Our whole industry is doing it wrong. A harsh critique, but spot on when it comes to Social Security planning. Agents and advisors can’t make money from it, according to conventional wisdom, so why waste your time? To ignore it is a major professional fail, for starters, but we’ll come back to that.
Believe it or not, Social Security planning for your clients can (and does) effectively drive production, as well as serve as a bridge to the larger issue of sustainable retirement income.
How is it done?
Currently, there are three areas (or boulders, as I call them) standing in advisors’ way; complexity, coordination and confusion. Roll these boulders aside, so to speak, and the growth potential becomes clear. More importantly, it will engender trust, solidify relationships and potentially lead to increased referrals.
Boulder No. 1: Complexity: The Social Security Administration would have clients believe there are three strategies for claiming benefits; beginning payments as early as age 62, claiming at Full Retirement Age (FRA) or delaying payments until age 70. Even many so-called experts note only six or seven strategies. If only it were so simple. In actuality there are thousands of potential strategies from which individuals and couples can choose. To find success in the space, advisors must commit to attaining a high level of expertise. In addition, it’s extremely unlikely an advisor could remember thousands of possible strategies, at least not without savant-like capabilities. For this reason, employing some sort of modeling software is critically important, and cloud-based and online programs are now available at scalable and affordable price points.