Maybe you’ve received a letter in the mail from AARP. In it, you see promises to help lower prescription costs, discounted weight watchers programs, or even discounts on vacation packages. You may have wondered if the offers are legitimate and if so, whether they are worth looking into.
In this instance, you can breathe a sigh of relief. AARP, or the American Association of Retired Persons (website can be found at AARP.org), is a legitimate organization advocating for senior adults. For more than half a century, they’ve been on a mission to help older Americans live fulfilling lives.
By fulfilling, we’re not just talking about saving on prescriptions. We mean that cruise to Europe you and your spouse have been saving up to take after 35 years of teaching, or signing up for yoga to get on track for your new year’s fitness goals.
Here’s what you need to know about AARP:
The Founding of AARP
AARP began in an almost too-shocking-to-be-real way. Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, serving on the California Retired Teachers Association, went out to do a welfare check on a retired teacher. Much to her shock, she discovered the woman living in a windowless chicken coop with only $40 a month to cover her necessities.
Dr. Andrus decided to take action. She founded AARP in 1958 with a mission “to help older Americans lead lives of independence, dignity, and purpose.” For the last 63 years, the organization has advocated for Americans 50+ to help them with necessities like housing, healthcare, and financial security.
Who’s Eligible to Join AARP?
Eligibility requirements for AARP are very straightforward. You simply must be 50 years of age or older. When you register, you can also add your husband or wife as an additional member for free.
Membership usually costs $16 a year. Right now, AARP is offering 12% off, a mere $14 a year, to new registrants. When you join, you’ll also receive the bi-monthly AARP magazine.
What are the Benefits of Joining AARP?
AARP offers numerous health benefits, including Medicare plans, prescription savings at Walmart Pharmacy, discounted hearing aids, a free hearing check-up, eye exams for $10 or less.
They also offer various perks outside of healthcare. AARP members enjoy discounts on Weight Watchers, cruises, rental cars, and vacation packages, which is perfect after a year of sheltering in place at home.
You can also browse their destination and travel guides to plan for your next weekend getaway They also offer fraud prevention services and support to protect your hard-earned money.
How Can I Sign Up for AARP?
Signing up for AARP membership is easy. Simply go to AARP.org, click the “Register Now” button in the upper right corner of the screen, fill out the required fields, read through the terms and conditions, and click “Register.” That’s it! You’re done!
Beware of Imposters
AARP is committed to educating and protecting older Americans from fraud. Sadly, however, some scammers are taking advantage of AARP’s trusted reputation by impersonating them in emails or phone calls. AARP will never ask you for personal or banking information. If you receive one of these calls, report it to the AARP Fraud Watch Helpline at 877-908-3360.