AARP Wants to Give Everyone a Life Tune-up

September 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Financial Planning

You have to give the AARP credit. It is first and foremost a marketing machine. When it began, the AARP focused on actual retirees. Then it expanded its target demographic to the 50 and over crowd. Now it is after everyone, with an entirely new site and collection of online life planning tools.

Mr. ToughMoneyLove is not embarrassed to say that he is a member of AARP. I like the discounts. I also like some of the informational materials they send to members.

This week’s AARP Webletter linked to an article in yet another AARP e-publication called AARP Bulletin Today. The author of that piece mentioned a new AARP online project called LifeTuner. This is how the site is described by its creators:

We believe that everyone deserves a fair shot at understanding the financial fundamentals that are key to life.

By following a basic, proven set of habits, anyone can greatly improve their chances at achieving strong financial health and long-term economic stability.

LifeTuner was co-created with more than 400 young adults who provided insights, feedback and perspectives to help us shape our offering. Some of our co-creators report making positive changes to their finances because of their involvement with the process.

LifeTuner brings together sensible, unbiased advice from volunteer financial experts with a vibrant community of peers and individuals who’ve been there before – all of whom can share their experiences and learn from each other.

We offer tools, tips, articles and real-life stories that can help you on your path. We do this in an open Web format where our sole purpose is to provide help and useful information, and where jargon is broken down.

Research has shown that millions of young adults don’t have the money they need for the life they want, which is why we created LifeTuner — to offer an “opinion” and guidance on what you can do to get your finances into the best possible shape for the short and long haul.

LifeTuner is brought to you by AARP (www.aarp.org), a non-profit dedicated to helping people of all ages make smarter choices today for a better life tomorrow. For more than 50 years, the AARP has helped adults over the age of 50 greatly improve their lives.

We are fortunate to be working with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and other personal finance professionals to provide help and support to its users. AICPA and its predecessors have been serving the accounting profession since 1887 and is committed to member service and the public interest.

Note the emphasis on young adults.

The site is still in beta release but I signed up and tested a few of its features. It’s impressive. It includes a “Money Basics” section that provides information in five categories plus an “8 Habits” tutorial. There are online tools to assess the state of your personal financial health and compare it to others in your demographic. (That’s my favorite.) There are financial experts (mostly accountants) who provide advice and answer questions. Finally, there is a community for discussions and exchanges of ideas. The community section has a specific area where members can share “been there, done that” stories of money mistakes. I enjoy reading stories like that. It makes me feel better about myself!

There are numerous sites that provide a lot of what LifeTuner does but none of them have the power and scope of the AARP behind it. I think LifeTuner has potential. Check it out for yourself. You can login using your Facebook account.

As the LifeTuner home page states: Tomorrow comes sooner than you think.


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5 Responses to “AARP Wants to Give Everyone a Life Tune-up”
  1. MasterPo says:

    I like the comment about quote “Research has shown that millions of young adults don’t have the money they need for the life they want”.

    Well duh!

    They are *young people*! They have their whole lives ahead to *earn* the money they need to live as they want! That is, to *try* to earn it and *try* to live as they want because there is NO promise of guarantee of anything in life.

    The whole thing wreeks to me of purpetuating the same old liberal/socialist myth that if at 20 or 30-something you aren’t living in your own 3,000 sq/ft home with a new car, boat, swimming pool and hot tub, summer rental, season ball game tickets, 5 weeks vacation etc etc etc then you are being screwed over by “the rich” and corporations.

    Then again, seeing how many memebers the AARP has lost over the healthcare issue they need to refill their ranks some how! 😀

  2. kitty says:

    “Research has shown that millions of young adults don’t have the money they need for the life they want”.

    Does anybody? Is there even a such thing as enough money? It seems to me that the more you have, the more you want.

  3. Keith Morris says:

    I’m the community manager over at LifeTuner. Thanks for this pleasant review. If you have any ideas that would make LifeTuner even better, we would love to hear them. Feel free to email me directly: keith@lifetuner.org.

    @MasterPo: I know that politics are hot on everyone’s minds these days. I can’t speak for AARP, but I can tell you that we’re not thinking a whole lot about politics as we try and figure out ways to motivate people toward greater financial health. Of course, if there are programs coming out of congress that might benefit folks financially, we’ll do our best to take a look at those together as a community and help people make informed decisions as to whether or not they should take advantage of them. Your input is valuable and welcome!

  4. Joe B says:

    Well I actually went over to lifetuner and checked it out. So far it seems very decent. When you do the tuner checkup and enter that you carry any credit card debt month to month your slider turns red and they tell you that they recommend that you pay your credit cards off each month. They also have fairly reasonable limits for housing expenses and such. Overall I give it a B+. The “How do I compare” function is a little iffy. Some of my stats age, income range, had no average listed and for one thing the average income was around $14million, which seems sketchy. As more users enter information the averages should improve. So far so good.

    Thanks for the tip Mr. TML

  5. Just reviewed an insurance advertisement for UnitedHealthcare who “pays a fee to AARP and its affiliate for the use of the AARP trademark”.. I didn’t know AARP was for sale. Are the lobbyists so rich and powerful they can buy AARP, oh, “and its affiliates”, whatever that is! I am so disillusioned. Thought AARP represented American retired seniors. Didnt realize it was private business, partisan liberals. I have removed my membership and hope many others do the same. Do not represent me in your “seniors” packet. Linda J. Johnson

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