I'm in my mid-40s and that's about the time junk mail starts showing up encouraging you to join the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

My first reaction was always to scream and rip the letter up and throw it into the trash. Well, it seems that in recent years they've drifted away from identifying as an association for old people and are much more like a buyers' club – like the AAA (American Automobile Association). I have to admit, I actually joined largely because they have a standing offer of $400 off British Airways Business and First Class flights. Yes, I'll happily slay my silly youthful pride for $800 off a trip for two of to England.

As I've been planning our trip to Hawaii, I've found that having an AARP card also managed to knock $40 a night off of the hotel we wanted to stay at in Honolulu, and around $40 off the cost of our car rental in Kona. Considering a one-year membership costs $16, it's more than paid for itself just on the Hawaii trip. There doesn't appear to be any age limit for joining, so take a look at the vast list of discounts they offer and see if you think it's worth it.

One hotel stay paid for our membership several times over!


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