Loneliness and social isolation are important (and often under-addressed) issues for seniors.1 Selecting the right mobile phone is a crucial way for older adults to stay connected with their loved ones. With over 135,000 employees spread throughout 150 global locations, Verizon is one of the largest cell phone carriers in the world that offers a senior-specific plan for those 55 and older. No need to worry about frequent dropped calls!
Starting at $40 a month per line or $80 for two, Verizon’s 55+ Unlimited Plan offers unlimited talk, text, and data on their 4G LTE network. Something important to note is that their monthly rates are significantly higher compared to competing carriers like Sprint and AT&T; however, Verizon’s outstanding technical support and wide-ranging coverage2 (their 4G LTE network is one of the largest and most reliable networks in the U.S.) may be well worth the extra cost. There are also other eligibility restrictions, but we’ll explain it all in the next section! The provider also carries a handful of senior-friendly phones, which we’ll detail below. Read on to learn more about the inside scoop during our buying process, pros and cons, and our overall take on Verizon's plans and phones for seniors.
While other providers like T-Mobile offer multiple senior-specific phone plans, it’s important to know that Verizon only offers the 55+ Unlimited Plan and there are a few eligibility requirements and restrictions that you should know right off the bat.
The 55+ Unlimited Plan is only available to you if you meet the following requirements:
Given that you meet the eligibility requirements listed above, note that:
If you qualify for the 55+ Unlimited Plan, you can expect to receive:
Double Check: Visit Verizon’s website4 to see if you or a loved one are eligible to sign up for the 55+ Unlimited Plan.
Now, for older adults who don’t live in Florida, Missouri, or Illinois but still want the network stability and speed that Verizon boasts, there’s no need to fret! We did some digging and found that Verizon still offers several cell phone plans that may not be senior-specific, but are solid choices for the older crowd.
We suggest looking into Verizon’s basic unlimited plan—Started Unlimited—if you frequently use your cell phone to talk and text. While you won’t receive super high-def streaming quality, your monthly bill can be cut in half as the monthly rate starts at $35 for the Started Unlimited. We also found Verizon’s prepaid plans to be another great pick for seniors as this pay-as-you-go avenue brings control, flexibility, and affordability. With the prepaid options, you can bring your own phone to the party, easily make a payment with Instant Pay (a big plus for those who have a family member in charge of their bills), and, if you’re on Auto Pay, pricing starts at just $35 a month for 6 GB of data. Again, you can conveniently do this online or in-store, and no credit check or deposit is required.
Do keep in mind that all of these plans, which we break down below, are subject to additional taxes, fees, and a one-time activation fee. Verizon’s site can also be a beast, so do be sure to reserve a little bit of time to research and price everything out; the information is not as straightforward as a smaller-scale site like GreatCall’s. However, this is mostly because Verizon offers so many different products and services, which is a good thing if you like options!
|55+ Unlimited Plan
(for Florida, Missouri and Illinois residents only)
|Starts at $60 per month||Unlimited Talk, Text and Data
Unlimited Mobile Hotspot
Verizon Up Rewards
Mexico and Canada Included
|Start Unlimited||Starts at $35 per month||Unlimited Talk, Text and Data
Mexico and Canada Included
|Prepaid Plan – 6GB||Starts at $35 per month||6GB High Speed Data
|Prepaid Plan – 16 GB||Starts at $45 per month||16GB High Speed Data
Unlimited Calling to Mexico and Canada
|Prepaid Plan – Unlimited||Starts at $65 per month||Unlimited High Speed Data
Unlimited Calling to Mexico and Canada
While Verizon doesn’t necessarily call it a “contract,” if you do purchase a new cell phone with them, you are responsible for any fees remaining if you choose to give it up before the 24-month commitment period. This is pretty typical across the industry among other powerhouse providers like AT&T and T-Mobile. Some smaller companies like GreatCall and Consumer Cellular do not make you sign a contract no matter what plan you choose. However, if you opt for one of Verizon’s prepaid plans, there is no contract and you’re simply charged as you go. This is favorable for those who are testing out the technology waters or might be uneasy about committing to a long-term cell phone plan.
Money Saver Alert: Verizon always has some sort of promotion going on to help you save just a little bit more. Right now, if you sign up for a prepaid plan online, you can take about $10 off your monthly bill.
