Filing for Social Security while SSA offices remain closed
While the pandemic continues to surge on around the country, Social Security Administration offices remain closed with no hint of reopening anytime soon. This new norm has created an entirely new Social Security filing process for near retirees and retirees. As a financial advisor, it is more prudent now than ever before to become a Social Security expert to help aid your clients through this new process remotely.
As of two weeks ago, the SSA has remained quiet in regards to their office reopening plans after four months of implementing their remote filing continuity plan. Preparing clients to file for Social Security benefits can be daunting normally but now there are even more concerns regarding filing strategies and timing than in the past.
Should clients be filing as soon as possible now?
Choosing the right filing strategy during normal times is crucial for investors. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, deciding when and how to file for Social Security benefits is even more critical for maximizing their retirement income. Should they file now? Should they still be waiting to file until age 70? If they wait until age 70, will the Social Security trust even still be available for them to draw from?
Clients may be beginning to voice concerns around the solvency of Social Security. However, claiming benefits as early as possible at age 62 is not the answer if they can turn to other sources of income. By claiming early, they will be tying themselves to a reduced benefit for the rest of their lives. The most recent estimate from the Social Security Administration approximates the depletion date to 2035. Once that date arrives in 2035, 79% of promised benefits will still be payable.
If clients are facing financial hardships due to the pandemic, utilizing financial software like LifeYield may help discover other sources of income that they can draw from to allow them to bridge the gap in income so that they can delay filing for benefits as long as possible.
How can clients file for benefits now if the offices are still closed?
Individuals can file for benefits online by visiting mySSA.com or by scheduling an appointment by phone with a Social Security Administration representative. Before choosing either remote filing option, we highly suggest downloading our latest Social Security Filing Checklist to help your clients prepare fully.
Once you’ve downloaded your copy of the checklist, you will want to ensure that you’ve run your client’s case through LifeYield Social Security Advantage® and downloaded a copy of their unique Social Security report for them. By doing so, you will arm your clients with all of the necessary information they’ll need when they make their remote appointment with the Social Security Administration to file for benefits.