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Retirement Planning > Social Security

A predictable and growing marketplace

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When individuals turn 65 (or 66 depending on when they were born) they will most likely do three things. These are predictable behaviors for the majority of this target market. It is behavior that can be marketed to, behavior that will follow a common path for the following 10 years after they engage in this behavior. Individuals who engage in this behavior will be making life-changing choices using funds that they already have allocated in their monthly disposable income and they will make these choices regardless of what the government does. The only difference will be the type of choice they make based on government action. The question then becomes on what information will they make these choices?

So what are the three things that most individuals who reach the standard retirement age do?

  1. Sign up for Social Security.
  2. Automatically be enrolled in Medicare.
  3. Purchase a supplemental health plan, either a Medicare Supplement or a Medicare Advantage.

This is one of the only times in a person’s life where we can predict with a fair degree of accuracy what a target market’s “predictable buying behavior” will be. And we can pre-determine the products they will be looking to purchase using money they “already” have.

But first, let’s look at the importance of Social Security in a retirement plan.

Social Security is the major source of income for most of the elderly, according to the Social Security Administration.

  • Nine out of 10 individuals age 65 and older receive Social Security benefits.
  • Social Security benefits represent about 39 percent of the income of the elderly.
  • Among elderly Social Security beneficiaries, 53 percent of married couples and 74 percent of unmarried persons receive 50 percent or more of their income from Social Security.
  • Among elderly Social Security beneficiaries, 23 percent of married couples and about 46 percent of unmarried persons rely on Social Security for 90 percent or more of their income.

Social Security provides more than just retirement benefits.

  • Retired workers and their dependents account for 70 percent of total benefits paid.
  • Disabled workers and their dependents account for 19 percent of total benefits paid.
  • About 91 percent of workers age 21-64 in covered employment in 2011 and their families have protection in the event of a long-term disability.
  • Just over one in four of today’s 20 year-olds will become disabled before reaching age 67.
  • 69 percent of the private sector workforce has no long-term disability insurance.

Of all adults receiving monthly Social Security benefits, 44 percent were men and 56 percent were women. Seventy-nine percent of the men and 62 percent of the women received retired-worker benefits. About one-sixth of the women received survivor benefits.

What’s needed for us to help our clients retire “successfully”?

  • Provide the information necessary for them to decide to make it a success.
  • Help them plan, commit and communicate (include family) their retirement plans.
  • Make sure they know their financial status.
  • Discuss and review their plan for their time (social, leisure and work).
  • Develop a retirement “roadmap” with them, not just for their “best” retirement year, but ensure they are prepared for their “worst” retirement year, in terms of finances, health care and end of life.
  • Follow, review and change as necessary.

Seniors’ top concerns tend to be outliving their assets, maintaining their independence, their own health and safety issues. For seniors over age 75 the issues tend to gravitate to family and friends, leaving a legacy and their reputation. The U.S. population age 65 and over is expected to double in the next 25 years. By 2030 almost one out of five Americans (some 72 million people) will be 65 years or older. Isn’t that a market you should consider working with to grow your business?

For more from Lloyd Lofton, see:


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