Should I Buy A Standard Or Special Phone
If you’ve got this far down onto the list, you might be unsure as to whether you should get a phone designed specially for seniors, or a standard consumer device above.
Your choice should depend on how tech-competent the user is. The senior-designed phones are great for technophobes, as they make accessing standard tools – like calls, texts and the like – really easy.
However if the user could manage more complicated settings, and might want to download extra apps, take great pictures and stream video, then maybe a standard device is better for them.
Best Unlimited Data Plan For Seniors
T-Mobile Essentials 55 Plus | 2-line plan | $55/month – Best value unlimited senior plan T-Mobile has a fantastic offer for its senior customers . You can get two unlimited lines for just $55 a month . This comes with unlimited data, calls, and texts with no speed restrictions, 3G mobile hotspot data and scam protection you also get access to T-Mobile’s 5G access at no extra cost. However, you are limited to SD streaming and if you’re traveling in Mexico or Canada, your data will be slower. You can upgrade to T-Mobile’s Magenta 55 Plus plan, where you get two lines of data for $70/month. The 55-plus Magenta plan includes free Netflix, LTE mobile hotspot data, and more. Even better, taxes and fees are included in the $70/monthly rate, so you always know how big your bill will be.Pros: Affordable price, no annual contract, 5G at no extra costCons: Limited to 2G in Mexico/Canada, only SD streaming
At& t’s Alternative Unlimited Plan
AT& T | Value Plus Plan | $50/month | Best AT& T plan for seniors outside of Florida If you live outside of Florida, you’ve still got options for a low-cost unlimited data plan from AT& T. The carrier’s Value Plus Plan costs just $50 a month, but offers unlimited data on top of unlimited talk and text. The catch is that AT& T only offers this option with one line of data couples are out of luck. There are some other restrictions as well namely no hotspot data but you do get 5G coverage with this plan.Pros: Unlimited data for just $50 No residency requirementCons: Limited to just one line Limited perks
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Senior Cell Phone Plan Features
- 4G LTE & 5G data speeds: Since MVNOs operate on the big three cellular networks you’ll pay less without sacrificing speed. More and more are adding 5G coverage all the time so you can expect high-speed data.
- Unlimited talk and text messaging: Finding a new unlimited plan has never been easier. Virtually all small carriers include unlimited text and calls in their plan options. Compare cheap talk and text plans with or without data.
- International calls to Canada and Mexico: International calling is a must for many people. Luckily MVNOs offer some of the best international phone plans, with free calling to certain countries like Canada and Mexico, and discounted rates on others.
- Multiline discounts: Low-cost carriers also offer some of the cheapest family cell phone plans, with multi-line discounts.
- Wi-Fi calling: This feature is handy when you’re out of your service area, allowing you to make calls over the internet instead of on your cellular connection.
- Tethering/hotspot data: Many low-cost carriers allow you to use your phone as a hotspot. Pick an MVNO with the best mobile hotspot plans so you can share your mobile hotspot data with other devices.
- HD video streaming: Just like the big guys, some MVNOs offer HD video streaming and some don’t. Read the fine print to find the option you want.
Mobile Virtual Network Operators
Mobile virtual network operators provide mobile phone services through major carriers networks at significantly lower costs than the major carriers. A mobile virtual network operator resells mobile services.
MVNOs are good choices for those without smartphones or plans that include a lot of data, texting, and talking. The example of an elderly person who uses their phone primarily for emergencies and occasionally for family and friends is a great one to highlight.
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Tips For A Wise Cell Phone Buyer
Cell phone companies are more accurately cell service providers, although they sell phones produced by other companies as well. These companies sell access to a wireless cellular network so your phone can send and receive calls and text messages, and load data to run apps if you use a smartphone. The critical points to shopping for a cell phone company are how much freedom you have in selecting a phone or changing phones as your needs change, the service coverage , price, and customer service.
Comparing Cell Phone Companies For Seniors
When comparing cell phone companies make sure you know what kind of features youre looking for in a cell phone and a cell phone plan. For example, are you a heavy smartphone user or do you just use your phone to call and text? If the former, youll need a cell phone plan with a lot of data. A talk and text only plan should yield a significant price decrease.
When shopping for a new cell phone company, consider not only the actual price but what that cost includes.
- Are the calls unlimited in minutes and location, regardless of where you call?
- Do text messages have limits or count against calling time?
- Do plans roll over unused minutes to the next month?
