I have an old Motorola phone dating back to 2008. The contract with Verizon Wireless is long since expired and my recently graduated former college student son no longer needs it. I live overseas, but I still want to retain the number and have a phone to use when I'm home in the States each summer. I really can't see paying ~ $600/year (@ $50/mo for 12 months under the current plan) for a phone I will use only for a short time each year -- that one or two months in the summer when we make phone calls like mad. I don't need a data plan, because it's not a smart phone and I wouldn't access the internet using this phone even if it were possible. What is my lowest cost option for retaining the phone number so my friends can call me without changing their address books every time I'm home in America? Do I have to buy a new phone when the old one still works fine?
Prepaid is the way to go in your situation. However minutes expire on some plans monthly, so you would have to buy minutes every month to keep your number.
Just be sure to choose the best plan that allows you to keep your number for the year.