What is AARP?

AARP stands for the American Association of Retired Persons. It is a nonprofit organization that advocates and promotes the well-being of Americans 50 years of age or older.

How Does AARP Work?

With roughly 40 million members, AARP's mission is to empower older Americans through choice and self-direction and improve community well-being through education, health, consumer protection, and community involvement. The organization also publishes AARP – The Magazine and AARP Bulletin as a way to increase awareness of current issues affecting older Americans. Meanwhile, the AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that offers money and support to seniors in the United States.

AARP also endorses a variety of goods and services, particularly insurance and financial products, and offers discounts on travel and other items to its members. It also advocates for senior issues through its lobbying arm and publishes research on a variety of age-related topics.

Founded in 1958 by Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, AARP maintains active offices in Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and all 50 U.S. states. The organization is led by a 22-member board of directors.

Why Does AARP Matter?

AARP is one of the largest nonprofits in the United States, and the organization has considerable influence on legislative issues affecting seniors. Representing a substantial slice of the American population, AARP is an extremely powerful lobbyist at the federal and state levels. Commercially, AARP is also a powerhouse in the financial services, insurance and publishing industries.