The American Association of Retired Persons has been a valuable resource for people age 50 and above since 1958. For an annual fee of $16, the current enrollment of nearly 40 million members enjoy savings and other special benefits. They include insurance, travel, restaurants, entertainment, sports, credit cards and scores of other areas. Of course, aware seniors appreciate AARP ‘s continuing efforts to protect their rights with legislative bodies from city councils to the U.S. Congress. This includes strengthening Social Security and Medicare coverages, maintaining effective senior health plans and other benefits for its 40 million members.
However, AARP also provides services helpful in improving the lives of American seniors, but are little known to many members. Here are five little-known benefits for AARP members:
AARP Brain Games feature online mental exercises designed to keep seniors’ minds sharp and alert. One program, created by BrainHQ, includes improving memory, attention span, brain speed, intelligence and people skills. Some offer free sample games to start, and various programs cost from $14.95 a month.
You Don’t Have To Be 50+ To Enjoy Some AARP Benefits By joining as an associate member, you can qualify for a no-fee AARP Visa credit card. It offers 3% cash back on gas station and restaurant bills, as well as 1% cash back on many other purchases. Additionally, if you use the card to spend at least $500 within the first three months of membership, $100 of it will be deducted from your account.
Senior Dating Service The locks of hair may be turning wintry, but in many older hearts, it’s always springtime. Established in 2012, AARP offers a seven-day free trial of this online feature for seniors seeking social connections. It requires posting information and pictures, and then enrollees can browse the site for choices of personal match-ups. The cost is $20 for one month, or $12 per month if enrolled for six months.
AARP Career and Volunteer Support AARP offers seniors opportunities to earn income in a variety of ways, including full-time, seasonal and part-time job listings. Other AARP programs, such as Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), reach out beyond senior membership requirements. It also offers aid to people of all ages who need help finding jobs, financial advice, budgeting and other services.
AARP and Best Buy’s Geek Squad The retail giant has partnered with the retiree organization to help seniors do some serious shopping and learning about all the latest tech advances without needing to leave their homes. Best Buy has savvy experts on call 24 hours a day to offer advice and answer questions about the ever more complex world of high-tech products and services, all at a 25 percent discount. AARP Geek Squad membership for a year costs from $99.99 to $169.99, and gives senior customers access to a personal tech shopper. In addition to immediate advice, the service includes installation of computers, home networks, tablets and everything else that goes with them.
Ted Sherman is a tech user and the World’s Oldest Travel Blogger. He enjoys sharing his travel experiences and knowledge with others. Follow Ted on Twitter, @travel4seniors and on his travel blog, travel4people.