6 Things To Know About AARP Before Joining

AARP is a nonprofit membership organization offering seniors many benefits and resources. This guide will cover everything needed to know about AARP, including its membership benefits, advocacy efforts, and how to join.

When advancing in age, people start thinking about retirement and the associated costs. AARP helps ease those concerns by enabling its members to age with dignity and independence. With over 38 million members, AARP is one of the largest membership organizations in the United States.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for people aged 50 and over. It empowers them to choose how they live while aging. It provides information, discounts, and opportunities for anyone approaching retirement age.

Here’s a beginner’s guide to AARP and what they can do.

What AARP Does

Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus and Leonard Davis, the first president of AARP, founded AARP in 1958. The firm’s goal is to improve your quality of life for people getting older. AARP is best known for its advocacy of Americans aged 50 and over. They lobby on critical issues like Social Security, Medicare, and prescription drug costs.

Some of the benefits and resources AARP provides members to age independently and live their best lives include:

Health Insurance

Health is an important part of AARP’s mission. AARP has partnered with UnitedHealthcare to offer the members health insurance options. These options include Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, and stand-alone Prescription Drug Plans.

When enrolled in the Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan, members can get coverage for out-of-pocket costs, like deductibles and copays. AARP also offers a dental plan and vision plan.

AARP provides free online health assessment tools, such as the AARP Health Calculator and the AARP Food & Fitness Tracker. The AARP health assessment tools help members understand their risk for certain health conditions and offer suggestions for staying healthy.


AARP members get discounts on hotels, rental cars, and many other products and services. These include wireless plans and memberships to fitness clubs. AARP also offers a program called AARP Driver Safety that gives members a discount on their car insurance.

Financial Planning

AARP offers members financial resources to help them plan for retirement. They have a retirement calculator and offer investment planning services. The retirement calculator helps estimate how much money a member needs to have saved for retirement. Investment planning services help them plan where to invest their money to reach their retirement goals. AARP also has a program called AARP Money Map that provides members with a personalized financial plan.

AARP Magazine

AARP members receive a monthly magazine with articles on health, finance, travel, entertainment, and other topics of interest to seniors. The magazine features stories about AARP members making a difference in their communities that inspire others to take action. To stay up-to-date on the latest AARP news, members can also sign up for AARP’s e-newsletter.


AARP members can take advantage of special travel deals and vacation packages. Some travel packages are all-inclusive resorts, cruise packages, and guided tours. AARP offers a program called AARP Travel Center Powered by Expedia, where members get even more discounts on travel. They save money on hotels, flights, car rentals, and more.

AARP offers a travel toolkit with tips to plan trips, what to pack, and how to stay safe while traveling. There’s also a program called AARP Roadside Assistance that provides 24/7 roadside help for AARP members. In case of an emergency, while traveling, they can call the AARP’s 24/7 NurseLine.

AARP Foundation

The AARP Foundation is AARP’s charitable arm. The foundation helps AARP members stay in their homes and communities as they age. Seniors in need get help with meals, transportation, and other services through the AARP Foundation. The foundation also offers free tax preparation services for low- and moderate-income taxpayers and free financial counseling.

Joining AARP

AARP infographic

While AARP is dedicated to serving seniors over 50 years old, membership is open to everyone. Anyone can join at any age and enjoy the benefits of AARP membership. However, they have to wait until they turn 50 to get the full benefits of AARP membership. Some benefits, such as discounts on auto insurance, are only available to members over 50 years old.

To join AARP, sign up via the website, mail, or phone. Applicants need to provide their personal information, such as their name, address, date of birth, and email address. Their credit card information is also required when joining to pay the membership fee.

The subscription fee for AARP members is $16 a year. When signing up for automatic renewal, members get a discount on their membership fee and pay as little as $12 for the first year. AARP also offers a lifetime membership for a one-time fee of $200. Full members have access to secondary membership benefits for their spouse or partner.

How to Use the AARP Website and App

The AARP website and app offer access to all AARP benefits for members. They can use the AARP website and app to:

  • Manage AARP membership
  • Access AARP member benefits
  • Renew AARP membership
  • Update AARP profile
  • Find AARP discounts
  • Search AARP events
  • Get the latest AARP news

To access AARP benefits, members log in to the AARP website or app using their AARP member number. They will find their AARP member number on their AARP membership card. If they don’t have their AARP membership card, they need to request a new one by logging in to their AARP account and selecting the “Request AARP Card” option.

Once they are logged in, they can start using their AARP benefits. They search for the business or service they are interested in to find AARP discounts. AARP also offers a printable discount guide they can take when traveling.

When looking for AARP events, search by location or date. AARP also offers online events members can take part in from the comfort of their homes.

The AARP website and app are free to use for AARP members. Non-members can create a free AARP account to access some of the website’s features. However, they will not access AARP member benefits until they join AARP.

AARP’s Advocacy

A core part of AARP’s mission is to advocate on behalf of seniors in the public policy arena. The organization lobbies Congress to pass bills that improve the lives of older Americans. AARP also sues companies that discriminate against older workers and fights to ensure seniors have access to necessary programs and services.

Some of AARP’s recent advocacy victories include:

  • Passing the Secure Act, which will help more Americans save for retirement
  • Defeating a proposal to slash funding for Social Security and Medicare
  • Stopping an effort to raise the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67

AARP works to protect seniors from fraud and abuse. They educate seniors about scams and help them report any fraud they have experienced.

Is Joining AARP Worth It?

With all the benefits AARP offers, it is no wonder many seniors decide to join the organization. Whether they are looking for discounts, health resources, or ways to stay active and involved, AARP has something for everyone. The annual membership fee is a small price for all the benefits members receive. To join the organization, visit AARP’s website or call AARP’s customer service number.

You might also be interested in: 10 AARP Benefits Easily Worth The Price Of Membership

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