This past Saturday on the AgingOptions Radio Show a listener by the name of Tricia called in to inquire as to whether there might be some good alernatives to the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons)… similar organizations that could offer the same benefits associated with AARP's vast membership “clout” in procuring savings on things like insurance products and discounts on services and products.
Turns out that there are! Membership groups that build upon the AARP model of “purchasing strength in numbers” include groups such as the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) ,which bills itself as a “Conservative alternative to the AARP” and the American Seniors Organization being two such examples.
Here's what it really comes down to… in all these membership groups there's the “Products” side of the coin and the “Politics” side… and its up to the leanings and leading of each individual to come to an informed decision about which channel they want their $$$ to flow into and through.
Here's the knock on AARP. They lobbied hard and heavy for “Obamacare”, but not without, shall we say, 'mixed motives'. How so? Obamacare is slated to pull over $500 billion (Yes, that's billion with a “B”) out of Medicare over the next 10 years to help foot the bill for itself. And what will seniors do who then have to go out and purchase more insurance coverage on their own to make up for that little “redistribution of wealth”? Yup, that's right… turn to AARP to purchase such coverage from them. Can you say “Conflict of interest”?
This is precisely why alternatives to AARP have sprung up. Americans love freedom of association, but conversely, we hate being strong-armed into supporting political positions that we don't agree with. Ask 66% of any and all union members how they feel about having their dues going to support Democrat politicians and policies and you'll see why groups like AMAC and ASO now exist.
For those of you who want to dig a little deeper into the decision of what you want your membership dues going toward here's an interesting interview done by radio show host Bill Bennett with the founder of AMAC.