- At what speed can the internet be accessed?
- Do you have to pay for internet if all you want are phone calls?
- Does the plan include medical alert technology?
Many of the most prominent companies do not offer flexible plans and have base plans that require you pay for internet whether you want it or not. Many also no longer have flip phones in their line up of devices.
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Other Ways To Save On A Cell Phone
If youre not able to snag a free cell phone, dont despair! There are plenty of ways to cash in on carrier deals, perks, and discounts. Unsure where to begin? Our 2022 cell phones for seniors buyers guide covers everything you need to know about cell phone brands, carriers, and how to get the best deal.
Emergency Cell Phone Plan For Seniors
Lively cell phone plans are specifically for seniors. The Jitterbug, Livelys signature phone, features big buttons, a loud speaker and a bright screen with large display text. The prepaid carrier also allows you to add health services to your plan, such as the ability to speak with a live nurse or doctor the help of a personal operator to make phone calls or add appointments to your calendar and, at the push of a button, the aid of an Urgent Response agent who can assist you in an emergency.
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How Prepaid Cell Phones Work
If your chatty preteen daughter wants a cell phone but you’re dreading huge monthly overage charges, a prepaid cell phone may be for you. It could also come in handy if:
- you want a no-frills phone for occasional use
- your credit record is less than stellar
- you want to look before you leap into a two-year contract
Prepaid phones provide the basic services of regular cell phones. However, there’s no long-term contract requirements or overage charges for minutes that exceed the monthly plan. And, signing up is easy. You can find a cheap, prepaid cell phone at retail outlets, electronics or discount stores — or even through major carriers like AT& T , T-Mobile and Verizon, who’ve added prepaid options to their plan mix.
You’ll find that a prepaid cell phone works just like any other, although without a long-term commitment and some of the bells and whistles. You buy a cell phone with a set service . You can make calls or even text and picture message, depending on the phone’s features, until you run out of minutes. When that happens, you can buy more minutes immediately or within a time limit. Or you can just stop using the phone.
What are the advantages of prepaid cell phones? How do the calling plans work? And, who are the carriers? Check out the next page to find out more about prepaid cell phones.
Problems With Prepaid Cell Phones
While a prepaid cell phone offers many advantages, it also can present problems for its users. One of the biggest problems is the cost per minute, a serious disadvantage for anyone who talks a lot on a cell phone.
With increased interest in the prepaid market, prepaid phone rates have dropped and plans improved. Prepaid provider Boost Mobile, for example, offers a flat-rate, monthly unlimited talk plan for $45 in some states. In most cases, however, per-minute rates still usually are lower with traditional contract plans .
Here are some other disadvantages with prepaid cell phones:
Expiring minutes and service — The minutes you buy for your prepaid cell phone may come with an expiration date of 30 or 90 days. If so, you’ll lose them if you don’t use them by then. You also may need to buy minutes regularly to extend the activation period. Buying 60 minutes for $20, for example, might extend your service for another two months .
Unexpected fees — With a prepaid cell phone, you won’t pay monthly taxes or termination fees as with traditional plans, but you may find other unexpected fees — or higher fees than you’d expect for extra services. You may be charged a daily access fee of 99 cents to $2 for days you use the service or for every day. You also may be charged for roaming, sending text messages or photos, downloading ring tones or games and accessing the Web .
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Light Cell Phone User
The Motorola moto g is a straight-forward Android phone that is great for seniors to consider due to its excellent battery life, 6.5-inch HD+ display so you can read everything clearly, water-repellent design to protect your phone, and high quality camera. It is also has a talk back feature and it is M3/T3 hearing aid compatible. Just enough features to keep you updated on the latest.
Senior Cell Phones: Do You Need One
A senior cell phone plan will give you extra discounts and savings from major wireless carriers if youre over the age of 55. And with an AARP membership, you can also save on phone plans if youre over 50 years old.
If youre unsure whether a senior cell phone plan is right for you or are too young to qualify, there are plenty of other affordable cell phone plans that can still give you the features you need at the price you wanteven if they arent designed specifically for seniors.
Understanding whats important to you and how you use your cell phone will get you one step closer to choosing the best phone plan for you.
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Free Government Cell Phones For Seniors
According to the Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging at UMass Boston, approximately 50 percent of older adults living alone and 23 percent of older couples have annual incomes that fall below the amount necessary to meet their basic needs.4 There are multiple government assistance programs that provide seniors with free or discounted phones, internet service, and computers. Lets take a look at the options and how to qualify.
