The minute I turned 49, the mail started pouring in asking me to join AARP. So when I turned 50, I decided why not give it a try? The price of AARP membership was only $16 and my husband’s membership comes free with mine, so I thought $1.30 a month was a reasonable price to join. Plus, the free spouse counts as the first discount.

Glancing at the benefits, I saw hundreds of top-named companies affiliated with AARP. There has got to be at least one discount that I would use so, why not embrace my new age bracket and get something for it? I know there’s a big joke in there somewhere but getting discounts is more important than my ego.

Can I save $16 or more by joining AARP for a longer term?

I have weighed the option of joining for a longer term, as there is a substantial savings of $17 if you join for 5 years. This is like getting a year free for both you and your spouse. And, who knows what their rates will be by the year 2021?

If you’re not up for 5 years and would rather renew your membership annually, try the auto-renew option. Auto renew gets you more than a 10% discount for your initial auto renewal and allows you to focus on the benefits of membership.

AARP The Magazine – is it any good?

The magazine arrived today and on the cover is probably the best-looking photo of Michael Douglas that I’ve seen in a long time. He’s 71 and still Hollywood good-looking. This publication gives me a little insight into famous people over 50 – Cher, Bruce Springsteen, Denzel Washington, Viola Davis – to name a few.

The rest of the magazine doesn’t hold a lot of interest for me as it has a lot of ads that are from their service providers. But, overall the magazine is trying to appeal to a large age group and with AARP being the largest non-profit, this is the largest circulation publication in the US. I think of the publication as a freebie with the membership so it’s not something that I would miss if it altogether stopped. I make sure it is kept safely hidden in my office.

I saved $250 with the Eye Care discount alone.

couple wearing prescription sunglassesAARP’s eye care savings is one of their best benefits. You save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on designer frames, which includes prescription sunglasses. You can save 40% off Transitions® lenses. And you can go to any LensCrafters, Sears Optical, and Pearle Vision. You will need to take your AARP card membership number with you to get this discount. You can also share the savings with your spouse, partner or household member since they signed up as part of your membership. This is a double-dipping deal that makes the $16 cost of membership worth signing up for tenfold.

With my recent eyeglass purchase from Pearle Vision, I was not shocked when the Tori Burch frames I chose were $400 and my lenses were $350 (adding up to a whopping $750, plus tax). I knew when I gave my AARP membership number to the 30-something salesperson that helped me decide which frame looked best on me, my purchase would end up being much more affordable – I saved $225 thanks to my AARP card.

If you prefer shopping online, you can go to Glasses.com and get 25% off $200 in purchases. If you spend less than $200 you save 15% off your purchase. They have thousands of designer frames, and basic lenses are free. And you get an additional 25% off lens upgrades. When you order online, know you can get the frame adjusted at LensCrafters stores. With Glasses.com you go online and virtually try on the frames. If you need to try them on in person you can try their free in-home try-on programs. It is organized by collections, so you can shop by brands. You then select the lenses and checkout. You snap a pic of your written prescription with your phone, then text, email or upload a copy to Glasses.com. Shipping is free. Pretty simple.

So turning 50 comes with a few new wrinkles, a colonoscopy and higher medical insurance payments, but there are a few perks too. It is a rough spell and everyone can tell you that you are only as old as you feel, but this definitely is a milestone birthday. So thank goodness for my AARP discounts. This is just one but if you want (or need) glasses – or just want to save money on other everyday purchases – this is a membership worth signing up for.

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