What is AARP®?
The American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) is a non-profit organization that provides several services and benefits to people over 50. It offers a wide range of services needed to lead a fulfilling life in retirement. This includes marketing, legal, retirement, insurance, travel, healthcare, and other services that contribute to the overall well-being of retired and older adults.
However, you don’t need to be retired or over 50 to become an AARP member. Anyone over the age of 18 can become a member to experience many of the benefits the organization has to offer.
An overview of AARP’s work
AARP has a network of local organizations that provides a range of community and individual services including research, information, and education around issues like financial security, health, work, living, and legal and consumer advocacy.
Its reach is wide enough to offer a range of services across domains but tailored to the needs of people over 50. It also runs the Modern Maturity magazine and AARP Bulletin earning advertising revenue from its publications.
AARP offers a variety of financial services, including:
- Banking and investment services: AARP members can get a certificate of deposit (CD) for eight months with no penalty from Marcus by Goldman Sachs®. It also gives members access to an online annuity marketplace with a free income check. AARP members can also get credit cards from Barclay’s that provide attractive cashback rewards on travel, drugstore, and gas station purchases. There are also digital banking services, health savings, and high-yield savings account services that members can choose from.
- Financial planning: AARP members can get free tax help from the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program. AARP also offers long-term care options from New York Life that fit their individual needs and budget. AARP also offers a variety of financial guides, articles, reports, and podcasts with advice on money management, especially post-retirement. For members looking to plan their wills or set up trust funds, AARP offers discounted rates.
AARP has also notably lobbied for several health and security concerns, including Medicare, prescription drug coverage, pension and retirement savings protection, consumer protection, and Social Security.
AARP has faced some criticism in recent years, including allegations that they pay employees excessively and unnecessarily spend organizational funds on first-class and business-class travel even for short trips. Several senate investigations have been launched into their hiring practices and financial interests. Class action lawsuits have also been filed against their insurance policies. However, none of these allegations have been proven.