Changing Your Television Service Can be Almost as Easy as Changing Channels. Should You?
In-home entertainment is more important than it’s ever been before. Fortunately, the universe of choices has never been more robust. But the massive volume of alternatives can lead to overload — and overpayment. So, what are you paying for, and what should you really get?
First, some basics.
TV can still be free.
You can get TV for free (sort of). An HD antenna attached to any TV will deliver basic broadcast network and local affiliate stations. You’d also be able to tune in to a number of “subchannels” like Bounce, MeTV, Laff, Comet and others that can provide a niche experience similar to cable, all absolutely free. But it’s limited to over-the-air content.
It’s important to know the difference between a broadcast network and a cable network if you go this route. ESPN, Lifetime, Food Network — all are examples of basic cable networks that are usually bundled with a basic cable package. HBO and Showtime are premium cable networks, meaning you pay for each on a subscription basis.
Those are the basics you likely already know — the TV you’ve grown up on. But nothing easy stays that way, and TV has become complicated in the quest to entertain ourselves.
Smart TVs, streaming services, apps — do I need them all just to watch TV now?
You do not need all of them. These are all simply gateways to TV content.
A smart TV is similar to your smartphone, except with a far bigger screen. You access what you need via apps. Prices for smart TVs vary and are coming down as they begin to dominate the new TV market. But any TV is hardware and is susceptible to technology fatigue. That “Ultra High Definition” smart TV that was breathtaking last year will be dated next year. So before spending $1,500+ for a new 85” 4k UHD TV, consider its shelf life.
Don’t have the budget for a new TV? Physical devices such as Sling, Roku and Amazon Fire TV Stick turn a non-smart TV into a smart TV. During the setup process, you simply connect them to your Wi-Fi in order to access various streaming apps through your TV. If you cut the cord, they are the equipment that will allow you to access other content packages that are available online.
Now you have your screen. Next, you need content.
Streaming services (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, CBS All-Access, Peacock) are essentially subscription-based, on-demand content libraries. Figuring out what service carries the content takes some time and effort, but it allows you to really customize your viewing. The typical American home subscribes to four to five streaming services at an average cost around $50 a month.
Services such as YouTube TV and Hulu Plus let you access a bundle of live cable and broadcast networks in addition to on-demand content. These are pricier options than simply streaming — each averaging $50+ per month — but they are the closest things to replacing cable.
Make some calls before cutting the cord
Happy with your cable provider, other than the price tag? Reach out and have a polite discussion about leaving them, and they may offer discounts to retain your business. Many discounts last for a year, but most will simply renew them at your request. Your entertainment dollar, already a hard-working one, will work even harder for you.
Now that you’ve maximized your finances for a changing television world, perhaps it’s a good time to harness that momentum and review your home finances. Reverse Mortgage Funding, LLC (RMF) can ensure that your retirement dollar works as efficiently and effectively as you deserve, leveraging the equity built up in your home to have it work harder for you.
To learn more, call RMF today at (888) 277-1567 to have a personal conversation with a loan specialist in your area.
This content is sponsored by RMF, one of the nation’s leading reverse mortgage lenders. We are dedicated to helping older Americans retire more freely, in the comfort of their own homes. As a result of our commitment to providing an extraordinary and positive customer experience, we have earned a 98% customer satisfaction rating; a 4.7-star / Excellent score on Trustpilot; 4.8 out of 5 stars on LendingTree; and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Call 888-277-1567 to speak with a licensed reverse mortgage specialist to learn about our retirement financing products and solutions.
SEE WHAT FUNDS YOU MAY HAVE AVAILABLE
If you have equity in your home and believe you meet the eligibility requirements, a HECM may be the option that could help you retire smart.