Retirement should be a time to enjoy life and stay in touch with your loved ones. It should not be a time to worry about the high cost of a cell phone service plan. Luckily, there are some cell phone providers that actually provide discounts to seniors. Learn more here.
As senior citizens progress in age, some parts of their lives can become more challenging to manage. Using modern technology services such as the internet and managing safe transportation are potentially expected issues. While the telephone has been around since 1876 and therefore part of life for most seniors, the use of cellular telephone services began slowly in 1973 and only advanced to early smartphone technology in 1992. Fifteen additional years later, in 2007, the first iPhone was invented. This means the commonplace modern cellular tech we use on a daily basis today was only introduced to most seniors in the later parts of their lives.
An individual is considered a senior citizen when they reach 55 to 67 years of age. The specific age determining official senior status varies based on the company or service with which each senior is engaging. For example, Social Security retirement benefits can begin at age 62. Arby’s fast food chains, however, begin offering discounts to people age 55 and older. Other companies offer senior citizen discounts as well, including cellular phone providers. The dual quandary involves knowing where to look and how to sign up once discovering the best service for your needs.
Some seniors resist new technology because they do not believe they can handle it properly. Others resist based solely on the high prices paid for mobile phones and cellular service. The average price for a one-person cell phone plan in 2020 is around $70 per month. Not only is that price high from the perspective of most seniors who lived through depressions and wars, it likely includes plans and features beyond practical needs. Fortunately, there are cell phone plans available through certain companies offering discounted services, some of which are specifically designed for use by seniors. Read on to learn more about the top 4 cell phone plans for seniors, their prices, terms and features.
Types of Cell Phone Plans Available - Compare Top Providers
Cell phone plans all have three similar service components, two of which are optional. Text and data are both optional services, while talking is an obvious prerequisite. All three components can be purchased as either unlimited plans or having usage limits. Using talk, text or data services beyond allotted amounts incurs additional charges. Discounts can be applied for paying annually in advance and/or adding more lines to a plan. Many available cell phone plans have monthly, prepaid option with no obligations, however some carriers still require one or two-year contracts.
1. Consumer Cellular Talk and Connect Plan
Consumer Cellular recognized as early as 1995 how seniors needed cell phone plans designed for their specific needs. Prices are transparent and service plans easy to understand. The only drawback to Consumer Cellular was they did not offer unlimited service options. As of May 2020, however, they rolled out their first unlimited talk, text and data plan for just $37.50 per month. Talk-only plans are $15 per month for 250 minutes of talk time and $17.50 per month of unlimited talk time, which also includes 250mb of data. Consumer Cellular also offers phones and devices for sale via outright purchase or with a down payment followed by low, interest free monthly installments. This company began with serving seniors in mind and continues to do so at a high level.
2. T-Mobile Magenta Unlimited 55+ Plan
Magenta Unlimited 55+ is the package of T-Mobile unlimited plans for customers 55 and up. Plans start at $27.50 per line per month and increase to $35 and $45 per month as additional features are added. Some features go beyond the possible needs of elderly senior citizens, such as increased text/data capacity in Mexico, Canada and abroad and in-flight Wi-Fi. However, for younger seniors and those still working, active or traveling, the T-Mobile Magenta Unlimited 55+ plan has affordable options with plenty of appeal. Additional features include no annual contract or unexpected price increases and free items, discounts, and more every T-Mobile Tuesday.
FreedomPop is a cellular service provider perhaps less known than most. This does not make it less valuable for seniors, however. FreedomPop literally offers free cellular services up to certain limits. The Basic 200 plan provides 200 minutes of talk time, 200mb of data and 500 texts each month, for free. Drawbacks are FreedomPop does not yet support Apple iOS or international services. However, they do sell great, up-to-date cell phones at 50 percent or less than retail value. There are no contracts and moving up to paid unlimited talk and text services can cost as little as $15 per month. FreedomPop is a clear, free winner for seniors needing little data or text features. Upgrade plans are affordable and customer service is reported as being solid.
4. Republic Wireless Plan
Republic Wireless piggybacks off the now merged T-Mobile/Sprint networks to provide the best service and reception based on user location. This allows quality service to be offered at lower prices. Republic Wireless is unique because it allows plans to be paid annually at an even deeper discount. For example, their unlimited talk and text plan starts at $15 per month, but if paid annually ($150 per year) the price is effectively reduced to $12.50 per month. Customizable plans are also available, which offer flexibility in pricing and features. Republic Wireless offers some of the most competitive pricing in the business for seniors using less than 5GB of data per month, and all with a 14-day money back guarantee.
Benefits of Affordable Cell Phone Plans for Seniors
Seniors benefit from affordable cell phone plans in many more ways than financial discounts. Quality of life is improved by affordable and entertaining streaming packages. Being able to stay in touch with family and friends in a convenient manner is a major benefit. Perhaps most important of all is how having a reliable cell phone plan can improve safety for seniors living alone, with added comfort from knowing help is only a phone call away from a device kept right there in their pockets.