Are AARP Discounts Worth It?
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is a huge organization that offers members a wide range of discounts, services, resources, and information. Below is an overview of the pros and cons of an AARP membership to help you determine if membership is right for you.
Join at any age
Here’s a news flash… You don’t even need to be retired to join AARP and take advantage of all the benefits and discounts offered to members. In fact, you don’t even have to be over 50. They offer a full membership for those 50 and over as well as an Associate membership for those under 50.
Get access without joining
The fact is, for just $16 per year, you can join AARP at any age, and many of their benefits would be enjoyed by people of all ages. There is one even lesser-known fact about AARP, and that is that you can sign-up, and access many of their vast resources, without even paying the $16 annual fee. But to access ALL the discounts and to receive their magazine, it will cost you the equivalent of $1.33 per month.
Membership benefits and AARP discounts
Membership provides a variety of discounts and savings including a 10% discount on qualifying pharmaceutical products at Walgreens, or Walmart, and Vision Care at Target. Discounts are also available on hearing aids, dental care, long term health insurance, supplemental health insurance, home, auto, property, and pet insurance.
AARP members also have access to free online games and a wide range of interactive online classes and events for entertainment, education, job tips, self-improvement, and fun. The AAPR website and magazine include a wide selection of articles about investing, retirement planning, money management, and other financial discussions and resources, which could benefit people of all ages.
Perhaps people who have not yet reached retirement age would benefit the most from some of this sage advice and this fact alone might be reason enough for people to join well before they reach the traditional age of retirement.
Does AARP offer camping discounts?
However, if you’re thinking about joining AARP solely for the discounts it offers on camping, I would recommend against it. My research indicates that some campgrounds may offer a 10% on your stay with an AARP membership, but I could not find a full listing of these RV parks in the AARP database.
Additionally, I believe that many of these parks also offer Good Sam or Passport America membership discounts and those discounts could be up to 50% off.
Camping discounts may not be a great reason to join AARP, but membership does provide access to additional discounts on other products and services such as travel arrangements, discounts at some restaurants, on groceries, gas, and auto services. Additionally, AARP teamed up with Consumer Cellular to secure discounted cellular plans for members and AAPR membership opens a wide library of popular online and print books at a discount.
The point is, you don’t have to be over 62 & retired to benefit from an AARP membership. The name says, “Retired Persons” and more and more people are finding ways to retire in their 30s and 40s. Virtual communities within the AARP membership are geared for all types of interests and you can join these groups online to find like-minded people who share your interests and passions. With 38 million members, you’re sure to find connections in these virtual communities.
Additionally, AARP offers a free job search platform to help their members over 50 who still want to work find a new job that’s right for them. The job search function focuses on the benefits of hiring experienced workers. This online tool can be filtered by location, part-time vs full-time work, and more.
For just $16 per year, AARP offers its members a lot of valuable resources and discounts but many of these same discounts are available to all seniors whether you’re an AARP member or not. Senior discounts are often available to people over 50 or in some cases over 65 if you just remember to ask.
Many restaurants offer senior discounts, and many grocery stores have a particular day of the week where all groceries are sold to seniors at a discount. Auto services, travel agencies, and other service providers may also offer senior discounts if you remember to ask.
From this prospective, AARP might be a bigger benefit for people who are younger than 50 since younger people don’t qualify for senior discounts, unless they have an AARP affiliation. Additionally, the financial planning strategies available through AARP are more effective the earlier they are incorporated in a person’s work life. Therefore, younger people who join AARP might benefit the most from their membership.
AARP has a lot of good benefits, and you may be able to save money with a membership. Now that you know what the pros and cons are, only you can decide if joining AARP makes sense for you. If you’re joining just for the camping discounts, it’s probably not worth it since you can get higher discounts from other memberships.
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I am an author and writer, my partner is a web designer. We are full time RVers traveling around the US and Canada. We’ve been RVing for over 20 years and we’ve traveled more than 130,000 miles in an RV.