AARP - real benefit or not

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djw2112

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Dec 30, 2018
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East Texas
I keep getting AARP stuff in the mail, just curious if its a real benefit or just another way to burn money for nothing.
 

Prior member

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Jan 20, 2015
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1,232
My opinion:
A complete waste of money and I have never seen or heard of any good benefit they have done for seniors.
I have noticed that they push for certain candidates in elections that always seem to be the ones that I don't want.

jack L
 

phil-t

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Jul 10, 2017
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Ogdensburg, NY
They do negotiate some decent discounts for members on certain things.  Maybe Medicare Advantage Plans, for some, would be advantageous.  You would have to read their info and make a decision.
Personally, I don't like their advertising or business.
 

Ernie n Tara

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May 16, 2009
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Location
Ft Myers, FL
Not very fond of AARP but they provide some useful discounts (about $6.00 per month. on consumer celluar for example).

Ernie
 

Old_Crow

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Nov 20, 2016
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Tom's Place, California
We signed up for AARP a few years back, prior to taking a 4500 mile vacation trip.  Over the course of that 2 1/2 week trip we managed not one single AARP discount.  Got more discounts for being former military than for being in AARP.  All the AARP stuff that comes into the post office box goes in the trash can right at the post office.
 

donn

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Nov 8, 2009
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5,372
AARP is nothing more than a political lobby.  Because its lobbying does not align with my political beliefs I wont give them a dime.
 

camperAL

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Oct 24, 2011
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Location
Indiana
Hi,

There are other similar groups that offer discounts on various items, related to season citizens. One of these are AMAC (Association of Mature American Citizens) They also lobby for benefits and are a more conservitive group. You would have to go to these various groups and read what they have to offer then decide. Here is AMAC's: https://amac.us/
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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West Palm Beach, FL
Wow - much more anti-AARP sentiment than I expected.  They do do a lot of lobbying for pro-senior gov't benefits, though I can't say they have been all that effective. And since they are basically looking to increase benefits from SS and Medicare/Medicaid, they support primarily liberal politicians, some of whom are not my own choice.  Make you own call on that aspect. However, I personally like having a "seniors" lobby in Washington to help combat the many special interests that want to reduce senior benefit programs.

I get our home and car insurance through AARP-branded programs, my wife has an AARP-branded Medigap policy, and we have the Allstate Roadside Assist service (cars, not rv) thru them as well. I chose them because they provide the best deal for us (yes, I shopped around), not because they are AARP branded.

Once in awhile we take advantage of an AARP discount, e.g. Denny's restaurants.  There are quite a few such discounts if you bother to seek them out, but I don't think they are a significant reason for becoming a member unless you are an avid coupon-cutter.
 

Dragginourbedaround

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Jul 15, 2013
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Southwest FL
Gary RV_Wizard said:
I get our home and car insurance through AARP-branded programs, my wife has an AARP-branded Medigap policy, and we have the Allstate Roadside Assist service (cars, not rv) thru them as well. I chose them because they provide the best deal for us (yes, I shopped around), not because they are AARP branded.
I was a member, but quit when I couldn't get them to slow down their mailings to a lesser amount. But I do use their Medigap policy and in FL from January 1st to May 15th they sponsor a free tax service. Just heard about it this year and tried it out for my mother. I was very impressed with how efficient they were. All volunteer tax workers and you go through three stages and when finished they file electronically for you.
 

garyb1st

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Dec 31, 2010
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Location
Southern California
Love the AARP magazine and newspaper.  Especially the last pages with birthday wishes to all the new seniors.  It's great knowing I'm not alone on the aging scale.  ;)
 

Dreamsend

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Aug 16, 2016
Posts
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Dragginourbedaround said:
Too much junk mail. Once you're on their mailing list it takes forever to be removed.

Do you mean removed as a MEMBER, or removed from the random mailings you receive based on AARP using mail databases?  If the former, then this is totally contrary to my experience.  I've supported AARP for about 5 years now, and my Mom has been a member since 1984.  All it took was one very pleasant phone call and all promotional mailings were stopped immediately.  No hassle, no argument, just a friendly, professional interaction.  Both my Mom and I were originally members due to using UHC Medigap and Part D insurance, but after 5 years with them, I'd support their efforts regardless.  If you're not a member, then I suspect you are receiving solicitations based on mass mailings from address databases, and you'd have the same difficulties trying to stop these regardless of who's sending them.

