Retirees: A Kinda-But-Not-Really-Facetious Question About Subscription Services

I have a JetBrains All Products license. It currently costs $173 per year. I love their products, and I am fortunate enough to afford it. Lightroom+Photoshop is $240 per year. My cloud compute bill is about $50 a month ($600 a year), which I use for various convenience things like file transfers, an offsite NVR for my security cameras, and voice-recognition for home automation. My wife is entangled in Apple’s Cloud Storage upgrade at $36 per year. If GM and other car manufacturers had their way, I would be paying whatever-they-can-get-away with per month for heated seats. These are just examples, but as you can see, it’s adding up.

When I retire, and on a fixed income, am I expected to drop hobbies and scale back my infrastructure because the software required gets too expensive? Why pay for DBUs? The answer appears to be that I’m not supposed to learn the newest offerings from SaaS companies since my career is over.

I’m not even talking about making entertainment decisions like Amazon Prime at $139 per year, Apple Music is $209 per year, or Hulu (with Live TV, Disney+, ESPN+) at $1,080 per year. Nevermind that a lot of entertainment, including cable TV, in the old days fell under the supervision of the FCC, which allowed them to be subsidized in affordability programs. That’s really a separate discussion.

I try to be as cloud and subscription free as possible for these and many other reasons, but it’s impossible for everything. GM thinks I should give up a comfort like heated seats if I can’t fork over money a month. What about remote starting which is arguably a safety feature, and has been locked behind subscriptions in the past? What if I had a Ring camera I had to give up? Am I shitty dog owner because I can’t afford $166 a year to GPS track my dog?

Hmmm… what if a retiree Ring customer had their account cancelled for non-payment, someone broke then broke in, and harmed said customer. Utility companies have low-income programs to prevent deaths, and thereby lawsuits, in similar situations.

Goodbye, coding, photography, and safety? Anyone know how effective gardening is to keep the mind sharp?

By the way, I don’t use Lightroom. After exhaustively searching for Lightroom alternatives to avoid the Adobe tax, I settled on the very awesome ON1, which does have an old-fashioned purchase/upgrade option as well as subscription, which allows me to control when and how often I pay. Most of all, it’s incredibly feature-rich and easy to use.

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