What Is AARP: Everything You Need To Know

If you are looking to know about AARP, you have just landed on the right page. Through the end, you will have everything you need on what is AARP.

Growing older can have numerous advantages, such as discounts and promotions that many companies provide to seniors. AARP offers services to seniors searching for benefits and a sense of community. An organization provides a yearly membership, giving senior discounts and services access. Aside from financial help, it offers its members publications, games, and information on volunteer opportunities and social security.

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is a membership-based organization that promotes social changes and offers 50+ community values via education, assistance, and advocacy. It assists people in navigating timeless realities like health, financial security, community involvement, and how to truly enjoy life.

The fact that people who cross the mark of 50 years are physically and mentally vulnerable to several issues makes it imperative to take special care of them and provide the necessities they need. People around us age with time. And as they gradually take the journey of life, the road becomes longer, not because it keeps expanding inch by inch, but because our physical health fades away with time and leaves us at the mercy of circumstances.

That is why it is a wise thing to be well-prepared for the inevitable challenge that is to come sooner or later or equip those already in that challenging phase with enough resources to live a life that is not deprived of fun and is worry-free because the feeling that there is someone who has got our back is something to live by.

AARP perfectly fits the description in this context. It has been taking care of the needs and wants of the old Americans for many past decades. You may have already heard about it, but this guide will equip you with all the information you need to get going. Let’s start with the introduction of the company.

History and key dates

Image Source: AARP
Image Source: AARP
  • 1958: Ethel Percy Andrus, PhD., a retired high school administrator, formed the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Its four objectives are to
    • Increase older people’s quality of life
    • Support their independence, dignity, and a sense of purpose.
    • Take the lead in deciding older people’s societal position and function.
    • Improve public perception of aging.

The AARP health insurance plan transforms the industry by offering the first group health insurance plan specifically for those over 65.

  • 1959: Prescriptions can now be filled through mail order and in-person as part of the new speciality service offered by the AARP drug buying service. It brings competitiveness and price relief to the American pharmaceutical
  • 1961: The House of Freedom, a cutting-edge universal-design residence, is being constructed by AARP in Washington, D.C., to show off alternatives for safety and style to attendees of the first White House Conference on Ageing. Bathroom grab bars, non-skid floors, and step-free entrances are features.
  • 1963: The AARP Institute of Lifetime Learning starts offering courses for senior citizens. That learning can and should be a lifetime experience is a key factor in the national attitude shift.
  • 1964: The AARP’s Dynamics Maturity concept is promoted and exhibited at the New York World’s Fair.
  • 1967: The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which prohibits age-based discrimination against people between the ages of 40 and 65, is performed with solid support from AARP.
  • 1968: AARP‘s largest philanthropic program, Tax-Aide, begins humbly. With the support of 35,000 IRS-certified volunteers, the AARP Foundation Tax-Aside program now assists over 5 million senior citizens in filing their taxes and claiming all allowable deductions.
  • 1973: The first school of gerontology in the world is housed at the Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Centre, which started at the University of Southern California in 1975.
  • 1975: AARP begins a trial program providing legal services for senior citizens in Washington, D.C called Legal Counsel for the Elderly. It deals with legal matters, provides a hotline for legal guidance, and acts as the District’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman.
  • 1979: The AARP initiative 55 Alive promotes older drivers’ independence, safety, and self-assurance on the road. The largest classroom and online driver safety were created for drivers 50 and over.
  • 1984: The AARP membership age decreases from 55 to 50.
  • 1985: The AARP Public Policy Institute was founded in 1985 to conduct research and offer unbiased analysis of data, laws, and trends that impact individuals as they age.
  • 1986: To assist voters over 50 in making educated judgments regarding topics and candidates for public office, AARP/VOTE, a nonpartisan voter education program, has been launched.
  • 1987: AARP works, a series of programs for people in their mid-to late-life that focus on career development and job searching. AARP now provides information for seasoned employees via our work & jobs platform.
  • 1995: AARP and the FBI work together to expose telemarketing frauds that target senior citizens. AARP volunteers help federal authorities indict around 1,000 dishonest telemarketers by posing as naive sting victims for Operation Senior Sentinel.
  • 1996: The AARP opens org website.
  • 1999: To better reflect that many of its members still hold full- or part-time jobs, the American Association of Retired Persons officially changed its name to AARP.
  • 2002: AARP establishes a presence in Puerto Rico, fulfilling its mission to keep a staff office open in each of the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto AARP’s efforts to connect with and serve its constituents locally. “Movies for Grownups” is an initiative started by AARP to honor movies with mature themes or performers and directors who are 50 or older.
  • 2003: Congress establishes a Medicare prescription medication program with the help of AARP.
  • 2004: AARP, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, and the S Library of Congress are all co-sponsors of the Voices of Civil Rights bus tour. The oral narratives gathered throughout the journey are preserved by the Library of Congress.
  • 2005: Efforts to separate private accounts from social security are defeated partly thanks to AARP’s determined campaigning.
  • 2009: To link individuals with valuable volunteer opportunities in their areas, AARP launched Create The Good.
  • 2011: Drive to End Hunger is a Campaign started by AARP and the AARP Foundation to fight hunger among older individuals in America. It is a partnership with Jeff Gordon, a four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, and team owner Rick Hendrick.
  • 2012: To assist the 40 million family cares in the country, AARP introduced the Caregiving Resource Centre online, partly supported by a comprehensive Ad Council campaign.
  • 2013: To assist individuals of all ages in identifying, reporting, and avoiding fraud and identity theft, AARP introduces the Fraud Watch Network, building on decades of consumer protection activities.
  • 2014: Saw the launch of AARP TEK (Technology Education and Knowledge), which offers practical training and developing digital abilities. It is a center for learning about technology and social media, employment and careers, family caring, and more. It is currently known as AARP Academy.
  • 2015: The AARP Innovation Fund, established by AARP and P Morgan Asset Management, offers direct investments in early-to-late-stage businesses producing cutting-edge solutions that can enhance the lives of individuals aged 50 and over. Disrupt Aging is a philosophy and movement launched by AARP to challenge antiquated ideas and ignite fresh approaches so that more people have to say how they live and age.

