Not sure how long a phono cartridge lasts? At least a few years with average play. You’ll hear it degrade so just trust your ears. The most popular cause of cartridge death is user error. I’ve seen it all. Dusting is a big one. Never dust your turntable without being very aware of the cantilever and dusting cloth. Children. One day a client came in hyperventilating. The neighbor kids somehow trashed his $3K Dynavector while his back was turned for a second. Your drunk ass self / friends. I saw a $800 cartridge scrapped this way. House Party? Cool. Just make it a House Rule that you are the only “DJ”. Drinking? Use the cueing lever! If things get too out of hand it may be time to hit shuffle on the iPod.
I have cartridges from $50 – $ (only the 1% can afford) Some have replaceable styli, Some don’t but offer a trade in amount towards a new one. There are also some that offer re-tipping services. As always, any cart bought here is installed free of charge.