I purchased an iPhone SE, 64 GB. I paid $4.95 for shipping (rather than the free 2-day option) so hopefully it arrives tomorrow and I can get it activated and play around with it over the long weekend. I decided to stay with Tracfone for now with the prepaid plan since that gives me flexibility. I started off with a $25 for 30 day plan, which includes 2GB of data, but I can move to a $15/month ($14.25 with autorefill) plan if i am not using much data.
I also realized that having the smartphone will allow me to use my fitness app, OpenFit, for outdoor walks as well. I've been using OpenFit since mid-July and their interactive "Easy Step" walking program has been a real motivator, keeping me much more consistent with my daily step count (except when work gets overly busy, as it did last week). I've been walking indoors in the A/C so far, but now that the weather is beginning to cool, I look forward to resuming outdoor walks along with their program. So there's another benefit besides GPS that I will get from having cell phone service rather than sticking only to WiFi access.
I also stayed with Tracfone because they will give me credit for my existing service, which is good until February of 2023, and the unused data can roll over month to month. That savings alone would save me compared to the 5% AARP discount I would get if I switched to Consumer Cellular. Also my primary network will be Verizon, so that's good. They also have contracts with ATT & T-Mobile so I should be covered whereever.
Coming into the 21st century at long last!