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Should I Join AARP or AMAC?

Everyone hopes and plans for a comfortable and secure retired life. Many people start making preparations for retirement at the beginning of their careers through their 401K and investment ventures. But what happens once you hit the age of 50, or once you finally do retire?

Many organizations advocate for seniors and provide services and resources to seniors that help them improve their quality of life and enjoy their post-retirement years. Two such groups are AARP (formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons) and AMAC (Association of Mature American Citizens).

Both AARP and AMAC are non-profit organizations that provide information, resources, services, and discounts to seniors. Because the two associations have a lot in common, seniors typically sign up for one or the other. If you're looking for senior-focused benefits but don't know which group to join, keep reading to learn more about both organizations. 

Price and Eligibility

Anyone who is 50 years of age or older qualifies for full AARP and AMAC membership. While you can join these groups even before you turn 50, you'll have a limited membership that features fewer benefits. 

You can join AARP by paying just $16 for an entire year. If you choose auto-renewal, you can get your first-year membership only for $12 a month. Or, you can sign up for lifetime membership by paying $200 upfront. Keep in mind that purchasing AARP membership allows you to add your spouse for free.

Like AARP, AMAC has a yearly membership fee of $16. The lifetime membership, however, costs about $500. Alternatively, you can pay $42 for a three-year membership or $59.95 for a five-year membership. 

Although the name AARP stands for the American Association of Retired Persons, its members don't need to be retired individuals. Non-retired people are also welcome to join either of these groups.

Mission Statements 

While AARP and AMAC have much in common, they have distinct mission statements. 

According to the AARP website, "AARP enhances the quality of life for all as we age. We champion positive social change and deliver value through advocacy, information, and service." The group's vision is to foster "a society in which all people live with dignity and purpose, and fulfill their goals and dreams."

The AMAC overview page reads: "AMAC is your ticket to the future, if you care about America's history and traditions, our sacred Constitution and Bill of Rights, selfless veterans and sustained moral compass, the Nation's solvency – and repaying the debt we all owe for the legacy we inherited. AMAC offers real solutions and is a source of trusted financial, healthcare, retirement or insurance advice."

Comparing Benefits 

AARP and AMAC service the same age demographic, and, in turn, they offer very similar benefits. Benefits in common between the two organizations include: 
● Restaurant discounts

● Car rental discounts

● Hotel and travel discounts

● Airport parking discounts

● Prescription discounts 

● Free financial advice

● Discount on tour packages

● Free discount coupons for shopping

● Discount on movie or concert tickets

● Loyalty programs

● Free online games

● Discount on insurance

What Sets Them Apart 

However, there are a few significant benefits that set the associations apart. For example: 

● Roadside Assistance- AMAC directly offers an affordable roadside assistance plan to its members, but AARP does not. Many AARP members chose to purchase this service through their insurance provider. 

● Online Tools– If you visit the AARP website, you'll find a multitude of advanced and comprehensive online tools that you may find very useful. These include health tools, money tools, retirement tools, politics tools, family caregiving tools, travel tools, recipe guides, and a tool to find volunteer opportunities. AMAC has useful tools, but not to the same extent as AARP.

Discounts Through Private Insurers 

Both AARP and AMAC aim to make life more convenient and secure for retired or senior individuals. Both associations have partnerships with third-party insurance providers who offer discounted and specially-designed policy plans for AARP or AMAC members. 

If you're still on the fence about which organization to join, you can find out if you are eligible for AARPdiscounts through an auto insurance provider before you decide on the membership. Likewise, you can search for AMAC affiliate insurance companies and research their requirements and rewards. 

Your Choice Depends On Your Needs and Preferences

Both AARP and AMAC offer excellent benefits to their members, along with useful resources that can give you access to valuable information. Before deciding which of the groups to join, make sure you assess your personal needs and preferences, and explore all your options. Take time to do your research, ask around, and read a few reviews before taking the plunge and joining either group.