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Is AARP Membership Worth the Investment?

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My husband is turning 50 years old in a couple of weeks. I'm just wondering if it would be worth it for him to join AARP? I know it's only $16 a year, but I'm wondering if the benefits are worth it and who better to ask than the wise Thrifty Fun family? Anyone care to share their advice or opinion on the matter? Thanks!

By Judy

Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By Magnus T.01/16/2013

Sadly Harford will not write in Florida, so not a benefit here.

By Magnus T.01/16/2013

Membershipis 12.60 a year for both you and another if you sub for 5 years that 6.30 a year per person if you got some one over 50 to share the second membership with which could be your spouse or other family over 50 and I also agree that AAA is horrible on Long Island as living in Tampa Bay were there are five offices I was shocked to find only 4 on the Long Island and only one in suffolk county plus AA has goten quite expensive which is why we no longer belong to AAA.

By alberto elliott01/30/2011

I have AARP membership ever since I turned 50, and have used the grocery, meals and insurance travel discounts over the years. My home, umbrella and auto insurance (http://aarp.thehartford.com/) through AARP is a better deal than other carriers so I find it useful. The AARP magazines are also good reads for lazy afternoons sometimes.

By Pixiedust7 [7]01/23/2011

Yikes! $16 a year? When I renewed my membership 2 years ago, I think I paid about $13 for THREE years! I have a year to go, and I'm not sure about renewing again.

I'm on the fence about them. I enjoy the online Discussion groups and participate all the time, since joining them (as JingleBelle). There is a lot of good info in these discussion groups - people are very helpful toward each other and share valuable tips, just as the ThriftyFun community does. The magazines are interesting and informative too. Years ago, Modern Maturity used to have beautiful cover photos, both front and back, and on the insides, usually nature photos. That was back when my parents were members. ;-).

On the other hand, I never took any of their insurance because I do better on my own. I have only benefited once from any discount. I do not always agree with their positions on many issues, especially the Medicare supplement programs. AARP really is mostly a marketing company and they get a lot of revenue from their affiliations with their advertisers.

I don't like AAA at all, I had it for a couple of years and the service was abysmal. They do not have enough garages signed up in my area of Long Island NY, which is surprising, there ought to be 100s. I had terrible responses to my calls. The last time, I waited over 2 hours for someone to come. I kept calling AAA back. They claimed the guy couldn't find me, utter hogwash as I was on the shoulder of a major road (Sunrise Highway) in plain sight. Not only that, but the guy in the AAA office was nasty and hung up on me! Road service never did show up. Someone pushed my car into a parking space in the railroad station and gave me a ride home. I told off AAA and switched to Texaco RoadStar, now Shell, and have had much better service.

So, is it worth it to be a member of AARP for the magazines and online forums? That's something I'm trying to decide for myself. We each have to weigh what we get out of it.

By Maryeileen [76]01/21/2011

I joined to get their magazine, not for the discounts, and I've been satisfied with their publication. You can also get their newsletter via e-mail and sign up for on-line groups for discussion.

By Noella [9]01/19/2011

I, too, was a member of AARP for several years and found that it really didn't benefit me. I did use their car insurance through Hartford for several years. The first year I saved about $300, but I noticed that the premiums kept increasing. I never ever had an accident or ticket, yet they kept increasing. Finally, I started shopping around for car insurance and found I saved money by going with the company which insured our house. I don't know how long I'd been paying the higher premiums with AARP, but I was pretty upset when I found out.

There are so many other discounts available. Even at hotels, other discounts were better than AARP. I haven't been a member now for about 3-4 years and found I really have better things to do with my money.

By Vi Johnson [231]01/19/2011

No! After paying for their ins. for several years. I had to go into the hospital. They paid $50. After I turned 65 they cut down the amount to $30 a day for hospital stay. You better have great eyesight and be sure to read the fine print, because they never advised us of the change. We Canceled AARP. GG Vi

By Judy = Oklahoma [57]01/18/2011

Thanks everyone! You pretty much told me what I already figured. I didn't think it would really save us any money, but it has been mentioned to us from a couple of people(including my mother), so I thought I might be missing something. We already have AAA, that I don't want to get rid of because we use it for hotels when we travel. Also, I have read some on the kind of things they lobby for, that I don't agree with, so I think I'll pass on this one. Thanks!

By Teresa Tart [1]01/18/2011

I highly recommend AAA. I have them and have gotten my money back that it cost to sign up in different ways. I had to have my car towed home and it was nice not having to pay anything. Also discount on hotels are nice.

By Betty [104]01/18/2011

I don't see any benefit. They advertise insurance as cheaper but I've found that to never be the case. When my membership is up I won't be subscribing again. Really not worth the money. They mail out a Bulletin to members that oftentimes has some good information such as political but that's about it. When I rent a motel when traveling I ask for AARP discount and they never ask to see my card. Just asking for a senior citizen discount works.

