These Boomers use a smartphone to get more out of retirement. Here’s how you can, too.
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Millennials aren’t the only generation in love with their phones. Since 2011, Baby Boomers have almost tripled their use of smartphones, according to Pew Research Center. They are using them to video chat with far-flung adult children and grandchildren, find their way to new adventures, check-in with friends on social media, maintain easy access to critical medical records, and much more.
In many ways, the right phone and data plan are a part of living your best life in retirement. Here are three people whose phones are helping them stay connected with loved ones and pursue their passions.
The power of unlimited opportunities
Andie M., 66, loves having her smartphone with its FaceTime app close at hand. The Massachusetts resident relies on the app to feel close to her beloved grandchildren who currently live an ocean away in Ireland.
“How else could I see and hear my 10-year-old granddaughter play the full repertoire of songs from the movie ‘Frozen’ on the piano and give her a standing ovation in real time?” the active retiree asks. “It’s an incredible way for me to get to interact without actually being there.”
For Philip W., 65, having a smartphone is an easy way to stay connected with his son, who attends college in Europe. “One day last winter I got an unexpected video call,” recalls the Virginia-based retiree. “When I answered, I immediately saw this amazing view of snow-capped mountains and the brightest blue sky you can imagine. It was my son, calling from the top of a mountain in the Austrian Alps. I was so touched that he wanted to share that moment with me.”
Linda D., also 65, says she uses her smartphone all the time to search for highly rated restaurants and to look up product comparisons when she’s shopping. But the Colorado retiree is also using mobile tech to help her reach a new aim in retirement: advancing her Spanish language skills in order to become a volunteer interpreter for attorneys doing pro-bono work.
With her laptop and iPhone, she taps into an online language learning website that connects language learners and teachers around the world through video chat. Linda studies with a Spanish teacher in Toluca, Mexico, who offers corrections during their conversations—that she can both see in real time and review later.
“The lessons have been a gigantic help to me,” Linda says.
Andie also uses her phone to stay healthy (enabling texts with her physical therapist, for example) and embrace new experiences (taking occasional photos for a local magazine). Philip relies on his phone to check out restaurant menus in advance while traveling. “I was recently diagnosed with a gluten allergy, and there’s no way I’m going to let it slow me down,” he vows.
Great international coverage, too
Philip also appreciates having great international coverage when he’s traveling abroad. “I think my son is going to stay in Europe after he graduates, so I envision a lot of trips in my future. Knowing I can buy an easy, affordable high-speed data pass eliminates a lot of the stress involved in traveling abroad frequently,” he says.
“The younger set are supposed to be the ones dependent on their smartphones, not retirees,” Andie says. “But I’ve been surprised at how it’s kind of allowed [my generation] to break free of computers and TV screens.”
Andie, Philip, and Linda are not the only phone fanatics in their generation either. In a recent AARP survey, 2 in 3 retirees said they look forward to video chatting with grandchildren on their phones, and almost as many said they’d enjoy participating in group text messaging and engaging on social media.
The right plan is ESSENTIAL
To get the most out of these activities, however, it’s important to make sure your smartphone delivers. After all, not every phone plan is created equal.
T-Mobile is giving Boomer (and older) customers multiple choices when it comes to a wireless plan that will meet their needs.
- Right now, get Essentials Unlimited 55, the Un-carrier’s best deal for Americans aged 55 and older at just $55 per month plus tax with AutoPay for two lines of unlimited talk, text, and high-speed data. The plan also provides unlimited 3G hotspot, weekly free stuff and discounts from T-Mobile Tuesdays, the best customer care in wireless with a dedicated Team of Experts, and free scam protection to fight robocalls., It’s a perfect plan for those who just need the basics and all with no annual service contract.
- For those looking for a bit more, T-Mobile’s Magenta Unlimited 55 and Magenta Plus Unlimited 55 plans may be a better deal. They include everything the Essentials plan offers and then some. Retirees who travel a lot will appreciate unlimited texting and data (at 2G speeds) in over 210 destinations abroad, plus 5GB of high-speed data included in Mexico and Canada, and 1-hour of free Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi and free texting on domestic flights. And on Magenta Plus Unlimited 55, customers also get voicemail to text and free Netflix! Magenta Unlimited 55 is just $70 per month with AutoPay for two lines and Magenta Plus Unlimited 55 is just $90 per month with AutoPay for two lines. And, taxes and fees are included in both plans, the price you see is the price you pay. No surprises.
► T-Mobile also makes it easy for anyone to upgrade to high-speed data when traveling internationally. Pay a small, one-time fee for unlimited access for 1 day, 10 days, or 30 days.
An unbeatable deal on a new iPhone
Plus, for a limited time, T-Mobile customers can get 50% (or more) off a new iPhone 11 with bill credits, all you need is a qualified trade-in. For those who love to take photos, the latest iPhone 11 from Apple features a new camera system that delivers huge improvements to photography and the highest quality video in a smartphone.
And, iPhone 11 on T-Mobile gives customers better coverage in rural areas and inside buildings.
“Apple’s latest iPhone taps into our newest, most powerful signal, 600 MHz — no signal goes farther or is more reliable at reaching buildings and rural areas,” said John Legere, CEO at T-Mobile. “Customers with 600 MHz smartphones — like the new iPhone — get 52% more LTE coverage on our network and use almost 50% more data than those without the latest smartphones. In short, they get the most out of this powerful network — and that’s exactly why we built it!”
► Grab your new iPhone 11 for 50% off via bill credits with a qualified trade-in.
The freedom to pursue what’s next
T-Mobile is making it easier than ever before for Baby Boomers to maintain connections and an active lifestyle. Your phone can “melt away the miles” with friends and family and help you take full advantage of all the resources the Internet has to offer while on the go.
AT&T and Verizon offer 55+ customers dumbed down “senior” plans that fall short with weekday and weeknight minutes, device limitations, and high price tags. T-Mobile delivers the best deal for customers 55 and older, with the most robust plans and newest phones, all at unbeatable prices.
Don’t miss this unprecedented opportunity. Enrich your well-deserved retirement with a phone and a plan that helps you live your dreams to the fullest.
► Stay connected to your world with one of T-Mobile’s unlimited plans for those 55 or better.
This content was provided by T-Mobile. Kiplinger is not affiliated with and does not endorse the company or products mentioned above.