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Author Topic: Is ARRL Life Membership Worth It?  (Read 230583 times)

Posts: 849

« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2009, 08:03:55 AM »

I'll tell you what.

When I was 16 and a newly minted ham, I was all gung-ho to get a Life Membership.  My father, who didn't think I'd stick with it, point blank told me not to do it.  So I didn't, even though I could have snuck the money out of my bank account without his knowledge.

That was over 35 years ago.

Do the math.

Posts: 805

« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2009, 07:48:38 PM »

Now if I'd known where to invest my life membership money back in the 70's, I could now buy all of us life memberships. But it's been worth it, if only not to have renewals keep coming up.

If you think about what most of us will spend on our radio toys over the years (or often in one year), the life membership fee is trivial. It's kind of like when people would complain about the $5 a year dues in the volunteer fire department. If that was a burden, you needed to quit the fire department and get a second job.

Posts: 6283

« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2009, 11:21:05 AM »

Maybe I should not have been as broad 'brushed' as I were in my first post, but I still believe that the ARRL is too 'emergency communications' minded.  The REAL part of the ARRL bureaucracy that is emergency communications 'gung-ho' is my section manager and his staff.  Eastern Massachusetts--as a matter of fact, ALL sections--would be better served by a manager and staff that held ALL INTERESTS of amateur radio as equal, not one aspect of the whole thing.

Posts: 1012

« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2009, 07:57:59 PM »

A ham pal of mine got his lifetime membership in 1960 when the membership was like $100.00 or so. Now its up over $1000.00. I dont have that kind of $$ to just toss away now.

Posts: 242


« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2009, 12:29:49 AM »

You guys are just some cheap a$$ SOBs.  The idea is to support the ARRL.  Now just quit yer complaining and count up all yer little pennies and ask the XYL to pitch in a little en allow you girlymen to support the ARRL and get yer Life Membership.

Posts: 69

« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2009, 02:23:13 PM »

I am with OLDFART13.  You guys are all looking at this like an insurance actuary or beady eyed bean counting engineer doing your discounted cash flow analyses.  

What this is about is, do you stand with Amateur Radio, and do you stand with the League?  A Life Membership says yes to both questions.   And when you get old and suffer from dementia, or are too poor to find a pot to piss into, you will still be a League member.  Just do it.

Posts: 6


« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2009, 12:27:51 PM »

I just turned 28 and am on my way to being a Life member.  Sure, $975 is a lot of money for anyone to shell out, but they offer a quarterly billing option to soften the blow.  7 payments of $122 and a final payment of $121 gets you Life membership.  If you don't complete all the payments, you revert to annual membership and are credited with years equivalent to the total amount you paid under the plan.  My first payment got me a membership card that says "Life Member Pledge" and a 3-1/2-year extension on my current membership, for now.

Everyone has their differences with the ARRL, but they continue to be "the voice of ham radio."  They've got our back, so I've got theirs.

Posts: 77

« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2009, 09:15:57 PM »

For me it is because ham radio is my major hobby and you have to support the national organisation to help ham radio to continue. In considering the math part of the issue, I would pay more attention to how long your parents live than the average. My Dad is 90 and my Mom is a little younger. My chances of living to 90 are good so if I wasn't already a Life Member, I would still consider it a good deal up to age 65 - 70.

Posts: 1208


« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2009, 04:28:51 PM »

If you're 35 and younger, stop wasting time and do it before it goes up more.

If you're under 50 and in decent health, you should be able to 'recoup' the investment. If you family life expectancy is low, say death before age 65, maybe you should do the every 3 year renewal.

If you're 50 and over, health may be a major contributing factor. It is a fact that men usually die younger than women and that the average age of men today is upwards of 70+ so again it should be a good thing for both sexes. If you're in great health and family life expectancy is really up there, say over 70 or more, I'd say go for it.

I got my Life membership in my late 40's and feel it was money well spent. Wish I had done it back when I was first licensed in the mid-70's. Sure would have saved some money on the Life fees.


Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp

Posts: 317

« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2009, 08:12:01 PM »

As usual, I am surprised at all of the comments that my original post has generated.

Two of the responses from K1XV and OldFart13 got what I was trying to say in a somewhat humorous way. The tip-off should have been my complaint that my membership expires in 2099!

Of course any ARRL membership is worth it.

73, W4YA
ARRL member since 1951

Posts: 15067

« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2009, 10:47:25 AM »

And you could have bought it with 1974 dollars!

Bob  AA4PB
Garrisonville, VA

Posts: 771

« Reply #26 on: July 11, 2010, 06:33:20 AM »

Yes it is, they're fighting to save our bands from being gobbled up when the FCC auctions spectrums to balance the federal budget that was used to bail out them greedy banks.  I just started my life membership several months ago on a pay every quarter and is on my 3rd payment.  It's worth every penny because I'm committed to amateur radio so my 4 year old son can talk on HF in the future when he gets his license.  QST has become 1 big Sears catalog and full of ads but that's how they bring in funds also besides our membership dues.  Don't know if they're non-profit though with the Inc after ARRL (ARRL, Inc.).  I'm in my 40s and even if I was 60 I still would sign up for life membership for my grandkids to have some frequency left.

73 and Aloha,
de Delwyn, KH6DC

Posts: 4380

« Reply #27 on: July 11, 2010, 02:18:18 PM »

When Wayne Green (W2NSD) had the ad for lifetime subscription to 73 Magazine he added "your life
or ours." 
I think Wayne was a great editor.  When he was editor of CQ, the mag had great articles.  The same for
the early years of 73.  In the 1970's he crammed the mags full of articles some good some not so.
Of course there is the other side of Wayne (his editorials) that got to be pretty hard to take.  I didn't
take his offer because at that time I had no money to spare.
Now I am too old to get the savings value of a lifetime memebership to ARRL and I find that the articles are for the most part uninteresting.  The various departments are even less interesting.  So I go from
year to year renewing and wishing for the old days when I relished each copy of QST and reading and
rereading the articles.

Posts: 369

« Reply #28 on: July 13, 2010, 11:49:42 AM »

If I became a lifetime member then I would miss all those free book offers to join. too bad they don't offer a better selection to choose from. I think they only offer a choice from 3 and I already have 2 of them (antenna handbook & vhf antenna book) with no interest in the 3rd book (no I am not a member)

Posts: 768

« Reply #29 on: July 18, 2010, 04:48:38 PM »

I see lots of conjecture about how much it will cost, but nobody has said "I visited the ARRL website and this is how much it costs". Well, I just did, and it's $975.00. That's 25 years worth of dues, not 20, as someone else said. At current savings account interest rates (if you plopped $975.00 in a savings account and waited 25 years at 1.5% interest), you'd have about $1425.00. If interest rates were 5%, you'd have about $3400.00. This as compared with inflation and how much the price of QST is probably going to increase, if you expect to live 20 more years, it's "probably" not such a bad deal. I don't see interest rates rising as long as the Obamacrats are in office, but if We the People take power away from the Obamacrats as expected in November, I'm hopeful we'll see interest rates begin to rise based on consumer confidence. In the meantime, I'll consider it.
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