In 2015, AARP and Age UK formed the Global Council on Brain Health.

  • 2016: In the state legislature, AARP’s advocacy efforts successfully passed legislation and regulations to help 27 million family cares and “Work and Save” laws that secured retirement savings alternatives for more than 10 million employees of small businesses.
  • 2017: A full-page advertisement in the magazine(Modern Maturity and MyGeneration) cost US$667,800, an increase of 18% from the previous five years—the publication distributed 22,5 million copies in the same year. As determined by surveys, readership surpassed 37 million for the first time in the same year.
  • 2023: The 21st Annual Award will honor the best films and television shows for adults (Movies for Grownups) on January 28, 2023, in Beverly Hills, and Great Performances on PBS will air the ceremony in February.

What does AARP mean?

AARP stands for the American Association of Retired Persons. This organization provides many benefits and services to its members, who must be 50 or older. These include discounts on travel, insurance, and other products and services, educational resources; and advocacy on behalf of older Americans.

What is AARP?

AARP is an acronym for the American Association of Retired Persons. This non-profit organization provides various services, i.e., healthcare, insurance, education, travel, etc., to Americans over 50. It was founded in 1958 by co-founded Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, a retired educator from California, and Leonard Davis. AARP is considered one of the most influential organizations in the USA, with around 38 million members.

It is also known for solid lobbying groups with deep connections in influential circles. The purpose of AARP membership is to empower old Americans and help them improve their quality of life as they age. Among other benefits that the members receive from AARP, they are also entitled to a magazine and bulletin, the most prominent publications in the United States.

AARP The Magazine covers various topics, including lifestyle, business, healthcare, travel, and relationships, to entertainment, book, and movie reviews. However, it majorly focuses on issues related to the old-age population of the country.

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is an evolved version of the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA), which Ethel founded. Although the organization worked for the promotion and well-being of old-age Americans, its scope was limited and only encompassed old teachers. In the next ten years, with the foundation of AARP, the National Retired Teachers Association became one of the affiliated organizations.

