Here is a way to quickly benefit your prospects and clients: Become proficient with the Social Security website, the Social Security and Medicare Trustees annual report, and the 1040 instructions). These websites contain information that you are probably already familiar with, but they present that information to your prospects and clients in a way that is easy for them to understand.
These websites help me to start conversations. They help me target information specific to my prospects and clients. They also help to inspire action, because the information they provide is official. It isn’t just my opinion. Knowing how to use these websites will make you a magnificent retirement income planner.
1. The Social Security Website (www.ssa.gov)
You can show prospects and clients how to use the website to determine their current benefits. First, determine income at age 62, which is the earliest you can take Social Security retirement. Eighty percent of Americans take benefits at that age, and it is almost always to their detriment. But you can show them how to do better!
Next, determine what their full retirement age would be. Many of our clients mistakenly think it is age 65, but it is currently age 66. In a decade, full retirement will be age 67. Finally, you can illustrate their income if they wait until the maximum age of 70.
This exercise will show them that waiting provides dramatic results. Every year you wait between age 62 and full retirement age 66 increases your income by 6 percent. Every year you wait from full retirement to the maximum age 70 increases benefits by 8 percent annually.
There are two major reasons to consider waiting. First, 6 percent and 8 percent returns are better than you can make on long-term returns. Second, long-lived people receive greater incomes for the rest of their lives. By providing this information, we help our clients make more informed decisions about when to take benefits. 2. The Social Security and Medicare Trustees Annual Report (http://www.ssa.gov/oact/tr/)