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AARP?
Old 10-03-2018, 08:58 AM   #1
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AARP?

I am always getting their mailers asking me to join. So for you that have joined do you think itís worth it? just curious
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Old 10-03-2018, 09:03 AM   #2
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We like the Magazines and do use a few of the discounts but not all.
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Old 10-03-2018, 09:07 AM   #3
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I like the magazines, but they are actually a liberal political action committee many retirees don't agree with.
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Old 10-03-2018, 09:07 AM   #4
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Former member. Ultimately concluded that AAA discounts were equally valuable and I didn't like their political views so I stopped renewing.
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Old 10-03-2018, 09:13 AM   #5
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I joined 8 years ago. I thought I paid for 5 years, but they seem to continually send me renewal forms suggesting I'm still a member now. And I get the magazine. There are pros and cons.

Pros:

- You're supporting an organization, probably one of the very few, that will advocate for the interests of seniors and retirees.
- Their magazines and newsletters sometimes have some interesting content.

Cons:
- Like most magazines, they're mostly superficial fluff stories you already knew.
- They do a LOT of advertising for questionable products and services, especially life insurance and the like. Maybe not quite scams, but borderline deceptive.
- They work very hard to NEVER take a position on any political issue or party.

That last one is sort of understandable. Anyone who tells it like it is will get flack from the far left, and the far right. Both fringes prefer to believe over-simplifications or outright lies to support their own biases.

If you come out and say "Republicans (or Democrats) are trying to pass a bill that hurts seniors," you lose half your subscriber base. So instead they don't take sides. They'll say "this issue is important to seniors. Call your representatives and tell them what you think."

But they'll never tell you who sponsored the bill, who supports it, what party they're from, or why it'll hurt seniors. Any of that would cost them subscribers. In other words, since they can't call out anyone, their advocacy has no teeth.
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Old 10-03-2018, 09:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
I joined 8 years ago. I thought I paid for 5 years, but they seem to continually send me renewal forms suggesting I'm still a member now. And I get the magazine. There are pros and cons.

Pros:

- You're supporting an organization, probably one of the very few, that will advocate for the interests of seniors and retirees.
- Their magazines and newsletters sometimes have some interesting content.

Cons:
- Like most magazines, they're mostly superficial fluff stories you already knew.
- They do a LOT of advertising for questionable products and services, especially life insurance and the like. Maybe not quite scams, but borderline deceptive.
- They work very hard to NEVER take a position on any political issue or party.

That last one is sort of understandable. Anyone who tells it like it is will get flack from the far left, and the far right. Both fringes prefer to believe over-simplifications or outright lies to support their own biases.

If you come out and say "Republicans (or Democrats) are trying to pass a bill that hurts seniors," you lose half your subscriber base. So instead they don't take sides. They'll say "this issue is important to seniors. Call your representatives and tell them what you think."

But they'll never tell you who sponsored the bill, who supports it, what party they're from, or why it'll hurt seniors. Any of that would cost them subscribers. In other words, since they can't call out anyone, their advocacy has no teeth.
Actually, AARP lobbied heavily for the ACA. Their interest in selling supplemental insurance was palpable.
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Old 10-03-2018, 09:20 AM   #7
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paid up member, usually pay 3 year membership at a time. I enjoy their magazine articles, but not the advertisements. I use the discounts frequently, which often match AAA rates. Have auto/homeowners via Hartford/AARP.
I like their advocacy for seniors.
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Old 10-03-2018, 09:39 AM   #8
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I’ve been successfully avoiding them. I don’t see any AARP stuff any more. I hate it when they preprint cards with our names on it.
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Old 10-03-2018, 09:51 AM   #9
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I refuse to join because they are basically a PAC that I disagree with in every way.



I found it interesting that when shopping for car insurance thru a broker recently in FL, one insurance company offered a "deal" for members of AARP. When we indicated that we would NOT join that organization and asked the price for non-members, we were told that company would not sell insurance to us unless we were members. This tactic may be a large part of how they are able to advertise being such a large organization. Seem sketchy to me, just sayin'.



I'd say if you join, you probably want to make sure that you agree with their political positions.


