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Cell Phone Plan For Seniors
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Cell Phone Plan for Seniors

In this article I will discuss key elements that would make for an ideal cell phone plan for seniors. I am going to start by making a few assumptions. First, I think it’s fair to assume you are living on a fixed income and paying $100 or more each month may be beyond your budget. Secondly, seniors may not need the latest whiz bang cell phone on the market. Some may be looking for the latest iPhone or Droid but most seniors would be fine with a reliable basic flip phone. Thirdly, although you may not travel all the time, you still want a phone that comes with a national plan.

Any discussion about a cell phone plan for seniors would be incomplete without discussing the big four wireless carriers: Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T Mobile. Although the big four provide good national coverage they all would prefer to sell you a phone under contract. This means you get to select the latest phone for a big discount in return for signing a two year contract. Believe me when I say the big four make up the phone discount they give you on the back end with the contract. Did you know the average monthly bill for the big four offering unlimited talk, text & internet is well over $100 per month?

The big four will sell you a no-contract plan, meaning you pay month to month on a pre-paid basis and are not under contract. However, they don’t go out of their way to highlight this. Be forewarned, there are a few caveats with the big four and their no-contract offerings. With no contract you don’t get that enticing phone discount up front. In fact, regardless of the provider, you pay up front for the phone.

And remember, the big four wireless carriers focus almost exclusively on selling the latest, newest and by the way, the most expensive cell phones. They’re great phones, but they are expensive! That means a new droid with no contract could easily set you back $400. An iPhone will cost upwards of $600-$700! It’s important to understand the big four specialize in selling “contract” cell phone plans. There is however, a better cell phone plan for seniors available.

Let’s now turn to the plans that specialize in no-contract cell phone plans. You may not have even realized such exist, but they do. The three I will focus on include Lightyear Wireless, Cricket and Metro PCS. Let’s start with Cricket. Cricket has a decent phone selection, decent price but terrible coverage. Seriously, it’s bad, which means dropped calls, etc. Metro PCS competes on a teaser price. Problem is when you peel the layers on the onion back you get almost nothing for the teaser price. Provided you don’t want to incur frequent over charges for talk, text and internet be careful with Metro PCS.

Lightyear offers a true national plan with unlimited talk, unlimited text and unlimited internet (no data caps or forced slowdowns) for $59.99 per month with no contract. As with all no-contract plans you will need to purchase a phone from that provide; in this case Lightyear. But, here’s a key difference with Lightyear, unlike other carriers, Lightyear sells brand new, never used cell phones that are last year’s model. That means you save.

Lightyear usually has several phones for sale (including a flip phone) between $50-$120. They do have more expensive phones too. Be sure to scroll through their full selection. The best deals are often lower down the page. Lightyear also has a good customer service with an 800 number when you have questions. All Lightyear phones are available for viewing and purchase online. You can transfer your current cell phone number over to Lightyear (called porting your number). Lightyear also has an incentive program to further reduce your monthly bill. This is called the "you plus five program".

I understand how picking a cell phone plan for seniors or anyone for that matter can be confusing. Hopefully this article has helped as you make your decision. I welcome any feedback you may wish to share.

Street Talk

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