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AARP’s overarching vision is a society that allows all people to live with dignity and purpose and to fulfill their goals and dreams. AARP’s public policies and priorities provide the essential foundation for all of the organization’s work in empowering people to choose how they live and age.

Policies serve as the foundation of AARP’s work to lead positive social change and to deliver value to members through advocacy, service and information. They have been developed through a careful and ongoing process to reflect the concerns we hear from members, volunteers and experts around the country.

AARP Policy Fundamentals highlights the paramount goals and underlying values that shape AARP’s public policies. A more comprehensive and detailed look at the association’s policies can be found in the AARP Policy Book.


The policies seek to improve the lives of individuals, communities of all kinds and society as a whole, particularly in the following areas, described in greater detail on the following pages:

Better Health

To live longer, healthier lives, people should be empowered to engage in positive health behaviors. They also need access to affordable, high-quality health care, prescription drugs, and long-term services and supports, as well as social engagement. Maintaining and improving cognitive health are critical to increasing quality of life as people age. Eliminating health disparities must be a priority.

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Financial Security

For people to enjoy economic security as they age, they need a strong Social Security system and better opportunities to build savings throughout their lives and to work as long as they desire and are able. Freedom from discrimination and a strong social safety net are essential.

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Livable Communities

People of all incomes, ages and ability levels need communities where they can thrive and live meaningful lives. Communities should be designed to promote physical independence, safety, dignity, and opportunities for community engagement and choice as people age.

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Consumer Rights and Protections

People should be treated fairly, with their rights respected, as consumers in the marketplace and as individuals in their community. Everyone should have the chance to live a dignified life grounded in independence and choice.

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COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic has progressed, it has proved to be both a health crisis and a profound disruptor of social and economic life. The pandemic has highlighted the need for access to adequate and affordable health care, failures to protect the safety and well-being of people in long-term care facilities, and the challenges facing workers.

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Promoting Government Integrity

Critical to AARP’s mission is government integrity. To ensure better policies and better quality of life, government must work for everyone, and everyone must believe that their voice matters. Various reforms can make our democracy work more effectively: Elections must be fair, the right to vote must be upheld, and every vote must be counted. Policymakers should promote strong ethical standards and limit the excessive influence of money in elections, in order to promote openness, fairness and inclusion in elections and in all governmental institutions and processes.

Eliminating Disparities

Leaders in both the public and private sectors need to address systemic disparities particularly those affecting groups that have historically faced discrimination. These circumstances have contributed to lack of access to health care, safe living conditions, and equal work opportunities. Everyone deserves the opportunity to live longer, healthier lives and achieve financial resilience. 

Our Public Policy Development Process

A woman holding a clipboard speaking to a group about a a r p policies

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AARP’s process of developing policies is designed to keep the organization at the vanguard of issues that shape the lives of Americans as they live and age, now and in the future. AARP’s Board of Directors oversees the process and ensures its adherence to the organization’s mission and purpose. The Office of Policy Development and Integration, under the direction of the Chief Public Policy Officer, facilitates the process.

The issues facing older adults and their families continue to evolve, creating important challenges for policy. AARP is committed to considering these concerns from diverse perspectives and to assessing a range of options to provide innovative and meaningful solutions for all.

Toward that end, our approach includes extensive input and analysis of the views of AARP members and others age 50 and older throughout the nation. AARP staff and volunteers, as well as internal and external policy experts from across the country, contribute to our inclusive, thoughtful process.

More About AARP Policies

AARP’s public policies serve as the foundation of our work to fight for people 50-plus and help them choose how they live and age. A more comprehensive and detailed look at AARP policies can be found in the AARP Policy Book.

  • AARP Policy Book

    AARP's policies, consistent with our mission to empower people to
    choose how they live as they age, guide the organization's advocacy and
    support for specific bills and regulations at the national, state and local levels.

    View
    Photo By Getty Images

    AARP's policies, consistent with our mission to empower people to
    choose how they live as they age, guide the organization's advocacy and
    support for specific bills and regulations at the national, state and local levels.

    View