By daradams [4]01/18/2011

It is definitely not worth the money, no benefits and they are very definitely a left leaning organization and do not represent all the senior citizens they supposedly represent. Use your money somewhere else. Do not join.

By AuntieBim [3]01/18/2011

Lorelei & Deeli, and most others, pretty much said it all: Find out where your money really goes. Some of you may be quite shocked. Realize that so much of what they "offer" can be had without them for nothing. If you're looking for lower rates on insurance or other items, shop around. Try asking your current company if they can lower their rates, this works. They don't want to lose your business, and they will work with you. If not, there are many other companies out there that will. Also check into consolidating, like all insurance coverages with one company. Big discounts there. I

for one never wanted to join AARP, and wish they'd quit sending me all their junk mail that I've been receiving for decades now! [and did you know they've taken over Medicare? find y'self another Rx drug plan if you haven't already! may be "too late" to change til end of the year, y'know how the govt. messes with us! but if so y'can be ready then.] Travel? How does that work? Trips can be planned by y'self, or with other help, travel agencies vie for your business as well. An' a question for foxrun41: Does AARP pay for your travel and expenses to these annual meetings? Bet they don't. No other organization I've been a part of covers our expenses, but their meetings/conventions/etc. entice you to attend. Yes they can be interesting, fun, etc. I can't afford to travel anywhere anyway, so scratch another reason to join!

By Jeneene [3]01/18/2011

I recommend it, but look online. I bought a 3 year membership for much less than the ads say. Have no idea why. They send out two magazines a month and they are my favorite magazines. Lots of good info for seniors. I dropped AAA and now pay $4 a year for towing insurance through my car insurance company. Most offer it. I found the $60 for AAA was too high, since I can get the same discounts through AARP!

By Anonymous [848]01/18/2011

The thing to keep in mind is that you can get discounts on so many things without paying a yearly fee to AARP by doing some research of what you're looking for. Also, should you decide to use any of their insurance discounts they will only be in effect as long as you continue to pay the yearly fee so you have to do the math as to whether or not you're really receiving actual discounts on any particular insurance policy.

I was an AARP member for four years and decided it was a silly waste of money overall and also decided because of things I found out about AARP that Lorelei mentioned in her post. I did not renew after that because I am not going to support anything that undermines my personal beliefs. I wish I would have checked in to the details of what the company actually does and stands for before I ever joined. That $16.00 can be put to far better uses. Oh, and even at just age 50 many stores and restaurants offer Senior discounts so just ask. ;-)

By Donna [2]01/17/2011

I joined AARP when I turned 50, but found that AARP and AAA discounts are almost the same and I always have AAA, so did not renew AARP.

By Myrna [13]01/17/2011

Check to see what AARP supports. You may change your mind when you see the dollars you put into it go for something you may not support. I would recommend doing research on any organization one considers getting into. Much of those dollars are earmarked for other organized groups that are supporting things that tear down our country's moral standards.

By SusannL [28]01/17/2011

I haven't joined. I already get discounts for hotels through AAA but there are even cheaper deals on line and in coupon books. I used to read my dad's Modern Maturity magazine which has some good articles, but I feel they are out of sync with most post 50's people. To entice me to join they offered me a free lunchbox with AARP in screaming white letters on it. I would be mortified to carry that to work. I'm at an important juncture in my career and carrying an AARP lunchbox does not fit.

By Deanj01/16/2011

You can join for one year and see if it is of benefit to you. I have been a member for several years and the only thing I have used it for is their yearly meetings in Sept held in different cities of the country. I have visited 4 cities. Los Angles,Orlando,Washington DC and Boston. About 25,000 people attend these 3 day meetings. They rent a large auditorium have have all these booths set up from different companies for members to visit. As well as outside activities and day trips. Every member should attend one of these meetings for the fun of it. Other than the AARP insurance I don't see a need to join.

By Joan [13]01/16/2011

It might be beneficial for people that need insurance for different things. Also if you are going to be doing a lot of traveling and can use their discounts in various hotels, etc.

By Laura01/16/2011

My husband and I joined when he turned 50 also, and I don't think we used it ever. Now on the other hand here is a tip on it. As a member of AARP you can get a lower quote on Auto and homeowners ins thru Hartford Ins. My mother did this over 30 years ago when she joined AARP. I bought into my mothers house with her so we automatically got the benefits of being on Hartford. It lowered my auto insurance quite a bit. Just thought it was worth mentioning!

By OliveOyl01/16/2011

We joined years ago when my husband was old enough. We took the membership thinking it would be useful, would save us some money, etc. Turns out we never used anything AARP had to offer, so we did not renew the membership.

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