Join AARP before you’re ready to retire. That seems crazy, but do it. Sure, you’ll save money, but more importantly, you’ll enjoy several unexpected benefits.
Four Reasons You Should Join AARP
Senior discounts are the obvious reason for joining AARP. True, you can receive similar discounts without an AARP card in your pocket, but those discounts often aren’t available until you are 60 or older. Flash an AARP card and remove any questions about your eligibility. I’ve received discounts for movies, restaurants, and bar cover charges.
Discounts are nice, but they don’t mean much without a long-term financial strategy—and Senior Citizens are all about finance planning. Personally, I’d like to retire early, but that’s not going to happen if I don’t start planning. AARP employs experts to provide financial planning for retirement, second careers, and investment advice.
Money isn’t everything, and AARP offers a wide range of tips and tricks tailored to the 50 and older crowd. They provide advice on movies, health, dating, insurance, food, family, caregiving, hobbies, technology, and more. For example, the free e-book section includes “Steps to Finding the Work You Want After 50” (hint: start with self-assessment). When I turned 40, my metabolism changed and I began taking on unwelcome weight. As a result, kale is my new friend and I look forward to trying “Quick and Easy Portuguese Kale Soup,” a recipe in the free ebook area on the AARP website.
My weight isn’t the only post-50 change. My blood pressure jumped and as a result, so I needed to change habits, diet, and medication. I could find answers to my health question by searching the internet. AARP is focused on the needs of my peers and helps me be a better self-managed patient.
One More Reason to Join AARP
Politicians talk about reducing “entitlements” to fix the deficit. Those entitlements include Medicare and Social Security, two benefits I’ll be using in the next decade. I’d like them to remain intact for when I need them, which means I need to get involved in politics now to protect them. AARP is the seventh largest lobbying group and the only non-corporate group I can join. If I want a voice in politics, AARP is the easiest path to influence.
I’m not ready to retire, but I can take early advantage of the benefits AARP has to offer — both now and next decade.