Started in 1958 by retired high school principal Ethal Percy Andrus, AARP (formerly American Association of Retired Persons) insured older persons and developed other benefits, programs and a discount mail order pharmacy service. AARP is founded on the principles of promoting independence, dignity and purpose for older people, enhancing the quality of their lives and encouraging them "to serve, not to be served." It is a nonprofit membership organization with offices in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It provides people age 50 and older with insurance and other benefits at an affordable price.
What Are The Requirements To Join AARP
Whether you are retired, AARP is available to all people who are 50 years or older.
However if you are younger than 50, AARP offers an associate membership. Upon your 50th birthday, you will automatically become a full member. Then you will receive your membership card and be able to take advantage of all the benefits and services associated with being a full member.
If you want to be a full member or an associate member, an annual fee is required.
Being 50 and paying the fee are the only requirements to join.
Why People Join?
Access to Experts: Members are given access to financial planning experts, attorneys and accountants. These experts work with members in designing savings, insurance and investment plans that are right for the individual.
As part of the membership rewards, members can speak with an attorney for 30 minutes. AARP also provides experts to help with taxes at designated locations in your area.
Medical Choices: Members can choose among many insurance packages that include long-term care policies. Also they may receive discounted pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. In order to obtain discounts on your medical expenses, you must be enrolled in one of their health insurance programs.
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Job Counseling: AARP offers advice for those who want to start a home business or charitable organization. Members can receive skills assessment services, educational programs and career counseling if they want to go back to work or change careers.
AARP emphasizes job training for those older than 50 and has fought for anti-discrimination measures that have resulted in millions of unemployed older people being hired.
Grief Counseling: After losing a loved one, members are encouraged to go to the Grief and Loss section of AARP's web site. Here members and non-members can learn how to deal with funeral arrangements, estate planning and how to join a grief support group in their area.
Member Events: Meet other individuals who are 50 and older by attending AARP member events. Hosted all over the country at different times of the year, you can exchange experiences and information with others.
Discounts: Members are entitled to significant discounts, hotels, transportation, cruise packages, admission to theme parks, books, shoes, Internet, cell phone and much more. You can also obtain insurance quotes for your house, boat, automobile, dental and more.
Spousal Membership: Add your spouse or partner to your account for free.
Magazine: Every member receives a publication that warns about scams, updates you on how to live a longer life through articles on diet and exercise and gives advice on travel and real estate.
How Do You Join?
- Obtain an application by calling 1-888-687-2277 or by going to http://www.aarp.org.
To do so online, click the "MEMBERSHIP" link on the top gray bar. On the left hand side of the next page, click the big orange link that says "Join AARP."
You don't have to be a member to enjoy the useful information on this site though.
Fill out your name, mailing address, telephone number and birth date.
If you are married, add the name and birth date of your spouse. Membership for spouses is free.
Provide your billing information, select the number of years you want to purchase. If you buy more than one year, you will receive a lower rate. You can pay by credit card online or ask to pay through personal check.
Send your finished application offline to AARP 601 East NW St., Washington, DC 20049 or submit your application online.
While online, print out your temporary membership card until your permanent card is issued.
To request your temporary membership card by phone, call AARP customer support at 1-888-687-2277. This is also the number to all if you have any questions.
How To Update Information
Once you are a member, you can change your address, telephone number or other information online or over the phone. While online, you can even add your spouse onto your account without any more trouble than adding a name and birth date.
Check With Your Local Chapter
Insurance rates and programs vary from state to state. For more information on events and membership benefits in your area, you should contact your local chapter. To locate your local chapter, go to the AARP website and search for your local chapter, find the number in your phone book or call the AARP toll-free number at 1-888-687-2277.