Strategic Social Security Education Opportunities Abound

by | Sep 1, 2016 | Growing Advisors Business, Social Security

Nationwide Financial recently asked retired and non-retired consumers about Social Security.  The study revealed that most of the non-retirees did not know or understand their future benefits or how they would fit into their broader retirement plans.  Few had received advice on Social Security from a financial advisor—but nearly all of those who did receive such advice had followed it.  This suggests a significant opportunity for financial advisors to educate their clients on Social Security and how it fits into a broader retirement plan.

Where do workers get information about Social Security and how well do they understand it?  Only 16% of future retirees contacted the Social Security Administration to determine their projected benefits.  The majority of future retirees either used an online calculator (42%) to estimate their benefits or guessed (22%) at the amount.  Many do not understand how the benefits are calculated, and 20% incorrectly believe that the Social Security Administration considers family medical history and life expectancy in determining the benefit amount.  Future retirees expressed unease about their future benefits, and 68% worried that the Social Security program would run out of funding during their lifetime.

Given the misunderstanding surrounding strategic Social Security planning, are financial advisors addressing the need?  Only 32% of the surveyed future retirees are currently working with a financial advisor. Of those, only 52% had received advice on Social Security from their financial advisor, and roughly half of them said that they or a spouse had initiated the conversation—not the financial advisor.

What did those future retirees do when they received advice on Social Security?  A whopping 78% said they had followed the financial advisor’s advice. An additional 19% said they had not followed the advice yet, but they planned to do so.

What does all this mean for financial advisors?  This study demonstrates that many future retirees desire information and education about Social Security, few are receiving it, and nearly all would follow the recommendations of a financial advisor. In other words, there is a great opportunity to serve clients in an area of perceived need, knowing that your advice would be valued and, most likely, followed.

The Strategic Social Security calculator in The Retirement Analysis Kit retirement planning software can help you provide this valuable advice to clients.  By quickly entering essential client data, you can produce myriad scenarios to help your clients identify the best strategy for their situation.  The scenarios generated in the Strategic Social Security calculator can be easily selected in the Gap Analysis and Quick Gap calculators, allowing you to fully integrate these scenarios into a broader retirement plan.

Are you ready to help your clients understand and make the most of Social Security?  Give TRAK a try today!


Download a Free Trial of our TRAK Software Today!

Free Trial

The Bucket Strategy – What It Is, and What It Can Do for You

The bucket strategy provides an opportunity to capitalize on longer-term market growth in the earlier years of retirement while easing the fear of risk and the tendency to overreact to market fluctuations.

Five Ways to Improve Communication with Clients

Playwright George Bernard Shaw said that “the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” As a playwright, Shaw knew the importance of really communicating with the audience, making sure that the concepts, emotions, and thoughts you want to impart are what the...

Key Elements to an Effective Virtual Meeting – Part IV

The sad reality is that the more material I have read online about participant education, the more confused I have become about what participant education should be. Click the link to read more about good participant education.

Tips for Working with Public-Sector Employees

Are you looking for new clients? How would you like to tap into an underserved group of over 23 million people? Your next client may be someone you already know like your mail carrier, your local firefighter, or your child’s teacher. Public-sector employees are one of the largest groups of...

Blame it on the Elections

Feel like your 2016 Q4 tanked? Feel like retirement planning is just not working like it used to with your clients (or plan participants)? You are not alone! Looking back at the last quarter of 2016, you may be wondering why you saw a decrease in client meetings, sales, and other business...

The Bucket Strategy – Step by Step Guide Within TRAK

The bucket strategy provides an opportunity to capitalize on longer-term market growth throughout retirement while securing financial stability for the immediate future.

Survey on 403b Provider Options Reveals Surprising Results

New 403b plan survey data released today by the National Tax-Deferred Savings Association reveals that increased participation and contribution rates actually increase with the number of provider options offered to participants.