What are the best cell phone plans for seniors ?
If you’re a senior, the very concept of a smartphone can be difficult. When your telecommunications needs are barely more complicated than calling and being called, many of the features available on a smartphone — which you pay for regardless of using them or not — are relatively pointless. So too are big and expensive data plans, which are engineered to enable platforms and services, like social media and streaming video, that the majority of seniors don’t want or need.
Bottom line: if you’re a senior in need of a cell phone and a cell phone plan, the offerings out there aren’t always created with you in mind.
This said, there are a lot of ways to confront this issue. It might involve some paperwork, comparison shopping, and shopping for wireless plans that offer a senior discount, but in the end, a little bit of time invested will yield the best possible hardware and plan that’s right for you.
Many seniors are uncomfortable with smartphones, which is understandable. Each year, the offerings put out by Apple, Samsung, and the rest of the top-tier manufacturers, get more and more complicated and loaded with features, options, and peripherals. Smartphones these days are less phones and more mobile computing suites, which is great if you’re a teenager but less so if you were a teenager in postwar America.
If you’re a senior in the market for a phone and aren’t at all interested in the bells, whistles, and extra bulk of a big smartphone, there are options for you. Ideally, a perfect phone for a senior who just wants to make and receive telephone calls is a simple handset that has a large display and large buttons. Some handsets have an “emergency” button or an “SOS” button, with Blue’s Joy candy bar offering and the Snapfon being good examples that don’t break the bank.
This isn’t to say that seniors can’t use smartphones. A great many seniors prefer smartphones to simple phones because they communicate with their friends and their families via text, and, when it comes to the grandkids, by using emoji. And, if the grandkids don’t live nearby, video telephony products like FaceTime and Skype are essential to keeping in touch.
Because of the amount of discounts available to seniors, sometimes by way of affiliations like AARP and AAA and sometimes due to other plans and programs, it is worth comparison shopping when you’re looking for the right handset. If you’re a cell phone company senior discount options are a great way to drum up business, so if you’re a senior, look for companies and carriers that feature these kind of offers.
Regardless of what phone you are interested in, the money for the telecom is usually in the plan. Phones depreciate in value over time but people will always pay for access and, depending on who they are, data.
If you’re a senior shopping for a wireless plan, you should know that you have a bit of an advantage. The majority of wireless carriers focus on younger market segments, which in turn makes basic wireless plans very inexpensive. Those same plans can be less expensive if you find wireless plans with senior discount options.
Because of the sheer amount of plan options that exist, you can comparison shop until you find the right plan. Getting the right plan is rooted in knowing what you need and what you don’t. If you are interested in a simple wireless plan that’s just good for calling and being called, chances are you won’t have to pay much more than $20 a month for a non-prepaid plan. (Prepaid plans are also an option if you don’t use your phone very often but want to be able to use it from time to time.)
If you’re more adept with technology and require a data plan to enable more functions on your (smart)phone, your plan will likely run a little bit more, but for what you receive in the form of video calling with your family and data for your various applications, it’s a small price to pay.
Additionally, certain wireless carriers like Verizon and AT&T have specialized, discounted plans for seniors too. It pays to do a bit of comparing and contrasting, because like any other product or service, there are many opportunities to save out there. You just have to find them.