The AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) was founded in 1958 in Ojai, California, by Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus. After establishing the National Retired Teachers Association in 1948, Andrus decided to open up her organization to all Americans 10 years later.
The AARP is a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing issues that affect older Americans through lobbying efforts aimed at both state and Federal governments. AARP also provides extensive consumer information, volunteer opportunities, and events including the annual National Event & Expo.
In addition to being active in healthcare related issues since at least the early 1960’s, the AARP, while not an insurer, it allows its name to be used by insurance companies in the sale of products, for which it is paid a commission. In fact, the group earns more money via commisions than it does from membership dues.
Many other groups, newspapers, and even politicians have been critical of the AARP, stating that they are masquerading as a nonprofit, while making billions selling insurance policies and high-cost membership fees.
AARP has headquarters in Washington, D.C. While it has only about 2,250 full-time employees, the company has more than 20,000 volunteers around the country.