I think anyone criticizing AARP by calling them a "political" something really has no clue about what they do - it's just an uneducated assumption.  They are a lobbying organization, that works to protect and promote the interests of a senior population.  Those seniors are not aligned with any particular political party or ideology. In addition, most of the issues AARP works on benefit everyone, not just the elderly.  They track and provide input on issues relevant to senior interests and then, through their publications, work to keep seniors informed on those issues.  AARP could care less about what political party someone belongs to as they simply aim to protect a large discriminated population and will align with anyone doing the same.  There is never a hint of denigrating any group or class or people (political, religious, ageism, sexual orientation, etc.) in AARP's communications, which cannot be said of many other lobbying groups.

AARP's publications are an invaluable source of information needed by seniors and include issues related to healthcare, doctor/hosp scams, phone and internet scams, updating tax issues, drug costs!!!, senior employment, starting businesses, nursing/assisted living homes, caregiver help, alternative lifestyles and much, much, more - book reviews, movies for adults reviews. They ARE NOT political articles - just the facts.  If you're not a member, or don't read the publications, then you really don't have a clue as to what AARP is all about.  I for one have learned a tremendous amount about issues from finances to healthcare from articles in AARP that would not otherwise be on the radar.  What?, you think YouTube and Facebook are gonna provide it??    AARP was the only organization/publication that Bob Dylan agreed to sit down with for an interview about a year ago after many decades of denying everyone. 

I don't support AARP because of what discounts they can provide me.  I support that they represent my interests against those who don't have my welfare in mind - regardless of their political affiliation.  I don't keep track of the many discounts they offer, although I have gotten campground discounts a couple of places by being a member.  If you're in it for the discounts, then again, you miss the point of why AARP exists.  The discounts are just perks.

As to complaints about member ship cost . . seem a little petty to me.  It's $16 annually,, or $13 if you pay for 3 years.  That's a $1 and change per month, or the cost of one restaurant meal.  Considering the benefits I receive for having representation and for the information I get about relevant issues, I can't think of any greater cost/benefit ratio I get.

It's hard for me to fathom how anyone can "not be fond of" or criticize AARP for what they do - unless maybe you're 40 or under and have determined that you're being trampled on by the interest of an older generation or two.  Wait till you get there, you may feel different.

Linda
 

Isaac-1

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Dec 3, 2016
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SW Louisiana
Thanks for bringing this up, I reached AARP recruitment age a few months ago, and have been getting all sorts of limited time only offer junk mail.
 

jubileee

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Dec 17, 2013
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I?m a rock ribbed conservative and proud of it. I?ve been an AARP member for almost 30 years. Have United Heathcare Medicare Advantage plan and Hartford vehicle/ house insurance. Best insurance and lowest premiums I can find.
  If I didn?t use a company or organization because of SOME of their political leanings, I?d starve to death in the dark and cold.
  I think the only way to slow down any unwanted junk mail, email, and ect. is to get very old. I get less and less every year. Down to almost none from AARP for example.
 

Dreamsend

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Aug 16, 2016
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Isaac-1 said:
Thanks for bringing this up, I reached AARP recruitment age a few months ago, and have been getting all sorts of limited time only offer junk mail.

This is not an issue with AARP alone nor does it reflect on what they do as an organization.  Buy a house, and you'll get dozens of offers for insurance, repair warranties; buy a car, tires, or a major appliance and you'll get the same.  Own a credit card? you'll get 3-4 offers a week from banks to get theirs.  Take out a loan and you'll get solicitations for credit insurance.  Have digital services (phone/TV) and you'll receive constant mailing from the competition AND from the service provider to update. Donate to a charity and again, you'll be inundated with requests from others most of the time. This is a JUNK MAIL sales issue, and sadly there isn't much to be done about it. Selling address databases is ubiquitous.  It's how businesses and not-for-profits all work these days. 
 

BigJohn

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Feb 8, 2006
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219
Location
St Charles, MO
I have not found AARP advertising to be cumbersome, i called and was removed from all AARP advertising. But they must sell their mailing lists to everyone.  I do not buy insurance etc from them. I do get a small discount on my auto insurance from Auto Owners. DW and I take the driving ?test? from them periodically. It?s a good review of our driving habits. For us membership is a toss up. I?m sure DW and I blow 16 bucks now and then so we?ll stay a member.
 

taoshum

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May 21, 2009
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Location
Taos, NM
Never liked the endorsement fees coming to AARP from the bloated "sickcare" book keepers called insurance companies but at the same time, who's got the resources to keep track of all the shenanigans in congress as they try to reduce SS/Medicare? So, I guess if you don't need/use SS/Medicare there's not much need to be in AARP.  The "discounts" of interest occasionally are the better rates at some hotels/motels and some RV parks... and if you remember, Denny's.  The magazine has some interesting stuff but by and large they are not on any leading edges... same old, same old... every month. 
 
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