As a late-in-life ham (my terminology), the price comparison of paying the freight for Life Membership in the American Radio Relay League may not seem like it’s worth it. Financially, at least. But, for various reasons that many late-in-life amateur operators understand, it took me from eight years of age in getting the bug to my late fifties to get licensed (Thanks to Ga Tech’s Bootcamp Program). With life expectancy for men who don’t smoke, drink, or even use bad language (much any more) reaching into the eighties, a 30 year span of Life Membership is more of a financial bargain that it used to be.
But for me, it’s more important to enjoy amateur radio and the League to the fullest. That means different things to different hams. I’m honored to be serving the League through a second appointment as Delta Division Assistant Director under two different Directors. That means a lot to be able to give back to amateur radio. I’m a life member of one of my professional (academic) societies and the Executive Director tells me that the Society loses money on its Life Membership Program but it’s important to have it for symbolic and intangible reasons. That is why I just completed paying for Life Membership in the ARRL: because I wanted to be committed to serving the League “for life,” whatever that means!