In 2019, AARP managed to garner $1.70 billion as revenue via advertising and royalties. To present, AARP memberships have helped millions of old-age Americans continue their careers, better healthcare, investment opportunities, and insurance products.

How does AARP work?

Image Source: Salesforce.org
Image Source: Salesforce.org

AARP functions through a vastly spread network of offices in almost every state in the US and carries out its services through a volunteer force. It is operated with the help of its volunteer board which comprises 20 volunteers. The organization routinely focuses on independent living, healthcare, education, security, and other consumer issues.

AARP has legislative teams and lawyers that advocate the rights of Americans, especially retired people and old Americans, in the national legislature and the courts of law.

In terms of finance, AARP generates its revenue from different endeavors. It charges for its AARP membership, available to all Americans over 18.

What does the AARP membership cost?

Image Source: SeniorLiving.org
Image Source: SeniorLiving.org

It sells paid memberships and charges $16 for its one-year membership plan. However, their membership fees vary along with discounts for aspirants seeking more than one year of membership. More details are as below:

  • AARP provides a 25% discount and charges $12 if anyone joins them for a one-year insurance plan and opts for their auto-renew option.
  • AARP provides a 10% discount and charges $14.34 if anyone joins them for three years.
  • AARP provides a 21% discount and charges $12.60 if anyone joins them for five years.

Affiliated AARP

Various affiliated organizations are working under AARP, which provides its services for senior American citizens:

Image Source: AARP
Image Source: AARP

AARP Services

AARP Services monitors the quality of products the organization offers to its members. If a member has any complaint, query, or feedback about any product, it comes under the responsibility of AARP Services to address that. Moreover, AARP Services doesn’t only deal with questions about physical goods. The intangible aspects of AARP products, including insurance plans, travel packages, health service delivery, etc., are all looked after by this branch of the organization.

AARP Foundation

AARP Foundation is an antonym for its other branch. This branch engages with the organization’s members and has no connection to the service delivery or products. According to an official document, this branch works “for low-income and disadvantaged seniors to help them meet their daily needs.” AARP Foundation operates under the slogan “For a future without senior poverty.” Whether it’s delivering food boxes at home to seniors, preparing seniors for jobs, helping them with their finances, or any other activity that warrants physical engagement comes under the domain of this branch.

AARP Driver Safety

This part of the organization holds driver safety courses for older adults. It was the first of its kind in the United States when it was introduced back in 1979. The course offered through the program can be taken in a classroom setting, but considering the daily commute problems of older Americans, the system is easily accessible via the Internet. Since its inception, this course has prepared around 15 million older drivers. Toyota, a famous global automobile company, supports the program with a grant.

Publications and Broadcasts from AARP

The magazine and the AARP Bulletin have the two biggest circulations in the US, with over 37 million and 30 million copies, respectively, as of 2016.  AARP The Magazine, a lifestyle publication for individuals 50 and older, was formerly called Modern Maturity until 2002. The publication, founded in 1958, is sent to AARP Bulletin and other periodicals. In 2018, the digital magazine Sisters from AARP was started, Aiming at African American women.

The organization includes a book branch and produces radio and television shows.

Legal Counsel for the Elderly

Legal Counsel for the Elderly is a non-profit charity of AARP that helps senior citizens in matters about legal issues in Washington, D.C.

AARP Financial Services Corporation

AARP Financial Services Corporation manages AARP’s real estate and is for-profit.

AARP Insurance Plan

AARP Insurance Plan holds some of AARP’s group health insurance coverage

What is AARP good for?

Image Source: AARP
Image Source: AARP

AARP is famous in the United States for the extended range of benefits to which members of the organization are subjected. From traveling to hoteling, entertainment to finances, and health and wellness to gas and auto services, if you are one of 50+ people, AARP has you covered.

We have outlined the most popular benefits that add to the stature of AARP in mature American citizens:

AARP Travel

What do you think about your next travel destination? No worries, AARP knows many! Just phone them, and an officer will contact you about the details of the goal you want to spend your vacation.

Delta Dental

AARP collaborates with various healthcare companies and provides premium healthcare insurance-based benefits to members. If you have any dental problems, AARP Dental Insurance Plan, which Delta Dental Insurance Company administers, offers individual and family coverage.

