Much about life is uncertain at the moment and many things remain out of your control. While you cannot control all the moving parts around you, especially the recovery of the economy, you are not powerless. Instead of worrying about things you cannot control, refocus your mind on the aspects that are in your power. Could you take more control of your personal finances and lower your monthly expenses? Whatever your personal circumstances, you will find that your monthly cell phone bill is the most flexible, but also one of the most expensive bills you have. But never before has the timing been better for seniors to get deals on cell phone plans. How do you modify your monthly cell phone bill to lower your payments? And where are the best deals, for seniors?
In addition to Baby-Boomers being very powerful consumers, cell phones have also become a vital part of everyday living therefore cell phone carriers are now offering competitive plans for seniors to reduce their monthly bills. Seniors can now have customized cell phone plans without compromising quality of service. This is great because communication with loved ones is important to seniors, and their cell phones help to prevent them from being isolated. In this day and age, cell phones are a practicality and a necessity but those high monthly cell phone bills are not.
Getting Your Bill Down
Just as a strong cell phone signal is important, so is managing your data package so that you are able to use your cell phone without extra, exorbitant cell phone charges. Unfortunately, when reducing your cell phone service, this will reduce your data package. However, this is easily rectified by using Wi-Fi, whenever possible. When you rely on your Wi-Fi, you save your limited data for those more practical moments when Wi-Fi access is not readily available. Wi-Fi packages are generally offered without usage restrictions; you likely have Wi-Fi coverage at home, as well as complimentary Wi-Fi offered at surrounding stores, restaurants, and hospitals. Utilizing free Wi-Fi will give you free rein to use your cell phone whenever you like without incurring extra fees. Your Wi-Fi can be used just as you use your cell phone data, for incoming/outgoing calls, running apps, and more.
Another way to keep your cell phone bill down is by using a cell phone carrier that offers a pre-paid phone and does not use contracts. They also sell gently—used cell phones that are “unlocked,” meaning you can use them with other carriers. Other cell phone carriers require a two-three year contract, and they will charge a hefty cancellation fee if you try to switch carriers. It also helps if you keep your cell phone longer, and not rely on a payment plan when it is time to buy a new cell phone. When signing up with a new carrier, you can simply swap the SIM card from your existing cell phone for your new SIM card.
Cell Phone Plans for Seniors
Finally, look over your cell phone bill and look for areas of waste. Do you continue to pay for things you never use? Many seniors pay for too many minutes, never actually using those minutes allotted to them. How about unlimited data, emergency roadside assistance (that may be covered on your automobile insurance), or cell phone insurance that you never use and may be covered by your homeowners' insurance? If you do not talk on your phone a lot, you might be able to downgrade to a plan with fewer minutes. And if you never come close to reaching your data limit, find a plan that includes less. There are also possible options for seniors to receive a free cell phone & plan. Some insurance may provide a cell phone. Learn more about your options!
Top Cell Phone Providers
- T-Mobile currently offers the best cell phone plan for seniors. For all customers 55+, they offer three unlimited plans. The plan costs are between $27 and $45, for two lines. All three plans come with unlimited talk, text, and data. Each plan offers competitive features, such as mobile hotspot data, international texting, in flight Wi-Fi, free Netflix and free data in Canada and Mexico. Best of all, T-Mobile never uses contracts so you are free to cancel at any time.
- Jitterbug is by far one of the most popular cellular phone providers for seniors and they have the best senior friendly phones on the market. Jitterbug offers talk/text and may integrate additional services like health & safety packages and app options for emergencies. They have only a few phone models to choose from, but all are priced under $50. Jitterbugs basic plans are just $14.99 per month with a limited amount of minutes and texts. Their GreatCall plan (which offers medical/health services) gives consumers unlimited talk, text and data for under $60. Jitterbug offers user friendly options, such as large buttons and large screen fonts.
- Freedom Pop offers a free cell phone service plan. This free service utilizes voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services. There are no contracts for customers to sign and a free package includes 200 minutes of talk time, 500 texts, and 500MB of data. This plan is optimal for seniors with minimal talk/text and data needs. There are senior plans available offering increased talk, text, data and VIP support. Freedom Pop offers only one smart phone model (listed for under $150).
- AT&T Wireless has designed a plan aimed at consumers 65+ called the Senior Nation Plan. 200 anytime minutes come with this plan. For those who are not seniors there are unlimited minutes, and 500 night and weekend minutes. No data or text features are included in this plan. Those looking for data and more service will find the Unlimited & More plan to be more appropriate. The AT&T Senior Plan is $29.99 per month, and the Unlimited & More plan is $40 per month. You are free to bring your own unlocked phone to their plans. New phones bought with AT&T will require a 2-year contract. There is a 10% discount for AARP members off of qualifying plans and 15% off of wireless accessories.
- Republic Wireless is extremely user-friendly, but does not offer senior rates. For a rate of $15, users get unlimited calls, texts and add on data for $5. There are no contracts, hidden fees or cancellation penalties. This makes Republic Wireless an excellent option for seniors. Customers can add on data paying $5 per GB and this can be done from your cell phone.