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Old 10-03-2018, 09:58 AM   #10
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There are a lot worse organizations to support. AARP has seniors interests at heart. We like that, and will continue to support them.
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Old 10-03-2018, 10:03 AM   #11
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I joined when they sent me the first solicitation at age 50, because I expected to get some good discounts, taking a 10 year membership because it was pretty cheap to do so.

Alas, I never even got that membership cost back in the discounts I was able to use, and by the time the ten year membership was up I was so fed up with the constant barrage of mailings from them that I had a very sour taste in my mouth so I didn't renew. It still took years before I got off their mailing lists.

You can get a lot of background on it from the Wikipedia article.

Quote:
... originally named the American Association of Retired Persons, but in 1999 it officially changed its name to "AARP" (pronounced one letter at a time, "ay ay ar pee") to reflect that its focus was no longer American retirees
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Old 10-03-2018, 10:04 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ShokWaveRider View Post
There are a lot worse organizations to support. AARP has seniors interests at heart. We like that, and will continue to support them.
Uh. Yeah, I don't think so. They have THEIR interests at heart...
Quote:
AARP Services, Inc., founded in 1999, is a wholly owned taxable subsidiary of AARP that manages the range of products and services offered as benefits to members. Its offers include Medicare supplemental insurance; member discounts on rental cars, cruises, vacation packages and lodging; special offers on technology and gifts; pharmacy services; legal services; and long-term care insurance. AARP Services founded AARP Financial Incorporated, a subsidiary that manages AARP-endorsed financial products including AARP Funds.
and

Quote:
...the association earns more income from selling insurance to members than from membership dues.
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Old 10-03-2018, 10:07 AM   #13
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Funny how EVERY independent agent in our area, and I have interviewed a few RECOMMEND AARPs Medicare Plan F &G. Yes Every one. Probably because it is the worst, I do not think so? Also it is the least commissioned to them.
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Old 10-03-2018, 10:09 AM   #14
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I joined them one year at age 50, and kept using their membership card for 15 years of hotel discounts, etc. without any renewal.

My wife joined a couple of years ago for the magazine.
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Old 10-03-2018, 10:12 AM   #15
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We are members and use the discounts every chance we get. Just saved some $$ on our NYC hotel bill with the discount. We pay for both of us with a 5-year subscription. I enjoy the magazine, even if I skip over many of the 'fluff' pieces.

They are a PAC I agree with in every single way. I do believe they have our interests at heart, but also have to make $$ to support such an organization and if selling insurance is part of that, so be it. I don't have to buy it. In fact, we did NOT select their Medicare Supplement. Everyone needs to do their research - buyer beware.
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Old 10-03-2018, 10:24 AM   #16
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Been a member since 50. I enjoy the magazines for the most part. My DF had the supplemental AARP/UHC insurance for years and was pleased. They support seniors by advocating for Social Security and Medicare.
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Old 10-03-2018, 10:27 AM   #17
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As you can see from the comments above, it's a pretty polarizing organization.
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Old 10-03-2018, 10:39 AM   #18
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I have never paid much attention, but this thread caused me to pull up their tax return (guidestar.org).

Revenue is about a billion and a half. CEO makes about $1.1M There is a horde of staff making $500K or more.

There is a huge list of small donations, typically $10K to $25K, ranging from a GLBT parade to a veterans parade. I am too lazy to go through them all but I'd guess there is something in there to annoy anyone.
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Old 10-03-2018, 10:39 AM   #19
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I notice my membership with AAA gives me the same or better discount sometimes. I have to buy my AAA membership for car insurance anyway, so it’s a wash. But lately I don’t even use their discount. Just booking.com is good enough for me.
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Old 10-03-2018, 10:57 AM   #20
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We joined when I was in my early 40's - the discounts are well worth it. I joined at the time to get a great discount on a cruise and that more than covered my membership for life. We used another cruise discount since and when we're on the road we always eat at Denny's for 15% discount. Joining at such a young age did come with one problem - AARP refused to give me a membership card because I was under 50. I managed to work around that and get the card out of them shortly after, but it wasn't as a result of them being helpful with it.

I think my membership is good for another 20 years as I took advantage of special offers along the way to add more years for $12/year and less.

They also lobby politicians on behalf of seniors, and that is a good thing for all of us on this board.
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