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Hi all,
Does anybody have a lifetime subscription? I've been thinking about getting one, but want to hear other people's opinions first. Have there been any problems? Has it been a great experience for you? Are there any special perks, other than the magazine subscription?


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I have been a lifetime member since 1974 ($350-$400, definitely less than $500); my daughter since late 1990s ($850 I think) and my godson from 1988 ($500 I am pretty sure). At $39/year (and yes I know that if you don't renew they get you down to around $20 and give some pastic incentive gift) it takes about twenty years to recoup.

Before the Centennial, life members did not necessarily get perks (other than a special membership certificate I assume they still send), but had access and were sent questionaires and pre-publication books to review. So far as any of the three above life memberships I know about personally, there has been nothing in the last couple of decades like that pre-Centennial inclusion of life members in Society publishing decisions. It was always kind of fun to get a "preview" and to believe your comments were weighed in what the Society would do. I think World would have issued in September 1975 regardless how I and others reacted to the advance

I will also tell you from personal experience about seven years ago, dropping "life member" to get special tour or access at headquarters is meaningless. Where in the pre-Centennial and immediate post periods, there was a very nice lady who was member relations or some such title and thrilled showing off Hubbard Hall or other things. Modern member services basically told me to go pound sand to my well-in-advance request to see the Wyeth murals, Connahay Collection and some others. Explorers Hall was all that was open to the public according to member services (probably in Mumbai) even for life members. It took intercession of VP some month before we came to DC to get us the tour that used to be walk-in-and-ask basis. Also I studied three years in Society's well appointed library while I attended GW blocks away. Because I had not specified library in request routed through the VP, the tour guide would not take us there, even though we were in Hubbard Hall already. Truly a disappointing turn of events, so do the life membership for economy over twenty years (mine is now 35 years) and not in hopes of getting anything extra. I know that the economist among us would tell you to factor in the time value of that $850 or whatever it is now, and that you're probably just as well off by subscribing annually, but if you live long enough you can cheat the actuarial discount model.

Happy collecting
Thanks for the info! That's about what I figured. I'm thinking that it would be a good just for convenience, if not anything else. Given my age, and assuming I live to 76, it'll be just over $18 a year if I get a lifetime subscription now. As it is, my sub is good through 2011. Maybe with next year's tax return;)
It figures. The wonderful "corporatized" Society that exists since the mid 1990's would be so rude and cold wouldn't they?

I should think that being a life member would get some kind of consideration pending a visit to the Headquarters. They used to pride themselves on being "open" and helpful. What happened to that?

If you are young enough, I think the lifetime subscription is worth it, as you could end up saving money - assuming you want the Magazine permanently. I wouldn't think a 70 y/o would have any use for it though.

Heck, I'd be surprised if you even get a certificate anymore if you do it. Since Owen R. Anderson "retired" in the early 90's, they don't send out the welcome certificate anymore with a standard certificate. It amazes me all the cost-cutting and layoffs they have undergone, yet all the while BALLOONING their layers of administrators with fancy titles. They act like money is so tight, yet look at the merchandising and books they put out.


- Scott T. Shier
MKost merchandising and books they actually offer may have gone down in quality, but still have value. Its the &^&^*()^&* licensing that is so appalling. Ever dangerous SE Asian/Chinese dodad for kids with a Society logo is an educational toy at Walmart or Target or other discounters. They sell 1/4"-1" figurines of everything from insects and butterflies to big mammals of every continent and sharks, whales and pinepeds. Choking hazard is obvious and CPSC ought to ban imports, but who knows what chemicals in plastics and colors. Society entirely immune from products liability since it only licenses and so it can kill kids grandma or auntie thought she was buying NGS-approved educational toy, get a few cents per package and face no liability. Carey would probably tell me this should have been a separate thread, but Scott pushed my button and I felt like venting
Happy collecting, and yes have samples of most of that crapiola so I've contributed to the perverse economic insentives of licensing, but look I may have saved in excess of fifty toddlers
Im not OCD like my wife saves, I am more like a child protector
I concur heartily.

Also, I must add there is something somehow degrading in seeing the current month's Magazine issue sitting (sloppy) in a rack, near the floor of a Walmart/Meijer/Target checkout lane !!!!

- Scott



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