4. Expand And Scale Your Business
People want to work with professionals they trust and relate to, especially in the financial services industry. Developing trust with your clients is paramount to the success and growth of your practice.

Adding Social Security advisory services to your business can help it scale and grow, whether it is offered as a separate billable service or included within your overall financial management fee structure.

A hybrid option, depending on the size and type of the firm and broker dealer regulation, may be to have certain employees specifically work with clients to provide them with their personalized Social Security claiming strategy. The claiming strategy and benefit amounts can then be provided to the clients’ individual advisor for inclusion within their larger retirement financial planning and management.        

For many people, Social Security is their largest retirement asset. But even for those with greater financial resources, no retirement plan should be considered complete without a full examination of your client’s optimal Social Security claiming strategy.

Regular marketing of your firm’s Social Security services and expertise is critical to expanding your business. One of the most effective marketing tools is to provide free or low-cost seminar or webinar presentations. Whether this is a live, local event or an online webcast, these events can easily attract a room full of attendees, each with their own retirement financial concerns that you may be able to help them with.

The value of your expertise and trust generated by your solid Social Security planning skills will provide you with the opportunity to meet new clients who are in the market for an advisor with proven retirement income planning skills.

5. Incorporate Social Security Into Retirement Planning
The number of Americans 65 and older will increase from approximately 56 million today to over 78 million by 2035. With some 75 million baby boomers and 10,000 becoming eligible for Social Security every day, the demand for Social Security advice is, and will continue to be, unprecedented.

For these retirees, making an optimal Social Security claiming decision is the first step in their retirement financial planning process. Social Security advisory services provide advisors with a natural segue to retirement financial planning and the opportunity to help retirees make smart financial management choices as they age.

With the beginning of self-funded and employer provided retirement plans in the mid-1970s, many of today’s workers have become accustomed to managing their own investments. The shift from decades of focus on accumulation and growth to developing a strategy of tax-efficient withdrawal is a major change and can lead to a first-time need for a financial advisor.

Retirement planning based on sequential withdrawals from specific retirement and non-retirement accounts in the most tax efficient way, can provide clients with the highest consistent standard of living throughout their retirement years.

This type of planning can involve a high number of constantly changing variables and may require the services of a team of other professionals in the retirement space. These include taxes, Medicare, long-term-care, life insurance, estate planning and possibly real estate and reverse mortgage specialists.

There has always been a very natural partnership between financial and tax professionals, with many holding certifications in both fields. Those financial professionals with an understanding of how taxation of Social Security benefits works, have a valuable opportunity to help mitigate their clients’ tax liability in retirement.

If maximizing Social Security benefits requires waiting to claim for several years, the use of funds from retirement accounts to bridge the income gap can help to reduce the fully taxable required minimum distributions, RMDs, while also reducing income taxes and specifically taxation of Social Security benefits.

Individuals searching for answers to their Social Security questions often find it difficult to locate an expert who can help them. Their lack of knowledge, combined with the myths and half-truths they have been told, can lead individuals to select claiming strategies that are not optimal for them.

Social Security expertise is a valuable commodity in the retirement financial market space. Whether you want to differentiate yourself from your competitors, support your existing clients, or attract new ones—becoming a Social Security expert will help you achieve those goals.

Martha Shedden is the president and co-founder of the National Association of Registered Social Security Analysts (NARSSA) in which she leads the development of the education and training program for all Registered Social Security Analysts (RSSAs). 

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