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Location management plays a significant role in current and future wireless mobile networks in effectively delivering services to the mobile users on the move. Many schemes have been proposed and investigated extensively in the last decade. However, most performance analyses were carried out either under simplistic assumptions on some time variables or via simulations. In this paper, we present a new analytical approach to investigate the tradeoff (cost) analysis for location management schemes under fairly general assumption. For two specific location management schemes, Pointer Forwarding Scheme (PFS) and Two-Location Algorithm (TLA), we present analytical formulae to compute the total costs. These formulae are easy to compute. Numerical results show that the traditional exponential model approximation may lead to a wrong decision in the tradeoff analysis. However, our analytical results can be easily used to find the appropriate parameters in PFS and TLA.