There are a number of ways to seek assistance with Verizon: online chat, in-app support, or visiting a store. But, seniors may prefer to speak with a specialist on the phone, as this is the quickest and simplest way to get all of your questions answered. Therefore, we did just that. After a brief hold time, we were connected to the sales department to ask some basic questions.
The main thing we wanted to find out was the difference between Verizon’s month-to-month prepaid and postpaid plans. Jason, the representative we spoke with, clarified more about the differences between the prepaid and postpaid plans. Basically, you get better connectivity and insurance with postpaid plans as they operate on a different network, but prepaid is still the way to go if you only want to pay for what you’re using.
With a wide variety of phone types, ranging from smartphones to prepaid phones, there’s a lot to choose from with Verizon. Among the options, we’ve selected one basic cell phone—Kyocera DuraXV Extreme—and one smartphone—Apple iPhone SE—as our top two cell phone choices for seniors. We provided some information on our selection below to get you started. If our suggestions do not meet your needs or have the features you’re looking for, check out our comprehensive list of other senior-friendly phone recommendations here.
Highly praised by Verizon customers and reviewers alike, the Kyocera DuraXV Extreme is a nice flip phone choice for older users due to its durable build and senior-friendly design. Priced at a one-time fee of $240 (or $10 per month for 24 months), the basic cell phone can withstand falls, water, and travel. It’s also a little bit larger in size, which caters to older eyes and hands. The flip phone is easy to operate thanks to its programmable keys (which will come in handy during an emergency situation) and large screen display for aging eyes. Finally, you’ll also find a basic 5MP auto-focus camera for on-the-go snaps. While the camera won’t be as high-quality as a smartphone, it’s perfect for capturing all the important moments.
As far as a smartphone goes, this iPhone model is a great option for tech-savvy seniors or those who have had previous experience operating iPhones. With a lighting fast chip, 12MP camera, and a more affordable price point at $399 (or $16.66 per month for 24 months) compared to other iPhone choices, it’s a huge technological step up from a flip phone as it comes equipped with retina HD display, high-tech functions and features that allow you to explore augmented realities, an advanced camera, and security system, and the list goes on. Oh, and it’s the only model out of Apple’s latest iPhone series that still has the familiar Home button intact. You’ll love its long battery life and amazing call quality. The iPhone’s design is easy to grip for those with arthritis or shaky hands. Plus, the touch screen makes it easy to tap and use without applying the pressure that’s needed for physical buttons, which is helpful for older hands. This is a definite bang for the buck purchase if you’re looking for a cell phone with the latest tech features.
If you’re all about top-of-the-line service and superior streaming, Verizon is certainly the way to go. The carrier will deliver on technology and alleviate the frustration that comes with dropped calls and shoddy service. You can say goodbye to the back and forth “can you hear me now?” that none of us are very fond of. Verizon’s 55+ Unlimited Plan designed specifically for seniors sweetens the deal even more. With unlimited talk, text, data, and mobile hotspots, there are literally no limits. Seniors have the flexibility to use their phone and stay connected as much as they want without worrying about running out of minutes or data. Even if you don’t live in Florida, Missouri, or Illinois where this plan is offered, we’d still recommend checking out Verizon’s other plans. The Start Unlimited plan starts at just $35 a month, and it still offers unlimited talk, text, and data, making it an affordable option regardless of age. If you only want to make a few calls here and there, Verizon also offers prepaid options that let you choose just how much data and minutes work for you. Overall, Verizon’s coverage, speeds, flexible plan options, and reliable service really can’t be beaten.
No, unfortunately, unlike AT&T, there is no AARP discount currently offered through Verizon.
No, there are no models designed specifically for seniors with a button like this. If you’re only interested in a device armed with that feature, we recommended looking into a Jitterbug phone.
Yes, Verizon offers insurance which ranges in price from $12 to $17 depending on what type of phone you have.
To get an existing phone number up and running with Verizon, they’ll send you a SIM card in the mail or you can retrieve one at a Verizon store.
Investopedia. (2020). The World's Top 10 Telecommunications Companies.
Verizon. (2020). Store Locator.
Verizon. (2020). 55+ Plans.
WRLA TechWire. (2020). Report: Verizon still No. 1 wireless provider but AT&T cuts into lead.
Verizon. (2020). Responsibility.
Since graduating from Harvard with an honors degree in Statistics, Jeff has been creating content in print, online, and on television. Much of his work has been dedicated to informing seniors on how to live better lives. As Editor-in-Chief of the personal… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt