Formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons, AARP is the nation's leading organization for people age fifty and older. Founded in 1958 by retired educator Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, it is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association with a membership of 40 million. It provides information, education, research, advocacy and community services through a nationwide network of local chapters and experienced volunteers. It focuses its work on consumer issues, economic security, work, health and independent living issues, and engages in legislative, judicial and consumer advocacy in these areas.


AARP is considered a powerful lobbying group as well as a successful business, selling insurance, investment funds and other financial products. It is also an independent publisher, offering Modern Maturity magazine and the monthly AARP Bulletin.