Is AARP worth it?

At the YMCA where I used to work out, there was always a big stack of AARP magazines available to read during my 30 minutes on the elliptical or treadmill. Despite being in my 30s, it was always my favorite magazine to borrow for a workout, though sometimes the ID hides the cover like I’m reading something illicit. I thought of AARP as an organization for…well, seniors. It’s called the American Association of Retired Persons, after all. It felt a little strange being a young mother in her 30s who devoted her workouts to absorbing an article in AARP’s flagship magazine.


But just because most people join AARP when they turn 50 (or older) doesn’t mean the association is just for people in the 50+ demographic. In fact, there are no age restrictions on joining AARP, so anyone can enjoy the benefits of membership.

For the low price of $16 per year (reduced to $12 if you sign up for automatic renewal), you can access all the benefits available to AARP members, and you can add your spouse to membership for free. But is AARP worth it?

Let’s Find Out but first, you should know… AARP offers a lot of great free information and free tools to help people prepare for retirement at any point in their career, even if you don’t specifically join the association.


A number of tools, information and assets are available for free on the AARP website, with no membership required.


Whether or not you join AARP, you can take full advantage of its Ace Your Retirement tool. When you navigate to the site, you are met by a cute digital retirement coach named Avo, who asks you a few simple questions.

In less than three minutes, Avo will give you a personalized action plan that highlights your top three tasks to help you prepare for retirement.

The tool explains exactly what you need to do to take care of these action items and also provides you with a way to start the action item. Once you’ve completed your top three action items, you’ll find an additional 5-6 action items to add to your plan to ensure you’re ready for retirement.

When I used the Ace Your Retirement tool, Avo let me know that my top three action items as a 39 year old freelancer were;

  • Do it yourself. As I am self-employed, it is vital that I set up an IRA or Solo 401 (k) account, although I already have this set up.
  • Get paid to wait. Avo explains how I can maximize my Social Security retirement benefits by waiting until age 70 to accept them. That can give me benefits that are 124% of my benefit at full retirement age.
  • Picture yourself after retirement. Avo suggests that I estimate my monthly retirement income and expenses so I can get a better idea of ​​how much I’ll need.


This free app, which is available for iPhone and Android, offers a number of great benefits for users.


Crossword puzzles, Sudoku games, Solitaire, strategy games, card games, and arcade-style games are more than just a fun way to pass downtime. They can also help hone your vocabulary, math skills, or problem-solving skills.

AARP’s website has a large number of free online games, including several games that have been created exclusively for members. You can get your online and mobile gaming fix through AARP without spending a dime.


While you can get a lot from AARP simply by using the free tools available to everyone, the best benefits are reserved for members. In addition to receiving a subscription to AARP magazine, which I really enjoy reading at the gym, you’ll also benefit from discounts in the following areas


You can save up to 25% off car rentals, as well as added benefits like discounted GPS rates and free vehicle upgrades from car rental chains like Avis and Budget. Once you arrive at your destination, you can save 10% off your stay at several major hotel chains including Wyndham, Best Western and La Quinta.

To top it off, you can also get discounts on flights, train tickets, cruises, national parks, tours, and vacation packages.


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