AARP Hearing Center

Hearing loss is one of the ailments that seniors face as they age. But AARP Hearing Center can treat it, and the impact can be minimized to live well with hearing loss. Members can not only find information, tools, and solutions to hearing problems but also can take scientifically validated phone-administered hearing tests, and that too for free every year.

AARP Job Board

At the AARP Job Board, seniors can easily find work that matches their interests. The job search has been made easy with filters, using which one can find part-time, full-time, or work-from-home positions in seconds.

AARP Auto Buying Program

Through this program, AARP offers the best deals to get you a new or used car with the necessary safety features. You can save thousands on any new vehicle you purchase.

What is the AARP minimum age requirement?

Image Source: AARP
Image Source: AARP

AARP offers its membership to all American adult citizens. However, its total membership is only available to old Americans that are beyond 50 years of age. It is pertinent to mention that retirement is not mandatory to get an AARP membership. If you are an on-service American citizen beyond 50, you are eligible for the total membership of AARP.

While associate membership is available for younger Americans, they might need to qualify for the same membership benefits as the old members.

What is AARP Insurance?

AARP offers various benefits to AARP members that have subscribed to their entire membership. One of the benefits is their insurance. You might be surprised to know the kind of advantages that come with AARP Insurance.

AARP Insurance is a general insurance plan under which AARP offers different health, car, home, pet, etc., AARP insurance plans. With the help of AARP Insurance, the organization ensures that its members remain tension-free and live a happy life in the latter half of their lives. Below are some of the critical AARP Insurance for you to know:

AARP health insurance program?

AARP offers different types of health insurance to its members. The AARP Medicare Supplement Plans are only available to those already enrolled in the Medicare Part B plan. There is no minimum age limit for this type of health insurance. However, it is pertinent to mention that not all states offer this type of health insurance. AARP membership card is also required to avail of this type of health insurance.

AARP Auto Insurance Program

Image Source: The Hartford
Image Source: The Hartford

With the AARP Auto Insurance Program from Hartford, there are several benefits that members of the organization can enjoy. For one, the members can get a straight discount for three years on cars when they complete the AARP Smart Driver Course. Members also get 10% off when requesting quotes online or bundling auto and home policies. Other benefits are Accident Forgiveness, in case something unwanted happens, and Disappearing Deductible. The old adults can also get premium claims services via AARP Auto Insurance Program. To register for the program, you need to send The Hartford a copy of your certificate, and that’s it.

AARP Homeowners Insurance Program

Home is the biggest of our assets; securing it and protecting it remains at the top of our priorities. Don’t worry if you own a house or condo or even live on rent; with the AARP Homeowners Insurance Program, you can get valuable coverage for personal property and protection against personal liability. Moreover, you can also choose some of the most efficient plans designed for AARP members, i.e., New for Old Protection and Disappearing Property Deductible. With this program, you can save up to 20% when you bundle your home and auto policies.

Fetch by The Dodo Pet Insurance

If your pet has fallen sick, you can treat it at any licensed vet in the U.S. or Canada with the plans offered under this insurance program. AARP members can save up to 10% monthly with the help of Fetch by The Dodo Pet Insurance.

AARP mission statement

 Image Source: GiveForms
Image Source: GiveForms

The mission and vision of AARP are to make life worth living, no matter if one has lived for half a century or already crossed it. AARP wants to create a society where no one feels lowly due to older age. The American Association of Retired Persons aims to help older Americans live with dignity and honor by learning and pursuing their professional careers.

The mission statement on the official website of AARP is:

“AARP enhances the quality of life for all as we age. We champion positive social change and deliver value through advocacy, information, and service.”

While AARP’s vision statement is as follows:

“A society where all people live with dignity and purpose and fulfill their goals and dreams.”

Who is eligible for AARP?

AARP entertains membership to the following only:

  • A legal citizen of the United States of America
  • Younger American (associate membership only)
  • Older Americans (full membership)

It is important to note here that only AARP members beyond fifty are eligible to get full access to all the benefits the organization provides. In case you are under 50, the benefits would be limited. However, you can still get insurance products that are not age-restricted.

