Author Topic: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?  (Read 26129 times)

Mr Mark

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Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« on: June 03, 2014, 04:07:01 PM »
Unfortunately, public records mean when you cross that rubicon of 50 years, the AARP, the American Association of Retired Persons is a non-profit lobby group.But their cards will get discounts, and it's only $16 for a membership, which includes their magazine.

Anyone a member and thinks it worth it, or not? 

Numbers Man

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2014, 05:03:09 PM »
Not a member, but be prepared to be overwhelmed with solicitations from AARP and their partners trying to sell you something every two minutes when you become a member.

NinetyFour

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2014, 05:20:07 PM »
I have been wondering the same thing, as I am now a "certain age".

I was making hotel reservations recently and was asked if I am an AARP member.  I should have asked how much my discount would be I were an AARP member.  Hmm.

ch12

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2014, 05:28:24 PM »
I have been wondering the same thing, as I am now a "certain age".

I was making hotel reservations recently and was asked if I am an AARP member.  I should have asked how much my discount would be I were an AARP member.  Hmm.

When I was 14, I got a temporary AARP card in the mail that I could use to prove my membership until I saw the light and paid for membership. When I got that card, I saw just how many discounts they had.

http://discounts.aarp.org/

The discounts will outweigh the $16 in upfront costs.

NinetyFour

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2014, 05:30:40 PM »


When I was 14, I got a temporary AARP card in the mail


Is that a typo??  Or is the AARP being extra aggressive these days??  ;-)

Joggernot

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2014, 06:23:42 PM »
Not a member, but be prepared to be overwhelmed with solicitations from AARP and their partners trying to sell you something every two minutes when you become a member.
+1
Was a member for a time, then found out what my dues were used for politically.  They spend a great amount of money on their causes, which don't agree with mine.  Dropped the membership and still get their solicitations.  You can get discounts from many other sources, if you choose.

Eric

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2014, 06:31:59 PM »
Was a member for a time, then found out what my dues were used for politically.  They spend a great amount of money on their causes, which don't agree with mine.  Dropped the membership and still get their solicitations.  You can get discounts from many other sources, if you choose.

Is there something besides advocating for SS and Medicare that they get politically involved in?  Genuine question, as those are the only two topics that I ever hear them associated with.

Joggernot

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2014, 06:37:42 PM »
Was a member for a time, then found out what my dues were used for politically.  They spend a great amount of money on their causes, which don't agree with mine.  Dropped the membership and still get their solicitations.  You can get discounts from many other sources, if you choose.

Is there something besides advocating for SS and Medicare that they get politically involved in?  Genuine question, as those are the only two topics that I ever hear them associated with.
They are rabidly anti-gun, support any candidate that is anti-gun, and support all liberal causes.  I am conservative financially and politically.  Look up how they spend their money both for AARP and for their PAC money, etc. to see what I am talking about.

Eric

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2014, 06:46:27 PM »
That's why I asked you!  So I wouldn't have to look it up!  :)

It doesn't much matter to me, as I'm a ways off from being asked to join.  Just curious.

EMP

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2014, 06:50:24 PM »
I have been wondering the same thing, as I am now a "certain age".

I was making hotel reservations recently and was asked if I am an AARP member.  I should have asked how much my discount would be I were an AARP member.  Hmm.

Hotels are around 10% for any sort of discount AARP/military/AAA.  Most of the time you don't need to prove your membership.  And you can always "forget" your card.  Actually, if you ask for any sort of discount at all  you'll typically get one, unless they have you over a barrel. 

TreeTired

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2014, 07:40:38 PM »
I just re-upped for 5 years, $49.    They offered me a discount as my renewal date got very close.

NinetyFour

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2014, 08:02:41 PM »
Interesting.

NC_MJ, would you mind sharing the ways in which you think the membership benefits you?  Thanks.

I did quickly look at the list of discounts, but the only ones I would probably take advantage of are the hotel ones.  Being mustachian, I buy very little other stuff.

