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Thoughts on AARP membership?
Old 09-22-2012, 10:16 PM   #1
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Thoughts on AARP membership?

I've gotten about three or four letters over the last year from AARP asking me to join. Have not joined, but since I'm soon the be retired, I'm considering again. The last thing I need (or want) is for another magazine to come in the mail. And I don't need any of their insurance products. But it's not that expensive and may be worthwhile. Can any members or former members offer any insights? Thanks.

As a sidenote, sometimes I think the Department of Homeland Security should use the files of AARP and my college alumni association. They have been able to track me down without fail and AARP knew exactly when I turned 50!
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:35 AM   #2
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AARP membership makes you elgible for some great discounts. That is worth the membership.
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:11 AM   #3
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The subject has been covered in more than one thread. Here's one for your review:

AARP Membership
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:57 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by David1961 View Post
I've gotten about three or four letters over the last year from AARP asking me to join. Have not joined, but since I'm soon the be retired, I'm considering again. The last thing I need (or want) is for another magazine to come in the mail. And I don't need any of their insurance products. But it's not that expensive and may be worthwhile. Can any members or former members offer any insights? Thanks.
Sounds like you're answering your own question.

If you have a wood-burning stove, however, their volume of junk mail might fuel it for an entire winter. Of course the quality of the paper/ink could foul your flue.

I've successfully evaded AARP's age-detection radar for nearly two years. I see no reason to join them-- ever.

I think the most depressing factor about AARP is seeing the major babes of my younger years on the covers of their magazine. Jamie Lee Curtis is an example of someone whom I lust after respect, but it still greatly pains me to see her on AARP's cover.

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AARP membership makes you elgible for some great discounts. That is worth the membership.
I think it's worth comparing the "price" of their discounts (primarily the junk mail hassle) to the discounts offered by other organizations. You can always ask the retailer to match the AARP discount, too.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:25 AM   #5
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If you have a wood-burning stove, however, their volume of junk mail might fuel it for an entire winter. Of course the quality of the paper/ink could foul your flue.
It is equal in volume to the amount of mail I've been getting the last two months, concerning signing up for a Medigap (Part B) supplemental policy.

I sign up for Medicare (to start Jan 1) next week ...
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:15 AM   #6
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AARP membership makes you elgible for some great discounts. That is worth the membership.
That you can get on your own by simply asking for them!

That said, their annual convention is a bargain at $25 (+16 for non-members and you just became a member!). Great information, interesting speakers, and free first-run movies. But then you get the membership and the junk mail. Their publications IMHO are a waste of valuable natural resources.

-- Rita
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:24 AM   #7
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my thoughts on AARP mirror my feelings about Vet groups (VFW, Legion), NARFE, or any other group you feel a part of that has a national organization. all discounts aside, the best reason to be a member is adding to their lobby power. even if you never avail yourself of any perks provided, once you join, the AARP lobbyists can go into the congresscritters office and say "we now have X million (+1) votes behind us"
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:29 AM   #8
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I think the most depressing factor about AARP is seeing the major babes of my younger years on the covers of their magazine. Jamie Lee Curtis is an example of someone whom I lust after respect, but it still greatly pains me to see her on AARP's cover.
Along with the depressing day you get your first piece of unsolicited mail from AARP and think to yourself, 'why are they sending this to me, I'm not old, must be a mistake...'

I won't post another rant on AARP, I've done so in earlier threads.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:26 AM   #9
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I've found that if you ask for the AARP discount you get it and no one ever asks for proof of membership. AAA is similar, rarely get asked for proof.

It IS depressing to see people that I consider young on the cover.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:28 AM   #10
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Your age is part of the public record, so it could be used by anyone who wants to build a solicitation list. For instance, the advisers who send out offers for free dinners do so becasue they know you live in a zip code where the income is above X dollars, you are over 50, and so on.