At& t Unlimited 55+ Senior Plan
AT& T | Unlimited 55 Plus | $60/month or two lines for $80/month – AT& T’s feature-packed unlimited plan AT& T has an exclusive deal for seniors, but you’ve got to be over 55 and living in Florida. If you fit this criteria, you can get two unlimited data, calls, and text lines for just $80 a month or one for $60. You’ll be able to use your plan in the US, Mexico, and Canada, and 5G service is included at no extra cost. You can also text to more than 120 countries for free, and you’ll get spam and fraud call blocking. If you don’t live in Florida, AT& T’s regular unlimited plans give you some options though most plans will cost you more than this discounted offer.Pros: Unlimited 5G data, discount for Florida residents over 55Cons: Expensive, not available in other states
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Free Phone For Seniors Eligibility And Restrictions
Requirements for a free phone for seniors may vary by state, but you must meet the income guidelines or participate in one of the following programs:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Supplemental Security Income
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program
- Temporary Assistance to Needy Families
- National School Lunch Programs Free Lunch Program
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- State assistance programs
As mentioned above, you have to qualify for a free cell phone or cell phone plan. In addition, there are rules that have to be followed to get and keep your free phone for seniors. For instance, you are not allowed to have more than one per household. And, you can use the program to get a cell phone OR a home phone, but not both.
The Lifeline program is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company. It is funded by the Universal Service Fund. Please visit the website link below for the programs full details.
Best Cell Phone Plan Discounts For Seniors
Are you looking for AARP discounts or help with paying your monthly cell phone plan? Heres a quick look at some senior cell phone plan subsidies and discounts available to you:
- Many cell phone companies offer discounts to AARP membersyou can join AARP here.
- Certain cell phone companies like Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT& T offer discounts for active-duty military and veterans.
- The federal Lifeline program might subsidize your cell phone bill if you meet one or more of the following requirements:
- Your income falls at or below 135% of the federal poverty guideline.
- Youre part of one of the following government programs:
- Supplemental Rental Assistance
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Veterans pension and survivors benefit programs
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At& t Senior Cell Phone Plans
AARP members who are AT& T Wireless customers can save up to 10% on their talk and data plan monthly charges, as well as save 15% on eligible phone accessories. AARP members get:
- 10% off voice and data plan monthly charges.
- Up to $45 waived for activation or upgrade fees.
- Up to 15% off eligible phone accessories.
Best Prepaid Cell Phones For Seniors In 2022
Cell phones are one of the best ways for seniors to stay connected with their loved ones and the outside world. While landline phone services tend to be more affordable, these services are bound to be used only inside the home, and they often interfere with your home internet connection. Cell phones, however, can function just about anywhere, even in rural parts of the country.
According to studies, 92 percent of older adults ages 65 and up own a cell phone. However, many people might not be aware of the high costs associated with traditional cell phone carriers. In addition to charging overage fees and hidden fees, these providers often require users to commit to contracts.
Luckily, theres a better option for those of us not looking for such a commitment, and that is a prepaid cell phone.
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Cell Phone Plans For Seniors: How Old Do You Have To Be
Getting older can have its perkslike saving money on your cell phone plan. Recently, many of the larger service providers released plans specifically designed for seniors, aiming to keep things simple and affordable with discounts.
Sprint and T-Mobile offer discounts to anyone at least 55 years old. Both provide two phone lines with unlimited talk, text and data for around $80 a monthan average savings of $40 a month. Verizon also has a 55+ plan limited to seniors living in Florida, and AT& T has the Senior Nation Plan available for anyone over the age of 65.
If you expand your search beyond the big-name wireless carriers, you find additional providers and plans that are great choices for seniors.
Lively, for example, doesnt have a specific age requirement, but offers a number of services and features seniors may find helpful, such as access to virtual urgent care, fall detection technologies and operators who can help call ride services, make phone calls or look up phone numbers.
Meanwhile, AARPs membership benefits include discounts on cellular services. Anyone over age 50 can join AARP.
Prepaid Cell Phone Plans For Seniors
A prepaid cell phone plan allows you to pay upfront for what you need each month, usually at an affordable price. These plans are ideal if you want to cut down on cost without sacrificing quality and coverageas well as reduce the risk of having any surprises on a bill at the end of the month. The numerous prepaid plan options on the market range from basic talk and text options to unlimited prepaid data plans.
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