Milspecstache

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2014, 08:13:49 PM »
Was a member for a time, then found out what my dues were used for politically.  They spend a great amount of money on their causes, which don't agree with mine.  Dropped the membership and still get their solicitations.  You can get discounts from many other sources, if you choose.

Is there something besides advocating for SS and Medicare that they get politically involved in?  Genuine question, as those are the only two topics that I ever hear them associated with.

In my opinion, they throw the elderly under the bus every time they see a political opportunity.  I am not at all impressed with the literature they send my parents who used to be members.

Discounts are nice but only if you align with their political goals/viewpoints.  Otherwise I wouldn't support them, no matter how much money they saved me.
They are rabidly anti-gun, support any candidate that is anti-gun, and support all liberal causes.  I am conservative financially and politically.  Look up how they spend their money both for AARP and for their PAC money, etc. to see what I am talking about.

TomTX

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2014, 08:18:24 PM »


When I was 14, I got a temporary AARP card in the mail


Is that a typo??  Or is the AARP being extra aggressive these days??  ;-)

They've been sending me an invite every 3-5 years since my early 20s, usually with some kind of temp card or faux card.

viper155

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2014, 08:33:55 PM »
AARP is nothing but a shill organization for the Democrat party. If thats your thing....then go for it.

ch12

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2014, 09:27:02 AM »


When I was 14, I got a temporary AARP card in the mail


Is that a typo??  Or is the AARP being extra aggressive these days??  ;-)

They've been sending me an invite every 3-5 years since my early 20s, usually with some kind of temp card or faux card.
Not a typo. Very aggressively recruiting new members.

randymarsh

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2014, 09:48:27 AM »
They are rabidly anti-gun, support any candidate that is anti-gun, and support all liberal causes.  I am conservative financially and politically.  Look up how they spend their money both for AARP and for their PAC money, etc. to see what I am talking about.

Are you sure that's not because Democratic candidates are typically the ones who don't want to dismantle Social Security and Medicare? Even if they're pro gun-control, I can't imagine that being a top priority. It doesn't make any sense.

socaso

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2014, 10:52:06 AM »
My dad uses the AARP discounts all the time. It's kind of cute how much he loves being a senior.

clarkm04

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2014, 10:55:02 AM »
Are you sure that's not because Democratic candidates are typically the ones who don't want to dismantle Social Security and Medicare? Even if they're pro gun-control, I can't imagine that being a top priority. It doesn't make any sense.

It's hilarious how the anti AARP crowd sprang up in late 2009 and 2010.  Why?  AARP analyzed Obamacare and felt it would help members under 65 with insurance so the came out in support of ACA.  Couple this with numerous statements and votes from House Republicans about dismantling Social Security and Medicare and it shouldn't surprise anyone that a lobby to preserve these programs isn't going to support many Republicans.


Mr Mark

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2014, 10:58:19 AM »
Are you sure that's not because Democratic candidates are typically the ones who don't want to dismantle Social Security and Medicare? Even if they're pro gun-control, I can't imagine that being a top priority. It doesn't make any sense.

It's hilarious how the anti AARP crowd sprang up in late 2009 and 2010.  Why?  AARP analyzed Obamacare and felt it would help members under 65 with insurance so the came out in support of ACA.  Couple this with numerous statements and votes from House Republicans about dismantling Social Security and Medicare and it shouldn't surprise anyone that a lobby to preserve these programs isn't going to support many Republicans.

Makes sense.

Jack

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2014, 11:54:47 AM »


When I was 14, I got a temporary AARP card in the mail


Is that a typo??  Or is the AARP being extra aggressive these days??  ;-)

They've been sending me an invite every 3-5 years since my early 20s, usually with some kind of temp card or faux card.
Not a typo. Very aggressively recruiting new members.