What are AARP Membership Benefits?

mage Source: AARP
image Source: AARP

AARP provides many opportunities to save money, play, learn, and volunteer. Choose from 15 Member Benefits categories, which include:

  • Advocacy for key causes, including prescription drug coverage, affordable health care, and social security.
  • Discounts on hearing aids, vision tests, and other health-related items are available.
  • Health, life, vehicle, house, business, and pet insurance are all covered.
  • Travel deals for flights, hotels, resorts, cruises, and other travel-related expenses.
  • Discounts at restaurants, shops, and grocers.
  • Resources for retirement and money.
  • Savings on entertainment at Ticketmaster and movie theaters.
  • Savings on family caretaking
  • To look for suitable employment, use work resources and job boards.
  • Events in the community and volunteer information.

Why should you join AARP in your 20s?

There are plenty of benefits after you get the membership of AARP. Whether you are above or below 50 years, you are still eligible for different advantages attached to the membership. $16 is needed to secure the AARP membership and make you eligible for various entertainment, travel, or dining discounts.

If you are in your 20s, here’s why you should join AARP in your 20s:

Dining discounts:

If you are dining at Denny’s or Joe’s Crab Shack and Outback Steakhouse, you can get a discount between 10 to 15%, given you have acquired the AARP membership. You can find other restaurant discounts here on the official website of AARP.

Entertainment discounts

Are you planning to hit cinemas any time soon? If you have your hands on AARP members, you can get up to a 20% discount on specific tickets and $3 off concessions at Regal Cinemas.

Travel discounts

If you are a hodophile and love to explore the wonders of the earth, you will love to know that British Airways flights charge $200 off on any ticket for AARP members. You can save up to 30% on rental car services like Budget and Avis if you are entitled to an AARP membership.


How to join AARP?

Are you interested in joining AARP? It’s only a few clicks away!

You can join AARP in two ways. You can call them at 1-888-687-2277 and initiate the member registration process, or simply log in to their website and fill out the registration form to become an AARP member.

How do I check my AARP membership status?

You can check your AARP membership status by logging into your account on the AARP website. Once logged in, your membership status will be displayed on your account page. You can also call AARP customer service at 1-888-687-2277 to check your membership status.

Does AARP offer a Lifetime membership?

AARP does not provide a lifetime membership. Membership in AARP is for a fixed term of one year, and members must renew their membership each year to maintain their benefits. However, no limit exists to how many years a member can attend AARP.

Who owns AARP

AARP is a non-profit, nonpartisan membership organization for people aged 50 and over in the United States. AARP does not have any owners, and it is not affiliated with any political party.

What are AARP Benefits?

Some benefits of joining AARP include discounts on travel, dining, entertainment, and some insurance products. AARP members also access member-only resources such as the AARP website, a monthly magazine, and local events.

How can I get a free AARP membership?

There is no such thing as a free AARP membership. Membership in AARP is for a fixed term of one year, and members must renew their membership each year to maintain their benefits—however, there are some ways to get discounts on the yearly membership fee. For example, some employers offer AARP membership to benefit their employees.

Bottom line

That was all of it. If you have made it to this last part of the article, you now have everything there’s to know about AARP. Simply put, AARP is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that provides welfare services ranging from health, jobs, and education to Americans beyond 50 years. They operate through branches and affiliates that carry out different insurance programs with the help of a widely spread volunteer force.

People beyond and under 50 years can easily register themselves with AARP. However, benefits vary with age. If you are an old American or care about a more senior family member, AARP can be an excellent remedy for your worries.

Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett

Tony Benett makes his living in the insurance industry by teaching and consulting. He is also recognized by the legal profession as an expert on insurance coverages. His insurance experience includes having worked at the company level, owned an independent general agency and having worked for an insurance association. He has received various certificates over the past few years and helps his clients and readers by giving them a realistic outlook on what they can expect to achieve within their set targets. At Insurance Noon, he is known for his in-depth analysis and attention to details with accuracy. He has been published as one of the most referred agents by his peers in the insurance community. Tony loves the outdoors and most sport events. His passion other than providing excellent advice is playing golf.

Insurance Noon is the world's leading source of insurance related content on the web, focusing on industry news, buying guides, reviews, and much more.