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Preparation for Later Life
Do You Really Need Such an Expensive Phone?

Do You Really Need Such an Expensive Phone?

Apple iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy S6, Sony Xperia Z5, Microsoft Lumia 950, Nexus 5X, Blackberry PRIV and HTC One A9. They are popular phones, they are expensive phones, but are they the phones you need? Well it probably depends on who you are asking. Perhaps a busy, jet setting businessperson who constantly needs to keep on top of their emails, make face to face video calls with clients, hold meetings with employees, check commodity prices, view news events as they happen, send money across the globe and keep track of their finances while booking a plane ticket from New York to Singapore next week while in the back of a cab in Berlin. OK, that person could probably do with the newest iPhone, and probably has the salary to pay for it too. But what about someone getting ready to leave work or fresh into retirement?

In that case I doubt such a person would need instant access to all those things, but of course still may want to stay connected to family and friends for the most part and that is where their phone would come in. Sure you may want to check your emails on the go, but it can wait until you get home where you can use your desktop PC or laptop, but not right now in the middle of a restaurant. So for those who no longer find themselves using their phone for work and especially want to be more careful with finances now that they no longer have their salary, the situation at hand begs the question, ‘do I need such an expensive phone for my needs’? This may be the upfront cost of the handset but more likely the biggest cost will go to paying for the contract on a monthly basis for generally between 18-24 months at a time, so you may find yourself paying for more than you need for awhile before seeking out a better deal. 

So, who else may benefit from the more expensive deals on offer? One more obvious answer would be teenagers/young adults. The reason, for many in this subset, their phone is their focal point for managing and taking part in much of their lives, specifically social lives. They use social media through apps/websites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat to keep up with friends, see what they are doing in their lives, read articles, watch videos through these accounts but also using YouTube, share material, and much more. They can also take advantage of other free messaging services such as WhatsApp and the like to constantly stay in touch whether at school, college, work, on the bus, train, car, in a shop, at a café, on holiday, in almost anywhere in the world with a signal.

Of course they too may also use their phone for work, but depending on their profession maybe less so than one in the position mentioned in the previous example. Not only do some who are a part of a younger generation find it tempting to spend more money on a higher powered handset that can carry out all these functions but also a potentially substantial amount of minutes to call people with, texts to message people with and data so they can use apps that require internet access when not connected to Wi-Fi. These last three things (amount of minutes, texts and internet data) as well as the phone itself, is what will make up the contract cost and the upfront cost to own such a device, so ideally the less ‘fancy’ the phone and the less you need to use of it the cheaper it should be and my argument is that people should be careful to pick the package that suits them and not automatically go for what they are told they should have or simply the newest model.

Whilst saying all this I don’t mean to contradict what I mentioned in my previous article discussing those having coming into retirement or are in retirement making the most of the technology available to them. The reason I would argue the case here is different is simply, as mentioned before, those who tend to spend more one way or another on their phone do so to make the most of the ‘on the go’ features, i.e. Being able to use all of the apps and such like outside of their homes as it is such a big part of their life, whereas everyone else, one could argue, might well be satisfied to keep that within their home and use their phone pretty much exclusively for texting and calling when out.

But perhaps you are one to break the mould?

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