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Cellular For Seniors
Cellular Choices for Seniors:
     Benefits of Cellular for Seniors:
Safety and Security:
Carry a cell phone wherever you go and help will be just a phone call away, in some cases, with the push of just one button. Many phones can be traced to their general location, you can be "found" if you want.
Cellular Can Save Seniors Money:
Cellular can be cheaper than a wired phone line, Long Distance charges can be Free, Charges can be by the minute instead of by the month, some Seniors qualify for cheaper plans or subsidized Lifeline service, Cellular phones come with most Calling Features included and not as extra charge items as with land lines. You could even use your old phones. You can even go totally wireless.
Cellular Does Not Need to Be Expensive:
There are numerous Senior Discounts on wireless. Some cellular plans are priced as low as $10 per year. There are many full-featured plans with rates ranging from $8 to $30 per month. There are several inexpensive Prepaid alternatives which can be set to "auto-pay" whenever they run low. If you already have a cellular phone here's how to Cut Your Wireless Cost.
Find Out How to Get FREE Emergency-Only Cellular Service
Cellular Can Be A Low-Cost Alternative for Making Long Distance Calls:
Most current cellular plans include Long Distance calls for no extra charge. You still pay for your cellular usage, but the charges are based on the amount of time used, not the distance. If you make a lot of long distance calls, you might consider one of many "Unlimited" options, including plans with "calling circles", Nights & Weekends, Family Plans, and other variations of Unlimited calling. There are a number of cellular plans that offer free international calling to a large number of foreign countries. Also see Cellular Charges by Time.
Cellular Charges by Time, Not Distance.
Many new cellular users, including seniors, don't understand that wireless calls are charged for the time you use the phone and not where you are calling. You might hear that cellular has "Free Long Distance", but it means "Long Distance Free of Extra Charges". You only pay for time you use the phone. This expands your included calling area to the entire US, and, in some cases, many foreign countries. Parents with children who live 'just over the line' for free landline calls, can make cellular calls to the kids as if they were next door. If Seniors and their kids share a wireless plan, there are NO charges for calls between family members. If you travel, "Free Roaming" means "Free of Extra Charges for Roaming Away from Your Home Area." Also see Cellular Long Distance Calls.
Friends and Family Can Help:
A wireless customer can add a phone to their own plan for a senior friend or relative for as little as $10 a month. The senior shares the monthly minutes and, in most cases, you can call each other without any per-minute charges at all. If the family subscribes to a 'Push-to-Talk' plan, like that available from Sprint, one party in the family can call another with the push of a button.
You Could Use Your Existing Wired Phones:
If you want to continue using the old phones you're accustomed to using, several wireless carriers offer a device specifically designed to make your wired phones work like "normal" home phones but using a cellular connection. In most cases, they provide a unit that sits on a table or wall and the calls are completed by a wireless connection to the nearest cell site. In most cases you can plug in all of your existing phones, both cordless and corded. You pay a monthly fee and, like a cellular phone, all the popular calling features are included, like Unlimited Calls, both Local and Long Distance; Call Waiting; Call Forwarding and Voice Mail. This is not a new concept but these units are now being offered by the cellular carriers themselves with quite reasonable rates...some as low as $15 per month.
Shop Here for Wireless Home Phone Systems
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Using Wireless Regularly Is Smart:
Making a few calls every month helps you get comfortable using a cellular phone and makes it much easier to use in a stressful or emergency situation. Schedule a wireless call, say, once a week to a friend or relative, your voice mail, or a call to one of many information services available.
Wireless Phone Suppliers Accept Returns:
Most wireless companies realize you may have some difficulty using your phone once you've had a chance to experience the service at home or ion places where you visit. They all offer some kind of return privilege, including a complete refund should the service not work out. Make sure you know what their policy is in advance. They range from 14 to 30 days for a complete refund on the handset, but expect to pay for any time used making calls. This is helpful for customers who want to purchase their phone online.
You Don't Need A Contract:
There are many choices among among wireless services that don't require a contract, most of them are for Prepaid plans. Check out recommendations for Prepaid Wireless. Some carriers charge more for no-contract plans but a few, like T-Mobile, charge less.
Get Untied From Your Computer:
You can access your email, participate in online social connections and search web information without being confined to a specific location in your house. Feel free to use this wireless connection at home or while you're away. With a data-capable phone you can access all those features right in your pocket. Be sure your phone has an appropriate data plan. Consider this: many customers have replaced both their home phone and their home computer with just one "Smart" phone!
     Already Have a Cellular Phone? Here's How to Cut Your Bill:

Switch to a Cheaper Plan:
Ask your current carrier for a cheaper plan. You already know how many Minutes or Data you use. Ask for a plan that fits your usage better and inquire about any 'Senior' plans. You may qualify for inexpensive "LifeLine" service from your current carrier.
Switch to Prepaid:
There are many ways to switch your phone to a much cheaper Prepaid plan, and, in most cases, you can use your current phone. Once you've decided to switch, the new carrier will do all the work for you. Here are some examples:
  • You're paying Verizon $40 per month (plus taxes and fees!) just for Talk and Text. You can switch the phone to Page Plus and get 250 Minutes and 250 Texts for only $12 a month (plus tax), or add 500 Mb of Data to the same phone for a total of only $30/mo.
  • You're paying AT&T $90 per month for several features including Internet and email access. You can switch that same phone to Straight Talk Wireless and get Unlimited Talk, Text, Internet and 411 for just $45 a month (taxes are charged but the rate depends on where you live). There are ways to get discounts even on that rate.
  • Similar conversions are available if you have a Sprint or T-Mobile phone. Complete switching instructions are available at Mountain Prepaid.
Getting Cheaper Wireless Service
There's a whole web page dedicated to negotiating, switching or sneaking your way to a lower wireless bill.
     $1 a Month Cellular! 
There are several methods to get Free, or nearly Free, cellular service. One of them could work for you.

Prepaid Cellular
There are real Prepaid wireless plans than can cost about $1 a month and maybe less! One of these plans can be renewed for as little as $10 per year and the minutes don't expire for the whole year. One plan is offered by T-Mobile and is available in most of the US. Get More Details.
LifeLine Plans:
Most carriers offer a government-subsidized "LifeLine" or "LifeLink" service at a significantly reduced cost. Lifeline support lowers the cost of basic, monthly local telephone service and can be as low at $1 per month. An eligible customer may receive the Lifeline discount on either a wireline or wireless connection, but the discount is available for only one account per household. Lifeline discounts do not apply to taxes or surcharges, and don't relieve the account holder from paying the monthly bill. Details on how to sign up are Below.


Qualifications to receive Lifeline discounts vary by state. The qualifying programs are either determined by each state's Public Utility Commission or the federal Lifeline/Link-Up program. Some states and U.S. territories do not provide state-funded discounts, but in most cases, an individual is eligible if he or she participates in one of the following programs:

  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) or Section 8
  • Food Stamps
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Medicaid
  • National School Lunch Program
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Old Age Pension (OAP)
  • Aid to the Blind (AB)
  • Aid to the Needy (AND)
  • Aid to Children
  • Residents of Tribal Territories*

*To receive Lifeline discounts in Tribal territories, you must reside on land that meets the Bureau of Indian Affairs definition of a Reservation, specifically any federally recognized Native American tribe's reservation within an eligible carrier's coverage area, based on the zip code of your home address.

In addition, a consumer may be eligible if household income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. If you qualify for Lifeline based on income guidelines, you will need to provide current documentation that shows your household income. Contact your chosen carrier for details.

How Much Does it Cost?
Lifeline services range from FREE to $30 per month. Don't confuse Lifeline plans with "Senior" plans that are offered by some companies. Lifeline is supported by government subsidies.

To Sign Up For LifeLine Service:
If you qualify, you can contact wired and wireless telephone companies and ask about "Lifeline" service. You can shop among the programs to see which one will give you the best offer. In addition to your local telephone company, you can call the wireless carriers that serve your area. We have a list of wireless carriers shown by state. Not all carriers provide Lifeline service.



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