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AARP is the nation's largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to the more than 100 million Americans 50-plus and their families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the nation's largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visitñol or follow @AARP@AARPenEspañol and @AARPadvocates on social media.

Advocating for people age 50-plus is at the heart of our mission. It's part of what we do every day from our national office in Washington, D.C., and from offices in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. On health security, AARP fights to protect Medicare, expand access to health care, lower prescription drug prices, support caregivers and protect nursing home residents. On financial stability, we fight to protect Social Security, establish savings plans for workers and stop scams and fraud. We also work to combat age discrimination in the workplace and speak up for the vulnerable and underrepresented on issues like affordable housing and food security.

Our Advocacy


AARP is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that doesn’t endorse candidates or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. Its members come from across the political spectrum, and AARP has a long record of making sure that elected officials from both parties address the issues that matter to all Americans age 50-plus, including protecting Social Security and Medicare.


Our advocacy efforts have been nonpartisan since our founding in 1958. We have worked with Republican and Democratic administrations and members of Congress, governors and state legislators from both parties to achieve many victories for older Americans, including:

Fighting for Health Security

  • Lowering prescription drug prices: We helped to lower prescription drug prices by empowering Medicare to negotiate prices of certain drugs, to cap out-of-pocket costs for Medicare Part D beneficiaries and to impose tax penalties for drugmakers that increase prices faster than inflation.
  • Adding a prescription drug benefit to Medicare: In 2003, AARP worked with the George W. Bush administration to create Medicare Part D, which for the first time provided Medicare coverage for prescription drugs, and worked with Barack Obama’s administration to close gaps in Part D coverage.
  • Providing Medicare coverage for telemedicine: During the COVID-19 pandemic AARP called on Medicare to expand coverage of telemedicine and for increased tax credits for health insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act.
  • Bringing low-cost hearing aids to market: We successfully pushed for the authorization of over-the-counter hearing aids, an affordable and convenient solution for millions of Americans experiencing moderate hearing loss.
  • Protecting people with preexisting health conditions: AARP supported passage of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which expanded health insurance access, prevented a costly “age tax” to purchase insurance, and required insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions.
  • Helping families care for loved ones: AARP supported the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act, which provides unpaid leave to employees for care of a family member or to take care of their own health.

Fighting for Financial Security

  • Preventing Social Security privatization: AARP fought against turning Social Security into risky private accounts and to ensure Social Security remained an earned guaranteed benefit.
  • Protecting Social Security COLAs: AARP fought against efforts by both parties to reduce cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security, which are especially critical when prices are rising.
  • Expanding and protecting pensions: We advocated for expanded opportunities for workplace retirement savings, including for part-time workers, and to protect pension benefits that workers have earned.
  • Protecting the medical expense deduction: AARP fought to protect the medical expense tax deduction to provide some measure of financial help for those with high health care expenses.

Fighting to Protect Consumers

AARP also has a long history of nonpartisan voter engagement. As a nonpartisan organization, we don’t support or contribute to political candidates, parties or campaigns — and never have.


Our Programs

AARP's programs help enhance the quality of life for all as we age — and make us a force for positive change in communities across the country.

Planning and saving for the future

We publish trustworthy information and resources that help you save and manage your money, including our Social Security Resource Center and AARP Money Map, for navigating unexpected financial challenges and managing debt. We advocate for "work and save” programs for the tens of millions of Americans without access to employer-sponsored retirement plans.

Fighting fraud

The AARP Fraud Watch Network empowers Americans to fight back against scams and fraud with tips, tools, alerts and a free helpline operated by staff and trained volunteers. AARP BankSafe helps financial institutions recognize and prevent financial exploitation, while our podcast The Perfect Scam covers real-life scam stories.

Supporting experienced workers

AARP's Work & Jobs resources help older workers stay competitive, explore career options and fight age discrimination. Resources include a jobs boardrésumé advising services, and information and guidance for those over 50 who want to start their own business. Through our AARP Employer Pledge Program, more than 1,000 employers have committed to age-friendly hiring and employment practices.

Help with taxes, free of charge

 AARP Foundation Tax-Aide has provided free tax preparation and filing services for more than 68 million low- and moderate-income taxpayers since its inception in 1968. 

Vibrant communities for all ages

 Livable Communities helps create connected, safe places where people can live where they choose and remain independent for as long as possible. 

