SOCIAL SECURITY Q&A

Paul Partridge, RFC® reveals why so many men and women are confused about Social Security filing – and why 9 out of 10 recipients don’t get all the benefits they’ve earned.

Q: Paul, how can a financial advisor help with Social Security planning?

PAUL: A recent Harris Poll found that people who work with a financial advisor receive almost 20% more in Social Security benefits than those who do not. Yet less than 1 in 5 people have a financial advisor who is helping them with Social Security guidance.

Q: These days it’s common for retirees to live into their 90’s. How important is it to make sure we make the right decisions when it comes to how and when we file?

PAUL: You could be collecting benefits for 20 to 30 years or more.  The additional money you can receive over your lifetime – tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars – can have a dramatic effect on the quality of your retirement.

Q: What are your professional qualifications?

PAUL: Both Ian and I are certified by the NSSA® (National Social Security Advisors). This is the only ACCREDITED Social Security Certificate program in the nation.

Q: Besides answering questions, how else do you help clients?

PAUL: We use sophisticated software that calculates all the possible ways you and your spouse (or you alone if you’re single) can file – and determines the top three ways for you to get the highest benefits. We also look at how taxes impact your benefits – especially at age 70½ when Required Minimum Distributions begin. Without proper planning, your taxes owed could triple. We call this the “Tax Torpedo” and we help our clients avoid it.

Q: What kind of results do you typically see?

PAUL: I saw a couple this week where we showed them how they can collect an extra $187,000 in benefits versus how they were planning to file.

Q: That’s a big difference.

PAUL: It’s not unusual to see a six-figure improvement.

Q: I read that 445,000 people call the Social Security Administration every day. Is it true that Social Security employees are not allowed to give advice?

PAUL: Correct, giving advice is prohibited. And they will NOT let you know if you mistakenly file for a lower benefit than you’re entitled to. The responsibility is left to us to make sure we get all the benefits we’ve earned and deserve.

Q: How can people learn more about the best filing strategies for their situation?

PAUL: A 12-page Social Security Review & Report is automatically included in every RETIREMENT READINESS ANALYSIS. People can schedule their appointment by phone or online (see below).