Tuesday, September 27, 2016
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search


Preview the Paper Preview the Paper

Preview this week's Paper
A limited number of pages are displayed in this preview.
Preview this Week’s Issue ›
Subscribe Today ›

Lost & Found

Lost: White Poodle mix, "Dillon," white curly hair, Sutherland Springs area, he has been missing since the beginning of August. 210-219-7963.
*Includes FREE photo online! mywcn.com/lostandfound
Our beloved Gracie is missing, Dachshund/Lab mix, microchipped, about 30 pounds, black with little white. Call with any information, 830-393-9999 or 419-250-9099.
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

Caregivers needed. Call 830-625-0444.
Floresville ISD is accepting applications at www.fisd.us for the following positions: Custodian, plumber; grounds worker; and bus driver.
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos





Video Vault ›

South Texas Living


Cell phone options for seniors




E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story
Jim Miller
The Savvy Senior
July 16, 2014 | 2,956 views | Post a comment

Dear Savvy Senior,

What are the cheapest cell phone options available today to seniors living on a shoestring budget? I only need it for occasional calls.

Seldom Calling Senior

Dear Seldom,

For financially challenged seniors who only want a cell phone for emergency purposes or occasional calls, there are a number of inexpensive no contract plans you can get. Or, depending on your income level, there are also free cell phones and monthly airtime minutes you may qualify for. Here’s where to find some of the cheapest deals.

No-Contract Phones

One way infrequent cell phone users can save money is with a prepaid cell phone -- also known as pay-as-you-go phones. With a prepaid phone there’s no contract, no fixed monthly bills, no credit checks, and no hidden costs that come with traditional cell phone plans. With this type of service, you buy a special prepaid phone then pre-purchase a certain amount of minutes (for talk or text) that must be used within a specified period of time.

While most major carriers like AT&T and Verizon offer inexpensive prepaid plans, as do independents like Net10, Cricket, and Virgin Mobile, some of the best deals are offered by TracFone (tracfone.com, 800-867-7183) and T-Mobile (t-mobile.com, 1-800-866-2453).

TracFone has phones that start as low as $10 and call plans that cost under $7 per month. And T-Mobile has a super-cheap 30-minute plan for $10, and minutes don’t expire for 90 days. That averages out to $3.33 per month. If you need more talk time, they also offer an annual plan where $100 gets you 1,000 minutes that are good for a full year. T-Mobile does, however, charge a one-time activation of $35.

Or, it you would rather have a no-contract senior-friendly phone with big buttons and simplified features, the Doro PhoneEasy 618 sold through Consumer Cellular (consumercellular.com, 888-345-5509) is probably your cheapest option. It costs $60 for the phone, with calling plans that start at $10 per month.

Free Cell Phones

If your income is low enough, you also need to check into the Lifeline Assistance Program. This is a government-sponsored program that subsidizes wireless (and landline) companies who in turn provide free cellphones and around 250 minutes of free monthly airtime and texts to low-income Americans. (Some programs in some states provide more minutes, some less, and some charge a small monthly fee.)

There are currently around 15 million Americans who have a free cell phone through the Lifeline program, but millions more are eligible.

The free phones and minutes are provided by a number of national prepaid wireless companies like Safelink and Assurance Wireless, along with a host of other regional carriers throughout the country.

Many states have more than one wireless company that provides the free phones and minutes. If you are eligible, the free cell phone you’ll receive is a basic phone that also offers text messaging, voice mail, call waiting and caller ID. To qualify, you’ll need to show that you’re receiving certain types of government benefits, such as Medicaid, Food Stamps, SSI, home energy assistance or public housing assistance. Or, that your household income is at or below 135 or 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines -- it varies by state. The 135 percent poverty level is currently $15,754 for singles and $21,235 for couples. The 150 percent level is $17,505/singles, $23,595/couples.

To find out if you’re eligible, or to locate the wireless companies that provide Lifeline government cell phones in your state, visit lifelinesupport.org. You can also learn more at freegovernmentcellphones.net.

Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC “Today” show and author of The Savvy Senior. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org.
 

Your Opinions and Comments


Be the first to comment on this story!


You must be logged in to post a comment.




Not a subscriber?
Subscriber, but no password?
Forgot password?

South Texas Living Archives


Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Apple Pie readers help Julia fill in the blanks (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Cheap cell phone plans for seniors (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Come And Take It starts Sept. 30 (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Disc water pitcher (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. DRT chapter plans meeting, new member class (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Get ready to grill at show barn’s barbecue cook-off (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Old Town Day seeks vendors (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Poth VFD to serve up barbecued chicken (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Run and shine at Neon Sizzle 5K (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Spots open for Community Yard Sale (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. St. Mary’s Fall Festival Sept. 25 (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Support FUMC youth at barbecue ‘fun’ raiser (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Teen MOPS plans upcoming meetings (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. The root of many evils (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Uncovering local legends: The grave in the middle of the road (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. URBAN-15 seeks dancers, drummers (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Chicago Cub yearbooks (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Enjoy Country Music Show Sept. 20 (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. How to prevent falls at home (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Krawietz family reunion (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. La Vernia EMS plans Car Show (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Labatt Club donates to library, children (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Low voices and high hopes (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Lutheran Church plans Sausage Dinner (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Medicaid covers mosquito repellent to fight Zika (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Metting family plans reunion (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Non-prescription drugs — the forgotten solution to rising health-care costs (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Relay For Life meeting is Sept. 15 (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Seguin Cowboy Gathering is Sept. 17 (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Smith Gas celebrates 88 years in business (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. The life of Doris Billimek Moczygemba (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Trail ride donations surpass $1M (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Visit Remembering Our Fallen exhibit in Seguin (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Who will take care of you? (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. A life shaped by hard work and hunting (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. After-Dinner Chocolates (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Cajun music Sept. 10 (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Donate hearing aids, glasses, equipment (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Earn a certification in native landscaping (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Enjoy EquestFest 2016 (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Getting Engaged? How to spend wisely (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Mystery box (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Nominate a nonprofit for Literacy Award (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Old medicine chest dates back to 1821 (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Professional bull riding returns to Fredericksburg (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Register to run for tacos Oct. 1 (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Road Runners plan September outings (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Still time to buy tickets for Wild Game Dinner (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Take a tour of SS museum Sept. 17 (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Take the H-E-B Slim Down challenge (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Vote for top flick at Manhattan Short Film Festival (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Welcome to The Greenline, a 43-acre linear park (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. ‘Cupping’ long before Phelps did it (September 7, 2016)
WCN Photo Contest HHF
WWII Clippings HHF
Coupon Q&A HHF-right
coupon home-rght
Allstate & McBride RealtyHeavenly Touch homeFriesenhahn Custom WeldingTriple R DC ExpertsVoncille Bielefeld home

  Copyright © 2007-2016 Wilson County News. All rights reserved. Web development by Drewa Designs.