50-50: Some Aging Baby Boomers Relish AARP Courting; Others Don't

By Theresa Tighe Of The Post-Dispatch | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), August 19, 1996 | Go to article overview

50-50: Some Aging Baby Boomers Relish AARP Courting; Others Don't


Theresa Tighe Of The Post-Dispatch, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Your 50th birthday approaches. Your family has ordered a cake shaped like a tombstone. Your coworkers have draped your desk in black crepe.

Then you open your mailbox and find an invitation to join the American Association of Retired Persons.

How do 50-year-olds respond?

Shelly Solomon of Chesterfield threw her AARP letter in the trash.

"I thought, `What next? A letter from June Allyson and a box of Depends? A set of false teeth?' As long as I don't have to join AARP, I don't have to admit I'm getting old."

But Peter Pfeffer of Creve Coeur joined immediately. "I call myself inexpensive. My wife calls me cheap," he said with a laugh. "I saw the invitation as an opportunity. I wanted the discounts."

Even President Bill Clinton has some thoughts on the matter.

"I never thought when I was growing up that I would get an AARP card," Clinton said the other day, in advance of his 50th birthday today. "When the card arrives in the mail, I will know it happened."

An AARP membership fee is $8 a year. That includes your spouse, even if he or she is 22. The fee buys subscriptions to Modern Maturity Magazine and the AARP Bulletin. Both contain articles on travel, retirement planning, Medicare, Social Security; a chance to invest through, and to bu y insurance and prescription drugs from, AARP; and AARP discounts such as 5 to 30 percent off car rental, 10 to 15 percent off FTD floral purchases and 10 to 50 percent off hotel, motel and resort rates.

Many 50-year-olds such as Greg Sestric view such discounts skeptically. "AARP wanted more members and my money," Sestric said.

After all, people 50 and older account for 77 percent of this country's net worth and 41 percent of all consumer demand - and are the fastest-growing market, said Dick Ambrosius. He's president of Phoenix Systems Inc. of Sioux Falls, S.D., a company that markets to older people.

Sestric of Chesterfield declined AARP's invitation. He said his auto club membership got him the same discounts with less embarrassment. To him, an AARP card, like a 50th birthday, is a constant reminder that "I'm nearer to death than to birth."

Never mind that Sestric has a son, 10, and a daughter, 13, to get through college, a cardio-glide exerciser in the basement, a full head of hair and no hope of retiring for another 20 years.

Never mind that AARP officials view negative comments on growing older with an enthusiasm usually reserved for a stomach virus.

"First of all, we don't consider 50 old," says Melinda Halpert, director of AARP's membership and development department. "Society, overall, has problems recognizing the dynamic process of aging."

Halpert's department is the one responsible for those half-century birthday greetings. Halpert said the aim is to land the invitation in your mailbox in your natal month. About 100,000, or one-third of AARP's members, are in their 50s.

Halpert expects 50-year-old recipients to divide into two camps. People eager to have good information will welcome the invitation to join AARP, she said. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

50-50: Some Aging Baby Boomers Relish AARP Courting; Others Don't
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.