When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in 2007, I knew the world had changed. This product was immediately one of the most capable smartphones in the world and a status symbol that everybody wanted. I had some savings in the bank, and decided to put it to good use. But I didn’t buy an iPhone. Instead, I bought a small amount of stock in the company.
To this day I have never owned an iPhone. While many of my friends do, I have never been able to justify the expense. Earlier today I went to the Verizon webpage to see what it would cost me to buy one. I selected the cheapest current iPhone and clicked “express checkout.” Without any insurance plan or additional services, the monthly bill came to $92.08 a month.
For over a year now I have been with a company called Republic Wireless. (No, they are not paying me to write this!) I paid less than a hundred dollars for a Moto E smartphone, and am on their $10 a month plan with unlimited talk and text. On two occasions have I paid a few bucks more for temporary data because I was traveling. However, I am on Wi-Fi most of the time, and rarely need mobile data.
This saves me $80 a month, and that can really add up. If an 18 year old opted for the more frugal phone, and faithfully invested that money in a no-load index fund that averages 10% a year, he would be able to retire from that money alone. By the time he reached the full retirement age of 67, the account would have grown to over $1.1 million.
I’ll be honest, when I see people using the new iPhone, I’m a little jealous. It’s a great phone, and is probably worth the $649 you’ll pay for the cheapest model. But then I remind myself that it is not worth as much as my Moto E. My entry-level smartphone is worth over a million bucks!