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Since its founding in 1958 by retired high school principal Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, AARP has grown into a reliable, trusted organization that provides a range of services — from health care to travel discounts — to over 30 million members.
Here we’ll cover the benefits members of AARP can access, as well as the cost and sign-up process.
AARP is focused on providing benefits to people over 50 years old, but that age is not a requirement for membership. People of any age can join AARP, but some programs — especially those dealing with health insurance — may not be available to members under 50 years old.
AARP membership is quite affordable, considering its large range of benefits. Membership costs $12 for the first year if you sign up for auto-renewal (the price increases to $16 per year after the first year). Discounts ranging from 10 percent to 21 percent are available if you are willing to sign up for a three- or five-year membership. AARP also offers one additional adult in your household a secondary membership for free.
A lifetime AARP membership can be purchased for $200. You cannot sign up for a lifetime membership online, though; it can be purchased only by calling AARP’s customer service phone number.
AARP membership includes a huge variety of benefits. Members receive discounts on travel, including car rentals at major companies such as Avis and Budget and hotel rooms at chains such as Best Western, Hilton, and Wyndham. Discounts are also available for cruises and air travel. In addition to providing benefits that make travel more affordable, AARP also offers its members travel-planning resources.
Members looking for assistance with financial planning may appreciate AARP’s programs that help with money management, taxes, and fraud prevention. Also available are insurance options, including health, life, and auto coverage, as well as discounts at restaurants, grocery stores, and entertainment venues such as movie theaters.
The AARP website provides a list of all membership benefits and discounts with easy-to-follow links for further information. The website also provides both members and non-members with access to free articles on health, travel, and money, specifically aimed at assisting older adults.
FYI: In addition to auto, property, and life insurance, AARP offers a range of health insurance options, including Medigap plans through UnitedHealthcare.
For AARP members who sign up for a UnitedHealthcare Medicare Supplement plan, Renew Active provides a free gym membership and other fitness-assistance programs.
The easiest way to sign up for an AARP membership is to visit the organization’s website and click the Join button. If you are interested in a lifetime membership or you prefer to speak to someone to complete your registration, customer service representatives can be reached Monday through Friday.
The membership application form on AARP’s website will prompt you to enter information such as your first and last name, date of birth, and address. You will be asked to provide spouse or partner information if you would like the free secondary household membership. Finally, you will need to choose a membership term of one, three, or five years, and accept the AARP terms and conditions.
Upon completing the form, you will be redirected to a billing page to complete the sign-up process. It can take a few weeks for your membership card to arrive in the mail, but you will have immediate access to your benefits with the digital copy of the card available through the AARP online portal or the AARP mobile app.
Once you have signed up for an AARP membership, you will create an online account that will require you to register a username and password. Once you have completed this process, signing in is easy. On the AARP website you will be prompted to enter your username and password, and you will be directed to your membership and discount information.
The cost of your AARP membership depends on the length you have chosen. A year-to-year annual membership costs $12 for the first year and $16 for each additional year when you sign up for auto-renewal. A three-year plan costs $30, and a five-year plan costs $45. A lifetime membership costs $200.
Retailers such as Walgreens sometimes offer a free AARP membership with a purchase of a certain amount, and other promotional offers are sometimes available online. These promotions change often, so check the current availability when you decide to sign up for AARP membership.
AARP is a trusted nonprofit focused on assisting older adults in all facets of life leading up to and into retirement. For an affordable annual price, members are granted access to a variety of benefits, including travel discounts, financial-planning assistance, and affordable insurance options. AARP also publishes helpful information on a range of topics that can help members stay up to date.
AARP’s low membership cost is definitely worth considering for anyone interested in having a reliable organization’s assistance in any of these categories.