I am not much of a joiner. In fact, I shun joining most groups. I run from being committed. A friend of mine asked me a few months ago to join her book club, a group of nice people who meet once a month to discuss the book they have chosen for that month. Without hesitation, I declined.
Joining AARP was different. First, I did not have to show up anywhere. Second, I had been waiting to join this group. My peers, the Baby Boomers, were getting ready for retirement. We had been planning for it. I joined as soon as I turned 50, partly because it made retirement seem more real. I embraced it, and retired halfway through my 60th year.
I joined partly because of group identification. I joined for political reasons, as well. I already knew that as an aging American, AARP was looking out for my interests. They are one of the most active political groups in the country, and in an age where senior citizens are often irrelevant to younger people, I knew I was valued and promoted by AARP.
I have not taken advantage of many of their discounts, but one of them was a great cell phone service, with no contract, and very low rates that my membership to AARP got for me, along with an extra discount for being an AARP member. I went from having paid $60.00 a month to under $25.00 a month for my cell phone service. I also did not have to buy a new phone. That alone was worth my AARP membership.
I look forward to their publications, and I love how they celebrate the accomplishments of people 50 and older. I like their bulletin that always has news of interest for my area and for my state that affects seniors. It is a little present every month to be celebrated for our age, our vitality, and our continuing worth to our communities.
I like the health news, puzzles, and advice from experts for seniors. Maybe someday, I will take advantage of one of their concerts or cruises. It’s not out of the question. I like that they ask me to support bills for seniors, and engage us in petitions to not mess with Social Security or Medicare. Even if I never need their help for a problem, it’s a comfort to know they are there, on my side, and working to advance the rights and concerns of seniors across the country. Long live AARP.