When pre-retirement clients asked Brett Horowitz when they should optimally take their Social Security benefits, the Evensky Katz financial advisor did not stop at the break-even analysis that conventional financial planning research advises. Rather, Horowitz read every article he could find and discovered some unconventional, and potentially lucrative, approaches involving “restricted applications” and a “file and suspend” procedure. It is in this spirit that Horowitz created his spreadsheet to test multiple Social Security strategies in conjunction with client inputs such as the age, income and life expectancy of the spouses. He’s been approached by other firms interested in purchasing the analytical tool, but says the software is not for sale.

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