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Headquarters: 601 E Street NW
Washington, DC 20049
Employees: 2,000+
CEO: Jo Ann Jenkins


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The American Association for Retired Persons is the largest advocacy group in the country and dedicated to the needs of Americans over 50 years old. AARP has nearly 38 million members and one-third still hold a full-time or part-time job.

AARP is non-partisan and lobbies for issues and rights important to older Americans. There are local chapters in all 50 states.

In 2016, AARP reported revenues of $1.603 billion, down slightly from $1.604 billion the previous year. Total operating expenses for the year were $1.599 billion.

Membership is $16 per year and includes access to health, auto and home insurance, discounts on travel and other products and a free subscription to AARP Magazine.

AARP Magazine is the largest circulation magazine in the nation with over 47 million readers and is the voice for Americans 50+.


Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, a retired high school principal, founded AARP in 1958. AARP evolved from the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA), which Dr. Andrus had established in 1947 to promote her philosophy of productive aging, and in response to the need of retired teachers for health insurance. At that time, private health insurance was virtually unavailable to older Americans; in fact, it was not until 1965 that the government enacted Medicare, which provides health benefits to persons over age 65. Dr. Andrus approached dozens of insurance companies until she found one willing to take the risk of insuring older persons. She then developed other benefits and programs, including a discount mail order pharmacy service. Over the years NRTA heard from thousands of others who wanted to know how they could obtain insurance and other NRTA benefits without being retired teachers. After ten years, Dr. Andrus realized the time had come to create a new organization open to all Americans. Today, NRTA is a division within AARP.


AARP offers a range of benefits such as tuition assistance, career coaches, workshops, networking events, certifications, professional memberships, internal development opportunities and more.
In addition to annual vacation, paid holidays and sick leave, AARP offers flexible work arrangements; paid and unpaid leave programs, including caregiving leave, parental leave and community service days; a phased retirement program; renewal (paid sabbatical for long term employees); and more.

Updated September 29, 2017

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