They've been sending me stuff for years too (I'm 29), but I figured it was by accident (e.g. maybe they got my record mixed up with my dad's) instead of on purpose.

eil

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2014, 02:38:02 PM »
Quote
http://discounts.aarp.org/

The discounts will outweigh the $16 in upfront costs.

Okay, I went to the site and all of the discounts that I can see are nothing that a mustachian would spend their little green employees on anyway.

Mr Mark

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2014, 03:18:56 PM »
Well, one interesting product I found.

at age 51 I could get a fixed annuity, with early death protection ( you, oops, your estate get nominal premium less payments back if greater than zero), paying $978 / m, for a onetime payment  of $250k. Thats a AAA rated "SWR" with no capital loss of 4.7%. Before inflation of course, thats the trick. By age 70 it'll be worth half that, maybe a lot less.

age 60? Only a little better at 5.4% yield, $1120 /m, so best to buy it young I'd say! ;-)

There are a lot of people freaking out over in investor alley about the next market crash, falling yields, the sky falling, etc etc.

If you are over 50 and aren't eligible for social security or a pension this is not a bad option for those too risk averse to put much in the stock market, and so hold too much cash. It is worse than a balanced portfolio, IMHO, because of the inflation. It also puts a nice cash asset value on any pension or SS you do get.

I have not price compared this annuity btw.  Maybe better is available in the free market anyhow?

It was the 51 starting age that got me... :-)

Mr Mark

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2014, 03:25:28 PM »
Owning your own house should pay a much bigger imputed yield than an annuity, btw.

And note such an annuity is kind of the inverse risk to a 30 year fixed mortgage...

ch12

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2014, 04:21:44 PM »
Quote
http://discounts.aarp.org/

The discounts will outweigh the $16 in upfront costs.

Okay, I went to the site and all of the discounts that I can see are nothing that a mustachian would spend their little green employees on anyway.

Even Mr. Money Mustache still pays for hotels sometimes.

If you don't anticipate spending money on those categories, then it's not worth it to you. YMMV. *shrug*

MrsPete

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2014, 09:06:30 PM »
We're members, and we're definitely saving more than the cost of membership -- pizza, hotels, restaurants, eye glasses I bought for my daughter.  I also enjoy the magazine, though I wouldn't pay for it if it were a separate item. 

Do note that the membership is for yourself AND your spouse.  You get two cards for one membership fee.  I'm not yet 50 and would like to think I don't look 50, but I'm having no problem using the card to get discounts. 

Mr Mark

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2014, 10:27:19 PM »
It does seem the most useful thing about it is as essentially a prop in bargaining for a discount.

And as I bargain all the time, for $16 it may pay.

Plus, I can opt out of most of the vast junk mail you seem to be signing up for. Your address and name is their only asset.

Will

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2014, 10:47:51 PM »
I already use The Hartford for my auto insurance.  Last year when I was up for renewal, somehow I got connected to the AARP division of The Hartford.  I explained that I was still too young to be a member, and they told me if I was 49.5 I could join and get a discount.  I will be 49.5 next month, so I plan on calling to see if it will save me $16 or more on my car insurance.  If so, I am in, and any other savings will be gravy.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2014, 07:45:35 AM »
The must not be able to find me! haha. I'm 49.5 now and i have got nothing from them EVER. My dad however uses it and loves the deals. From what i can tell talking to people a tad older than me it pays for itself quickly. I could care less about the politics if i can save money in this case and I am a conservative republican as well.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2014, 08:10:14 AM »
The short of it, usually not.

However:  I greatly encourage everyone 50 or over to shop their homeowners and auto insurance with AARP. 

Beware that:

1.  You do not have to be a member to get a quote.  If you like the quote given and want to execute it, they will sign you up for the $16 membership.     I've found my h/o insurance to be about 20% lower than the most competitive carrier in my area.

2.  You do not need to maintain your membership to renew an AARP linked insurance policy.

3.  If you join, I strongly urge you to tell them no mail solicitations.  My mailbox was FLOODED with junk until I told them to stop!!!

