Finding alternatives to AARP is not impossible. We understand it is prevalent, but you can find other options, nonetheless.
AARP is an expansion of NRTA (National Retired Teachers Association). The founder, a high-school principal, established the club in the 1940s. She meant to ensure that retired teachers had access to proper health insurance. The title changed to the American Association of Retired Persons a decade later. The new club accepted all retired professionals.
In 1990, the group changed its rules of admission. The new guidelines allowed the entry of every working American—retired or not. However, members must be at least 50. The title was changed to just ‘AARP’ as well.
Today, AARP’s annual budget is almost $1.5 billion. A large percentage comes from organizations that market their products with the AARP logo and name. The group has over 38 million members—an estimated 35% of the entire American above-50 population. AARP is a powerful lobbying group due to its large membership.
All political viewpoints previously accepted AARP, be it right-wing or left-wing individuals. Things are changing recently, however.
Conservatives are calling for a change in the structure of the group. Core conservatives are altogether demanding that right-wingers leave the group. The reasons for this are:
Supporting Obamacare affected the group. The American Seniors Association (ASA) used this opportunity maximally. The group branded itself as the “conservative alternative” to AARP. ASA offered a full year of free membership to AARP members who cut their cards. According to Ray Lewin, the group’s spokesperson, “We had to stop [the promotion] early. I had too many 55-gallon trash bags full of AARP cards cut in half.”
Conservative alternatives to AARP offer similar discounts to what you can get from the group. A few of these groups contribute “conservatively” to political issues that concern older Americans.
We look at the best 5 of these alternatives to AARP below.
ASA is a popular alternative to AARP. The group was founded in 2005. It was initially the “National Association for Senior Concerns.” ASA offers discounts on drug prescriptions and travels. The group exists on five foundations, namely:
ASA claims to be “the fastest-growing seniors’ advocacy in the nation.” It doesn’t report its official figures on its website, though. The group benefited massively from the 2010 mass exodus from AARP.
CAP started in 1994 as the Christian Association of Primetimers. It earmarks itself as “The Christian, non-political alternative to AARP.” CAP discounts individuals and businesses on products or services, including healthcare, insurance, and travel.
“We do prefer to support Christian owned businesses and ministries and promote Christian events and entertainment” and are “careful to avoid any business that openly demonstrates any hostility toward Christians or Christianity.”
Conservatives relate to CAP better. It agrees with John Locke’s assertion that a sole source inspires both Church and State.
AMAC was established in 2007. It offers a robust benefit catalog than you can get at other senior conservative groups. It hence attracts older political persons taken by the discounts at AARP. In 2014, AMAC merged with a similar group, “Generation America.” The group gained hundreds of thousands of members in subsequent months. Note that AMAC already had 1.1 million members before this coalition.
60 Plus describes itself as a “nonpartisan seniors advocacy group with a free enterprise, less government, and fewer taxes and views towards issues important to seniors.” The group began in 1992 and now boasts over 7 million followers. As it stands, 60 Plus does not provide discounts on any product or service. It instead centers on political advocacy and lobbying. 60 Plus aims at “ending the federal estate tax and saving Social Security for the young.”
NAOCS is famous for its two bouquet options: “silver” and “Golden Patriot.” Subscribers to the Golden Patriot package have access to the cell contacts of elected public officials with the “click to call” feature. Also, they enjoy a vacation voucher. NAOCS was founded in 2012.
NAOCS has no unique link to conservatism. Notwithstanding, it is an excellent alternative to AARP.
AARP may not come off as an anti-conservative group to you, but it does to millions of conservatives. How else would you explain some of the decisions it has made or supported? Thankfully, there are several alternatives to AARP. We highlighted the best five above, though. Another option is The Seniors Coalition (TSC). It started in 1989 and now represents over 3 million seniors.