Planet Retirement can sometimes be a bewildering place and with a scarcity of UK retirement blogs out there (other than those proffering financial advice) I thought I'd keep my own.

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Monday, 7 April 2014

The Smartphone Dilemma

One issue that I am finding particularly perplexing in planning for retirement is the extent to which I would use a smartphone. At present the firm I work for provides me with an iPhone. It is a dream for keeping me in touch with the office and diary functions, contacts and e-mail in-boxes are all readily accessible. I understand that I can use it to play games or listen to music, but even if I owned it myself, I wouldn't.

For private use I still have a stainless steel Nokia slide as pictured above. Truth is I do find it (much to my chagrin and the amusement of those who know me) an item of singular aesthetic merit.  I carry it for potential emergencies and occasional text messages to the eldest or youngest when we are arranging to rendezvous; normally so that I can pick them up off a train or from a friend's home. Obviously I run it as a Pay as You Go, topping up my credit by a limited amount of £10 every 6 months or so. 

Yes I am a seriously limited mobile phone user.

I have an iPad, which, Skype and Facetime excepted, I can't make calls from but and save for the quality of the photographs compared to those taken with the iPhone, it does everything that an iPhone does but on a much larger and user friendly screen. Of course it is heavier and I can't see myself lugging it around in my handbag just on the off chance that I might want to make a diary appointment. If, however, I am travelling any distance then it always goes with me.

So the quandary is, do I need to replace my long-trusted and to my mind totally stylish Nokia with a smartphone? If I don't and in order to replicate the services provided by the iPhone, which has the advantage of synchronising seamlessly with my iPad, it seems that I might need:
1. A small digital camera;
2. A connector to easily upload photos from the camera to the iPad
3. A paper diary for contacts and appointments
4. The Nokia
5. A replacement battery for the said Nokia as the current one is becoming unreliable.

I suspect that I would actually use a smartphone more for photographs and as an electronic  diary and organiser than for the e-mails I pick up on my business phone now. Is the cost, however, justified when I no longer need a mobile office, so to speak? Also do I want to intrude upon retirement with a means for staying in touch and being contacted by every possible means? Shouldn't it be an opportunity for a slower paced way of life and maybe regression to an earlier pre-digital age?

Mister E and I have spent hours discussing the various permutations and I am none the wiser as to what to do. How do others manage in retirement?

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