AARP is useful in some situations as a means to a lower hotel rate, for instance.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:28 AM   #11
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There are some discounts, but I have yet to use one that I couldn't get as good or better a deal by asking. They send an unbelievable amount of junk mail. I sometimes think that they are really a joint venture of insurance companies because of all the solicitations they send. They also have a political action arm, if you are interested in that sort of thing. I did join, but will be allowing my membership to lapse (and my mailbox to rest) as soon as the time expires.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:36 AM   #12
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I've found that if you ask for the AARP discount you get it and no one ever asks for proof of membership. AAA is similar, rarely get asked for proof.
The only exception I have come across is Denny's. Even if they don't advertise it you can show your AARP card and get 20% off, regardless of how many folks are included on the bill.

There is a Denny's 13 miles from us and about once a month DW, DS and I will cycle there for breakfast.

Sometimes we'll stop at a Denny's while traveling and when paying the person has had to check with the manager, but the discount is nationwide I believe.
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:48 AM   #13
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If you have a wood-burning stove, however, their volume of junk mail might fuel it for an entire winter. Of course the quality of the paper/ink could foul your flue.
My (dear, departed) mother bought me a one year membership to AARP when I turned 50. That really upset me since I didn't feel "old", so I never renewed. But as a result, for the past 14 years I have been receiving gargantuan quantities of junk mail from them.

Oh, and BTW, F and I have easily gotten the senior discounts at Denny's, without claiming to be an AARP member or showing them anything (we look old). Maybe our local Denny's is less fastidious about who they give the discounts to than others.
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:53 AM   #14
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What would happen if you changed your address after you got your card? I guess first you'd have to find a non-existent address to use. Or their own address. I did that with somebody else once.
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:55 AM   #15
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What would happen if you changed your address after you got your card? I guess first you'd have to find a non-existent address to use. Or their own address. I did that with somebody else once.
I have changed my address numerous times since that one year membership, and their junk mail people have somehow tracked me down every time I move.
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:55 AM   #16
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Along with the depressing day you get your first piece of unsolicited mail from AARP and think to yourself, 'why are they sending this to me, I'm not old, must be a mistake...'
.
For sure - it's like a visit from The Ghost Of Christmas Yet To Come!

Thanks but no thanks, AARP!
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:19 PM   #17
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I joined for a year a long time ago. I became annoyed at the junk mail and let the membership lapse. I still get junk mail from them.
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:28 PM   #18
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We joined AARP when DH turned 50 because he wanted the discounts (most places didn't allow a generic Senior Discount at that age w/o the AARP connection). We didn't renew it this year now that we can usually get the Senior Discount on our own .

And I find all the AARP publications to be majorly depressing re the doom and gloom of the future. I can worry about that on my own without their help. And their subjects suffering the doom and gloom? Pretty easy to read between the lines as to how they ended up being victims waiting to be rescued.

But we rented a car recently and the clerk asked if we had an AARP card--he was going to give us a nice little discount (on top of the special weekend rate we already had) off and allow both of us as drivers and add all the rental insurance for no charge (which was already covered by our credit card, but still....). We didn't have a valid card so he couldn't give it to us (I've notice more online reservations are requiring an AARP membership number to get that discount).
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Old 09-23-2012, 06:42 PM   #19
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DW made the error of joining years ago. The 5 year subscription is about up. Thank goodness. I am tired of them consistently sending junk mail trying to get one to sign on to their insurance. I frequently do not side with them on their views. Discounts - I have yet to find a company (that I am interested in) that gives a dsicount to AARP members but will not give a military; senior citizen; etc. the same discount.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:08 PM   #20
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my thoughts on AARP mirror my feelings about Vet groups (VFW, Legion), NARFE, or any other group you feel a part of that has a national organization. all discounts aside, the best reason to be a member is adding to their lobby power. even if you never avail yourself of any perks provided, once you join, the AARP lobbyists can go into the congresscritters office and say "we now have X million (+1) votes behind us"
HOWEVER- look at what an organization is lobbying for (or against) as it may not represent your views/values. Just because you are eligible for that group does not mean you want to (or should) join. This is main reason less than 20% of US doctors are now Am Med Assn (AMA) members, despite the common misconception that AMA "represents" physicians.
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