. A couple more pieces one way or the other does not make that much of a difference in my mailbox. Especially now that the political season is over!

AARP is a politcal action committee (PAC) even though they swear that they are not. If your politics align with theirs by all means contribute to them, just understand that is who they are.

My politics do not fully align with theirs so I do not support them. They have very little to do with advancing the causes of retired persons. They are a historical off-shoot of the National Retired Teachers Assn. You are not going to get enough special deals and discounts to matter.

They are using your monetary contributions for political reasons, and occationally throwing you a bone in the form of supposed discounts.

The AAA discounts are identical and you get towing service on top of the discounts.

That seems to depend on the hotel chain. I typically try each of the boxes for discounts, and the ones that have separate AAA and AARP boxes seem to have different rates. YMMV

I just joined the other day, 5 years for $45. I researched the benefits quite a bit and it seems to boil down to this: it is worthwhile if you don’t mind the junk mail.

Not everyone has AAA (I do not). Also, AARP offers one of the top rated Medicare Supplement policies (UnitedHealthcare), which is probably what I am going to go with. They also offer dental and vision, if desired (I’m undecided about those).

From this site:

Is AARP worth it? For most people age 50 and older, it’s a great deal, as long as you’re comfortable with the group’s lobbying efforts and can stand the junk mail. Just one night in a hotel or a couple of dinners out per year can cover the cost of membership and then some. Healthcare and financial discounts and resources are also outstanding — and especially helpful during your transition to retirement.

mmm

I just turned 55. I don’t care for their political positions, so I will never give a dime to AARP.

Now we’re talking. I’ll look into that in six years.

This might be more up your alley.

I feel like I should know this- What exactly are AARP’s political positions?