Although much of the smartphone world these days is geared towards younger users, there is still plenty of demand for senior-friendly devices and cellphone plans in the market due to the peace of mind, security, and feeling of independence that owning a cellphone can offer.
That demand means there's plenty of options out there in the world when it comes to choosing a cellphone for seniors, but not all of them are created equal. Here are four important tips to consider when purchasing a cellphone plan for seniors.
Given some of the main reasons for seniors getting a cellphone are to stay connected to friends, loved ones, and in the case of emergenices, having a carrier that offers fantastic coverage when you need it is essential.
Before deciding to agree to a plan, you will want to review the coverage available in the area where the cellphone will be used. Additionally, you'll want to account for any other areas that may be traveled. Most carriers offer coverage lookup maps on their websites to make it easier.
- AT&T's U.S. coverage map
- Sprint's U.S. coverage map
- T-Mobile's U.S. coverage map
- Verizon's U.S. coverage map
These days, more and more seniors are actively engaged in using technology. While there's often an immediate assumption that seniors will only want a cellphone for calls and possibly text messages, that's not entirely true.
You have to consider what the essential uses for the cellphone plan are going to be. Are only calls and text messages needed, or will there be some web browsing and other data usage that will be required as well?
Cellphone plans that offer only calls and text messages can be cheaper. Still, if the expected use of the cellphone is beyond that or the included calls and text allotment is not enough, you'll want to review the included features thoroughly to make sure that usage will be covered.
Cost is always going to be a factor when it comes to cellphone plans, but given some seniors are on fixed incomes or otherwise limited budgets, it's essential to find a plan that meets budget demands.
There is a wide array of providers out there who do offer budget-friendly plans for seniors, and that means it's always best to shop around and seek out discounts when and where they are available.
AARP and various other discounts can often be applied to cellphone plans. If you're not seeing them listed, be sure to inquire before purchasing.
Bring your own phone
Having a plan is only one part of the equation. You'll need a phone to make use of it.
While carriers have phones available that have created with seniors in mind (bigger buttons, large displays), you may already have a cellphone that can be used. Be sure to inquire about the cost of purchasing a cellphone from the provider, take a look at the available options, and if none are satisfactory, ask if you're allowed to bring your own phone.
If you are, you may wish see if the cellphone you already have can be activated or consider purchasing one elsewhere possibly for cheaper.
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