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A 2016 Federal Reserve study found that only 18 percent of those over the age of 60 use mobile banking services (vs. 67 percent between the ages of 18 to 29, and 58 percent ages 30 to 44). In fact, only about half of Americans over 65 own a smartphone or tablet, according to a 2014 Pew Research study.
It’s never too late to start learning to use smartphone technology. The immediate incentive is to learn texting so your children and grandchildren will stay in touch! Tip: You don’t have to give up your friendly flip-phone right away. Just ask your adult children for a smartphone with its own number on their family plan, along with a lesson in texting and Skype or FaceTime (programs that let you see your kids as you talk).
Your smartphone offers you the convenience of controlling your life even if you are not at your desk.
If you don’t have adult children nearby to teach you, contact your local senior center, since almost all offer courses. Apple has free seminars in its stores, where you can get all your questions answered. And you’ll learn how to make sure you’re using a secure wifi connection or connect using cellular data.
Here are three steps to getting started using smartphone technology to manage important parts of your life. You may want to start learning the basics on your own home computer. Then graduate to using your smartphone safely and securely to track your money, your meds and your life.