Sim Only Vs. Contract Mobile Phone Deals

A long time ago, mobile phones were just bricks with a dial tone. However, phones have evolved so much with about 93% of people living in the UK now using smartphones. By the end of last year, there were more than 37 billion minutes of calls and about 25 billion texts sent. But when you are making all these calls and sending texts, do you think that it could be possible to save money on your current phone deal. Well, grab a seat and listen up, you might want to hear this.

First, there is a broad range of mobile phones that can meet your needs and are now within your budget. Luckily, it is not only the phone itself you can choose either. With world-class brands available including LG, Apple, Samsung galaxy, Windows and much more, you will most likely find something that meets your tastes. Secondly, there are two ways of managing your costs; pay as you go deal and a monthly contract.

The package that will work for you

The package that will suit you will depend on factors like how much you use your phone and what is your intended purpose. Pay as you plan will suit you if you do not make many calls or send many texts.

If you are among the people who check their phones immediately after waking up in the morning, then you probably need to decide what contract will suit you better. To decide on which contract to go for, you will need to look at the following advantages and disadvantages.

SIM only

For a SIM only deal, you buy the SIM but not the phone. You usually get a package with minutes for calls, data, and texts for a monthly fee. This is useful if you have a phone but want better deals on minutes, data, and texts.

Advantages

  • Freedom to choose – In this deal, you are not tied to any mobile provider since the contracts are short (30 days). So you can swap the agreement easily.
  • It could cost less – This deal is cheaper in the long run because you are not paying for the expense of a handset.
  • Less rigorous credit checks – Your credit history will be reviewed before you sign a contract, but it will not be as far-reaching as that of a contract deal.

Disadvantages

  • Phones are costly – Purchasing a phone on its own can be very expensive, especially if you want a phone loaded with high-quality features.
  • You can be locked in – You will have to unlock your phone if it is tied to a network that is different from your SIM.

Contract phone

If you opt for a contract phone deal, you sign an agreement for a period. This is usually 12 months, and a fixed fee is paid every month. In return, you get your preferred phone, texts, calls and data each month. This option is valuable if you want to get your favourite phone.

Advantages

  • Free phone – Technically it is not free since you will pay for it in your monthly payments. Either way, this is one method of getting your preferred smartphone such as the latest Samsung galaxy with no upfront cost.
  • No hassle – Here you are in a contract, and if you finish your allowance you are not cut off, and you do not need to remember topping up your credit.
  • Free gifts – Some providers give gifts and depending on your luck it can be a clincher. Gifts can be phone accessories such as hands-free headsets; you can even get premium deals with unlimited access to digital music.

 

Disadvantages

 

  • You are tied up – In this deal, you have to stick to a particular network provider, usually up to two years. This can be a long time if the services are poor or when you are craving for a new phone.
  • Thorough credit checks – You will undergo intensive checks on your credit history, and if it is not pleasing, you might not get the contract after all.
  • Exhausting your allowance – You will not have to worry about finishing your minutes, but in case you go over your monthly limits you will incur very high charges

Concerned about Handling Expenses during Retirement? Here’s all you need to know!

The first and foremost concern about retirement planning is handling your expenses without a regular paycheck coming in. For a majority of people, there is negligible to no change when it comes to basic expenditures such as shelter, utilities, food etc. The first and foremost concern about retirement planning is handling your expenses without a regular paycheck coming in. For a majority of people, there is negligible to no change when it comes to basic expenditures such as shelter, utilities, food etc.

To begin, you need to gauge an approximate amount of income which will last as long as needed. Next, you need to gather all the information about all the sources of income post-retirement such as your retirement accounts, social security etc. And, you also need to know about any other options of income apart from your savings pool.

Towards this, you can start by knowing certain important dates. These dates will tell you when you can avail the benefits from your various retirement accounts.

Here’s a brief overview about it – 

  • Social Security : You have to reach the normal retirement age before you are eligible for the benefits of social security. While you can start receiving its partial benefits at 62, but it decreases the amount of payout over time. So, if you wait until say 70, you can gain more.
  • Medicare : It is advisable to start signing up 3 months before your birthday month and also refer to the other deadlines which apply to the signing up of part D of Medicare. You are eligible for Medicare at 65.
  • Retirement Accounts : A majority of these accounts allow you to withdraw without a penalty at age 591/2. Traditional IRA accounts mandate that you begin taking the Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) when you are 701/2.  However, Roth IRAs don’t.You can handle the withdrawals from these accounts in three ways. You can either withdraw ‘x’ amount from your IRA every month. Or you can completely withdraw all the IRA savings to buy an immediate annuity, which is a contract with an insurance company that assures you a certain income for the rest of your life. Or, you can do both – use certain amount of the money for buying an annuity and save some for other investments, and also withdraw as per your needs.

    One major difference between traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs is when the savings must be withdrawn. Traditional IRAs require you to start taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) at age 701/2. Roth IRAs, on the other hand, don’t mandate withdrawals during the owner’s lifetime. So, if you don’t need the money, Roth IRAs can continue to grow tax-free throughout your lifetime, making them ideal financial vehicles.

Apart from these, there are few other key points to remember which can help ensure that your retirement savings don’t run out quickly. They are as follows: 

  • Chalk out a detailed budget and keep a close track on every small and big expense against it. The basic and necessary expenditures should be considered first. And then you can assign the remaining fund for your retirement ‘wish list’.
  • You need to be very careful about spending your retirement funds. Don’t step into your retirement with unrealistic expectations about how much you can withdraw. A little self-control in the first few years will help you maintain your savings pool for more years to come.
  • While overspending is common, you should also remember to not spend too little. This means you should not overlook the needs for important things such as healthcare, proper diet, maintenance requirements of your home, etc. If at all you need to spend less because of limited funds, you should inquire about other financial aids such as public programs which support retired individuals.

Healthy money management is important to lead a financially-healthy retirement life. Learn and get to know more about the changing post-retirement financial trends and alternatives. Always stay abreast of such topics so that you can use your retirement fund wisely. You can also seek the services of a professional retirement planner who can help you manage your expenses post-retirement well, so that you can enjoy your retired life the way you have envisioned.