Why Shouldn't You Care About Your Clients' Social Security?

  • Originally published August 20, 2012 , last updated October 20, 2015

We’ve spent a lot of time the last two years talking about why you should care about your clients’ Social Security and how you can help them maximize their benefits. But now we’re interested in hearing the other side of the story. We’d like to hear from advisors who think it makes sense to ignore their clients’ Social Security?

Is it because there isn’t enough money at stake? It’s not uncommon to find $100,000 in additional benefits after running a report in Social Security Timing®. Is that sum too small for your clients to care about?

Is it because you don’t know enough about the fundamentals of Social Security? SocialSecurityTiming.com has videos and articles to help you get up to speed. Plus, our Social Security experts are just a phone call away.

Is it because it takes too much time? From the time you introduce the Social Security conversation to the client, gather their information, run the report and present it to the client, it’s typically about two hours. Is that too much time to spend to help your clients maximize their retirement income?

Is it because Social Security makes up such a small portion of your clients’ retirement income? First of all, congratulations on working with such wealthy clients, but the reality is that Social Security makes up 20% to 50% of most people’s retirement income. Even if your clients plan to generate a significant portion of their income from other assets, the unique advantages of Social Security (inflation-adjusted, guaranteed for life, government backed, tax-advantaged) mean it’s extremely beneficial to maximize.

Is it because your clients think Social Security is insolvent? When you actually dig into the solvency of the system, you will see that Social Security is one of the best-funded programs in the country — and that only minor changes may be needed to ensure the system remains solvent indefinitely.

Is it because it’s too complex for your clients to understand? When you sign up for Social Security Timing® you get access to presentations, reports, a website, and a “What’s at Stake” calculator to help you present these concepts to your clients.

Is it because you think your clients should claim as early as possible? A study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College showed that Americans could leave $10 billion in Social Security benefits on the table by not taking advantage of maximization strategies. These strategies only become available if you delay benefits until age 66 or later.

Is it because your clients haven’t asked for help with Social Security? Just because they haven’t asked doesn’t mean they don’t need help. Nearly 8 out of 10 people we surveyed thought they could go to the Social Security office for advice. They can’t. And when they realize that, they’re probably going to come to you next. More than half of the people we surveyed said if their advisor couldn’t help them maximize Social Security they’d look for one who could.

Is it because the software costs too much? A Social Security Timing® subscription is $21.99 per month. Do you think that’s too much of an investment for a tool that will help you attract more prospects and implement better plans for your clients?

Is it because your clients don’t know when they’re going to die? For a person who’s never been married, deciding when to elect can be a bit of a crapshoot. But for anyone who is or has been married (including widowed & divorced people) some options are clearly better than others. Social Security Timing® can help you identify these options.

So, what are your reasons for not addressing Social Security with your clients? We’d like to know.