What is CARP? Yes, I know it’s a fish but CARP also stands for Canadian Association of Retired Persons. It is a national advocacy organization that serves the needs of Canadians age 50 and over.
According to their website, their mandate is to enhance the quality of life for all Canadians as we age, and advocate for social change that will bring:
- Financial security
- Equitable and timely access to health care
- Freedom from discrimination
The group is committed to ensuring that the marketplace serves the needs and expectations of this generation.
Lofty goals indeed, but timely. Consider the following statistics taken from their website:
- Today there are more people over the age of 50 than under age 30.
- By 2016, for the first time in history, there will be more people over 65 than under age 14.
- 6.4 million Canadians are either retired or semi-retired.
- 7 in 10 Canadians plan to keep working during retirement.
CARP members can save hundreds of dollars a year through their affinity programs. Great discounts and extras are available from a number of national companies. You can save on:
- Insurance, such as health, dental, life, critical care and travel.
- Optical, hearing aids and senior personal care.
- Travel benefits from hotels, car rentals, cruises, coach tours and tourist attractions and golf.
- Entertainment discounts on restaurants, theatre and festivals.
- Fitness, lifestyle and household services.
- Phone plans – land and cell.
- Sunlife Financial gives financial and investment advice as well as retirement and estate planning.
For a complete listing, go to www.carp.ca/CARPAffinityPartners.
The website has a calendar of seminars and events. Those listed for January and February include:
- “Vitality of Aging” 50+ workshop in Vancouver
- “Cluttermania” free musical in Vancouver
- Seminar on “Nutrition and Brain Function” in Toronto
- Discount on the theatre production of “When the Cats Away” in Pickering, ON
Sadly, nothing was listed for my area. I guess retired people who live on the prairies don’t like to venture outside when it’s freezing cold.
The website provides online information on services and tools for a broad range of topics, from federal programs to what to do about age discrimination. There are lots of FAQs and links to sites of interest to seniors and retirees.
Becoming a CARP Member
Membership is $14.95 annually or $29.95 gives you a subscription to Zoomer magazine (9 issues). Also available is a free E-Newsletter that provides day-to-day news events in your province.
Their goal is to reach 1 million members. Check out their website at www.carp.ca.