When helping clients plan for Social Security, advisers need to conduct detailed research on each individual’s personal situation.
Prospective retirees will need to weigh the best options for themselves as well as their families, and an adviser can help alleviate some of the stress that comes along with making decisions to maximize their retirement funds.
Below are a few general tips that all financial professionals should consider communicating to their clients.
Help your clients decide on an age to begin taking Social Security that will fit their life goals. Currently, an individual can wait until 70 to begin collecting retirement. However, waiting that long means possibly collecting a lower total. ¹
In 2013, 35.7 percent of men and 41.3 percent of women signed up for Social Security at age 62; only 1.4 percent of men and 2.5 percent of women waited until they were 70 or older. ²
Anyone can start receiving Social Security benefits at 62, but they will face reductions based on the number of months they started collecting benefits before full retirement. ³
An advisor’s job is to help their clients prioritize their goals and monitor financial plans to ensure that retirement is met at the anticipated age.
Benefits are reduced at 5/9 of one percent for every month early a person retires, up to 36 months. From 36 months on, up to a total of 60 months, benefits are reduced by 5/12 of one percent for a total of 30 percent for a person born after 1960. ⁴
Spousal benefits are similar to retirement benefits in that they are also reduced if claimed early. Postponing Social Security can help ensure that the surviving spouse will collect the maximum amount of benefits possible. ⁵
Divorced spouses that were married for 10 years are eligible for 50 percent of their spouse’s benefits as long as they have been divorced for two years and are both at least 62. ⁶
Share your knowledge to help educate your clients on what they can do to retire comfortably.
Communicating these tips to help them further understand Social Security can assist them when it comes to making plans for their financial futures.
For more information on tips you can provide regarding Social Security, please contact the NEXT Marketing department.
1. Berman, D., (2013, Dec. 11). “Security Advisors Need to Tell Their Clients” Benefitspro. Retrieved from: http://www.benefitspro.com/2013/12/11/6-things-about-social-security-advisors-need-to-te?page=2
2. Lazarony, L., (2013, Aug. 27) “5 Social Security Tips For Couples” Clark Howard. Retrieved from: http://www.clarkhoward.com/5-social-security-tips-couples/
3. Miller, M., (2014, March 25). “File-and-suspend: A Social Security Strategy Under Fire” Reuters. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/25/us-column-miller-socialsecurity-idUSBREA2O1H220140325
4. “Retirement Benefits” Social Security. Retrieved from: http://www.ssa.gov/retire/
5. “Retirement Planner: Can You Take Your Benefits Before Full Retirement Age?” Social Security. Retrieved from: http://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/applying2.html
6. “Social Security Benefits” Social Security Online. Retrieved from: http://www.ssa.gov/oact/ProgData/ar_drc.html
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