It was about six years ago, but I remember the day vividly. I had just finished a long hike and collected our mail from the mailbox. There it was with bright red letters: AARP. What? Isn’t that for older people? It was the eve of my 50th birthday and I was working full-time and raising two teenagers. The talons of this non-profit were reaching out to grab me into their world of senior discounts and articles about drugs for urinary incontinence and cremation versus burial.

I stormed into my home office, grabbed a big black marker and wrote on the envelope: Return To Sender. Next, I went to the AARP website and completed the Privacy Policy Opt-Out Form to officially remove myself from their mailing list and the deluge of letters, emails, magazines and coupons that were looming in my future.

If you’re over 50 and receiving those invitations or you’ve already signed up for AARP, here’s why you may want to get out your shredder and give membership the boot.

Acronyms are Funny Things

AARP’s logo may have the tagline Real Possbilities, but AARP stands for: American Association of Retired Persons. If our goal is rewirement (and not retirement), AARP just doesn’t fit, not even with the lure of discounts and benefits. Somehow showing my AARP card at the car rental counter would be in conflict with happy ageless vibes.

Fixation on Age

An AARP membership is a constant reminder of the fixation we have on age-based milestones and what they represent. At 50 you get AARP, you retire at 60 or 65, Social Security kicks in at 65, and, by gosh, you enter RMD Land at age 70 1/2. Generations before, no one lived with these preconceived milestones. They just lived on one happy continuum, defining their own path and finding meaning along the way. When my third grade teacher passed away this year at 105, I have a feeling she, too, sidestepped the AARP membership.

Your Brain Neurons are Mapping

Your mind is the one thing you have complete control over. What you think about, choose to focus on, and your reaction to life’s ups and downs, determine how your brain works and how it’s mapped. AARP mailings and emails are like little invasive messages shaping your views and ideas about age. Brainwashing, one neuron at a time. Mindset is everything.

There’s Always Google

AARP does provide helpful articles, but so does a Google search. To find an AARP article about financial planning, you have to weed through the plethora of articles that are not yet relevant nor interesting. If I’m interested in reading about keeping my brain healthy, I’ll Google it without tripping over ads for hearing aids and continuing care.

For the past six years I’ve enjoyed an AARP-free life, with not one reminder of my pending mortality while I’m striving to live an active, healthy and vibrant lifestyle. And, one more tree will be saved without the mailings I would have received from age 50 to 100.

1 Comment

  1. I literally received an AARP envelope today and am so tired of throwing them out. Thanks for the link on how I can get rid of them. Maybe I’ll join when I’m 90.


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