Skip to content

Pros & Cons of AARP

January 3, 2012

Overview

  • AARP, a nonprofit organization for Americans aged 50 and older, first began in 1958. Today it ranks as “the second-biggest nongovernmental entity in the United States”, according to The New York Times. With over 40 million members, it has built an “unrivaled power base as the voice of older Americans”. Originally known as the American Association of Retired People, it changed its name to AARP in 2000. It lowered the age requirement from 55 to 50 in 1984. AARP’s mission, as stated on its website, is “to enhance the quality of life for all as we age”. Currently, AARP has offices in the 50 American states.

Pros

  • Membership in AARP is inexpensive–$16 per person as of 2010, with free membership for a spouse or partner. Membership includes many discount programs: car rentals, hotels, vacation packages, tours and product purchases. In addition, free subscriptions to “AARP The Magazine” and “AARP Bulletin” come with membership. AARP lobbies Washington on issues affecting senior citizens, and its website provides information on issues like health and politics.

Cons: Lobbying

  • AARP’s lobbying, in certain instances, has been viewed as a negative. According to The Rubins, a website for seniors, 70,000 members resigned in 2006 to protest AARP’s Washington influence in passing the Medicare Prescription Drug law; these members wanted Medicare to centralize prescription-drug purchasing. Another 60,000 members did the same in 2009 over AARP’s stand in President Obama’s health-care reforms. Many felt AARP should poll members’ views and lobby as results dictated.

Cons: Marketing

  • One of the most frequent negatives expressed by members is the amount of marketing material received through snail mail and e-mail. The amount of brochures, letters and flyers selling their products can become overwhelming, especially just after joining.

Insurance: Pros & Cons

  • AARP offers many insurance products–including health, home, auto and motorcycle–which constitutes a pro. However, even though AARP markets these products as the cheapest, sometimes other insurance companies sell the same services for less.

Advertisements
No comments yet

Join the conversation and post a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: