The American Association of Retired Persons is a members-only organization for Americans as they get older and into retirement age. Even though the yearly AARP membership fee is $16, it might be worth it if you think you’ll frequently take advantage of AARP’s benefits and resources.
One way to figure out whether it’s worth it is to look at your lifestyle and ask yourself the following:
- Do you travel at least once a year?
- Would you take advantage of financial resources, such as learning more about retirement planning?
- Would you use discounts on getting eye exams and glasses?
Here are six crucial pieces of information about AARP that you should know before you decide to join:
1. What Is AARP?
AARP is a nonprofit organization for Americans nearing the age of retirement and provides everything from retail and travel discounts to resources for healthcare, employment and financial advice. Some AARP discounts also include restaurants such as McCormick & Schmick’s, Claim Jumper and Outback Steakhouse.
2. How Old Do You Have to Be to Join AARP?
Even though retirement age in America is typically 63, AARP actually allows you to join before 63, which means you can have access to discounts and resources well ahead of retirement age. AARP is aimed at an older audience starting at age 50, but you can join before 50 to take advantage of discounts and deals.
3. How Much Does AARP Membership Cost?
AARP cost for membership is $16 a year, but that’s only if you don’t sign up for multiple years, which can make the yearly fee as cheap as $12.60. Signing up for multiple years gives you a discount of up to 25 percent on the first year.
AARP membership fees are as follows:
- $63 for 5 years — $12.60 per year, with a 21 percent discount
- $43 for 3 years — $14.34 per year, with a 10 percent discount
- $12 for the first year if you choose to auto-renew — 25 percent discount
4. What Are AARP Discounts?
When you join, you are eligible to receive discounts from various healthcare providers for things like glasses and hearing aids.
The following are just some discounts you can receive and resources you can expect to gain access to:
- Retail: Including Tanger Outlets, 1-800-Flowers.com, Harry & David
- Travel: Including Avis Rent A Car, cruise packages, hotels
- Restaurants: Including Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Denny’s and Rainforest Cafe
- Entertainment: Including Ticketmaster, Regal Cinemas, Cirque du Soleil
- Advocacy: Including AARP State Offices, AARP Foundation Litigation
- Community events: Including AARP in Your City, AARP Block Party
For a complete list of benefits, you can visit AARP’s Member Benefits page.
5. What Are AARP Travel Benefits?
It could be well worth it to join AARP if you plan on traveling frequently. The range of discounts you’ll receive will more than pay for the $16 yearly membership fee.
AARP has a detailed travel page that shows you travel-related partnerships, packages and deals you can receive. For example, you can receive $100 off if you sign up for a Grand European Travel package for over 300 guided vacations and river cruises to Europe and destinations all over the world.
Once you find one that interests you, click on the link and you’ll see a phone number to call and get details.
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6. What Is the AARP Telephone Number?
Call the AARP phone number if you can’t find what you’re looking for on the site: 888-OUR-AARP (888-687-2277).
The hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.
- For Spanish: 877-342-2277
- International: +1-202-434-3525
For people who are hearing-impaired, dial 711:
- English: 877-434-7598
- Spanish: 866-238-9488
Decide If AARP Is Right for You
Being intentional about how you spend your money in all stages of your life is especially important as you near retirement since you won’t be working in the same capacity and might not earn as much.
AARP is worth it if you dine out frequently, travel and want access to various health and financial resources to help you with retirement and your money. It might be worth it to try it for a year to see what kind of discounts you’re receiving and how often you’re taking advantage of the other benefits.
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