Insurance aside, I have not found the membership to be worth it and dropped it once I found out you don't need it for insurance renewal.  On occasion I have sought hotel discounts and they told me that the internet rate and the AARP rate is the same (???).   Maybe if you travel a lot you might receive a lot of discounts...?


P1

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #30 on: June 06, 2014, 12:47:56 AM »
I already use The Hartford for my auto insurance.  Last year when I was up for renewal, somehow I got connected to the AARP division of The Hartford.  I explained that I was still too young to be a member, and they told me if I was 49.5 I could join and get a discount.  I will be 49.5 next month, so I plan on calling to see if it will save me $16 or more on my car insurance.  If so, I am in, and any other savings will be gravy.

I'm insurance agent that sells The Hartford with the AARP program. The discount can actually be fairly substantial, a good few hundred bucks I've seen in some cases. Plus they throw in a few free perks as well with the insurance. So it might actually work out pretty well for you. You might have to wait until your insurance renewal to do it instead of the age though but definitely doesn't hurt to ask if they can start applying it for you

Mr Mark

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #31 on: June 06, 2014, 07:09:57 AM »
P1,

is that because they can demonstrate statistically that AARP members are less likely to have accidents or default and so represent lower risk for the insurance company?

P1

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #32 on: June 06, 2014, 06:39:48 PM »
Yes statistically people in the 50+ age group that have clean driving records have few accidents. They also tend to have more wealth and thus nicer cars to insure and own homes so that gives Hartford some nice low risk/high premium policies. Hartford also only takes good drivers in general, so this was already their target audience. They want low risk, high premium squeaky clean risks.

Mr Mark

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #33 on: June 06, 2014, 08:06:24 PM »
There must be similar statistical anomalies around MMM devotees...

where is there a buck in that?

Will

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #34 on: July 07, 2014, 04:14:23 PM »
I already use The Hartford for my auto insurance.  Last year when I was up for renewal, somehow I got connected to the AARP division of The Hartford.  I explained that I was still too young to be a member, and they told me if I was 49.5 I could join and get a discount.  I will be 49.5 next month, so I plan on calling to see if it will save me $16 or more on my car insurance.  If so, I am in, and any other savings will be gravy.

UPDATE
Gave them a call today, since I am off and tomorrow is my "half-birthday."  After adding in the $16 AARP fee, I end up saving $52/year.  Not an incredibly large amount, but better than nothing, right?

ch12

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #35 on: July 07, 2014, 04:25:51 PM »
I already use The Hartford for my auto insurance.  Last year when I was up for renewal, somehow I got connected to the AARP division of The Hartford.  I explained that I was still too young to be a member, and they told me if I was 49.5 I could join and get a discount.  I will be 49.5 next month, so I plan on calling to see if it will save me $16 or more on my car insurance.  If so, I am in, and any other savings will be gravy.

UPDATE
Gave them a call today, since I am off and tomorrow is my "half-birthday."  After adding in the $16 AARP fee, I end up saving $52/year.  Not an incredibly large amount, but better than nothing, right?

The payoff for a 5-10 minute call was $52? I'd call that a win; I don't make that much hourly. Even if it took you 10 minutes, that'd be $312/hr - well worth the effort.

Will

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #36 on: July 07, 2014, 11:53:12 PM »
Now that I am a member, I have poked around the website a little.  One thing that looks potentially promising is the Chase (ok, that isn't the good part) AARP Visa Signature Card.  $100 cash back when you spend $500 in the first 3 months.  And it has 3% back on gas and restaurants.

SnackDog

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Re: Is joining the AARP worth it at $16 for a year?
« Reply #37 on: July 08, 2014, 03:41:39 AM »
My old man got an AARP card as soon as he was eligible and would shamelessly flash it and demand the senior discount, regardless of posted age requirements.  Every time we would go skiing, for example, he would point at the sign offering lower ticket prices for OVER 60, flash his AARP card and insisted on the discount.  When he was 51.