Driving safely at any age

Millions of older drivers have taken our Driver Safety course, with many receiving insurance discounts. 

Helping family caregivers

We offer practical help to 48 million caregivers in the U.S., with tips and advice and our free Prepare to Care guides, printed in various languages. We've also led the charge for the CARE Act — now law in more than 40 states — which requires hospitals to give families essential information when a loved one is discharged.

Living healthy programs

AARP Staying Sharp, the Center to Champion Nursing in America — a joint project of AARP, AARP Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation — and the Global Council on Brain Health produce tools, information and research for mind, body and brain health.

Engaging voters and candidates

We engage voters and candidates on key issues for older Americanseducate the 50-plus on the various options for voting and fight for expanded ballot access, working to make voting easier for all who are eligible.

Our History

Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus AARP founder california retirement


Ethel Percy Andrus

AARP was founded in 1958 by Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, a retired public school teacher and principal in California. In 1944, Andrus went to check on a former teacher who was ill and found her living in a chicken coop. It was all the retired teacher could afford on her pension. Before Medicare was enacted in 1965, the United States lacked a national program to provide health insurance to people 65 and older. And mandatory retirement was commonplace, usually at 65.

Shocked by the teacher in the chicken coop, Andrus formed the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA) in 1947 to use the collective power of retired teachers to secure affordable group health coverage. After 42 insurance companies turned her down, Andrus persuaded a New York insurance broker to partner with her organization on a pilot program for retired New York teachers. The experiment was a success, and Andrus and the broker established a national version of the insurance plan in 1955.

Three years later, Andrus created the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) as a sister organization to NRTA. With membership in AARP — $2 per household annually — all Americans 55 and older gained access to its insurance benefits. In that same year, 1958, AARP began publishing Modern Maturity, a magazine that challenged stereotypes of older adults and presented aging as an opportunity and older people as a valuable resource.

Today we're known simply as AARP and we invite Americans to join once they turn 50. Our mission remains empowering people to choose how they live as they age, through a broad variety of programs, advocacy and media. Members of AARP span four generations and reflect a wide range of attitudes, cultures and lifestyles. Approximately one-third of AARP members work full or part time, while most of the remainder are retired.

Learn more about our history, and see a timeline of our key milestones.

How We're Organized

AARP has four distinct but connected parts.

  • AARP, the parent, is a 501 (c)(4) nonprofit advocate for people age 50 and older. Access AARP's annual reports, audited financial statements, and Form 990s.

  • AARP Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) charitable arm, funding programs to help low-income and isolated adults age 50 and older. It also provides services, such as the free, volunteer-run tax assistance program called AARP Foundation Tax-Aide; legal advocacy work to fight age discrimination; and initiatives to fight poverty, hunger, and homelessness among older adults. Access AARP Foundation's annual reports and financial statements.

  • Legal Counsel for the Elderly (LCE) is a nonprofit affiliate of AARP established in 1975. LCE provides free legal and social work services to approximately 6,000 lower-income Washington, D.C., residents 60 and older.. Access LCE's annual reports and Form 990s.

  • AARP Services is a taxable subsidiary of AARP that manages relationships for a variety of products and services that carry the AARP name and are made available to AARP members by third-party providers.

Our Innovation

AARP continually evolves and invents to meet the new realities of aging. The way people are aging is changing, but many of the products and services they need to live longer, happier lives are not available. The AARP Innovation Fund is sparking solutions by committing $40 million in three health-care areas: aging at home, preventive health and convenient access to health care.

The AARP Brain Health Fund, meanwhile, has invested $60 million in the Dementia Discovery Fund to support innovative research into treating dementia. Some 50 million people worldwide suffer from such conditions, with nearly 10 million new cases every year. And our Longevity Economy Outlook finds that Americans age 50 and up contribute so much to the U.S. economy that they would constitute the world's third-largest economy if they were counted as their own country.

By leveraging members’ collective purchasing power, AARP has transformed the way leading companies serve consumers as they age. AARP Innovation Labs helps AARP develop new products internally and engage with start-ups, academia and other experts to shape and cocreate new solutions. At the center of this work is The Hatchery, a 10,000-square-foot workspace at AARP's headquarters that brings together creative entrepreneurs to share ideas for keeping people 50 and older top of mind as they design new products and services.

Learn more about innovation at AARP.

AARP Financial and Annual Reports