Social Security is the baseline for most Americans entering retirement, but the process to file can be daunting. With so much misinformation out there, investors will likely partner with advisors to help them through the process, which leads them to you and your firm.
Getting clients to understand their social security benefits and which filing strategy is right for their unique situation can be overwhelming, which is why advisors should have the best tools and information to help their clients understand the process.
Luckily for you, LifeYield has created the best social security filing tool for you to use.
How Social Security Will Help Your Clients
Social Security benefits provide clients and their family with a stable, baseline source of income once they retire. If your advisors are being bombarded with questions about Social Security benefits and are struggling to identify the best time to file for clients to file, then you should explore LifeYield Social Security+TM.
This tool will help you visually compare different filing scenarios and identify the best strategy for a client’s unique retirement needs.
When a client wants to file for Social Security is entirely up to them. If they decide to delay receiving benefits until after they reach Full Retirement Age and do not need it earlier, then their benefit will likely increase the longer they delay. In some instances, their family may be able to receive monthly benefits if they meet certain requirements through the SSA, but additional research is required to know if they are eligible.
There are many factors that come into play when your client identifies the best strategy to claim their Social Security benefits. They have the option – as they approach retirement – to take it immediately or to delay their benefits. Clients should know that if they absolutely do not need the immediate assistance of Social Security, then it would often be best for them to delay benefits until they are 70 since this will increase their benefits by 8% each year.
Breaking Down Social Security for Your Clients
Your clients will likely have basic knowledge as to how social security works by the time they get to you. They know they have a reliable source of retirement income to tap into, but are looking for advice on the best filing methods for when they visit the SSA (Social Security Administration), since the SSA will not provide them with the same level of advice that you can provide by using the best Social Security tool on the market.
Most clients will want to maximize their retirement income, but there are other situations where they may want to receive benefits earlier.
Your client can tap into their social security benefits when:
- They reach age 62
- They (or a family member) are or become disabled
- A spouse, them, or a parent dies
An important piece of information to give to your clients is that their social security benefits are not meant to be the only source of income when they retire, so they should not bank on living off this alone when they file. Their Social Security benefits will be able to provide them with assistance, but should really be used in conjunction with other retirement income streams.
That’s where LifeYield’s Income Layers add-on comes into play. Once you identify the best Social Security filing strategy in LifeYield, you can flip on Income Layers to visually show clients how Social Security will work with their other retirement assets.
Social Security Administration Experience
Once you identify the right filing strategy, your clients will be ready to go to the SSA to finally file for their Social Security benefits. Before your clients go to the SSA community center, they should make sure to bring their LifeYield Social Security+ report to help guide their appointment and file correctly.
In order to prepare your clients for their SSA visit, you should give them the best advice on how to understand the organization and how the SSA works when they go. You should walk them through the best way for them to maximize their benefits as early as possible so they have a plan ready to be put in action when the time comes to file for Social Security.
Your client may not be at Full Retirement Age, but still wants to withdraw their benefits to help their family and spouse. If that is the case, using LifeYield Social Security+ will help you see how much they could optimize their Social Security benefits by filing jointly with their spouse.
As said before, Social Security benefits are a great baseline of retirement income for clients. But the SSA can make it difficult to find all the information clients need to make the most accurate benefits decision.
And again, if your client decides to delay receiving retirement benefits, then they will receive a certain benefit increase each year they delay filing. However, you won’t know if delaying is right for your client until you compare all variables.
If your client has a physical or mental disability that is medically diagnosed to last a year or until death, then they might be able to start receiving Social Security disability benefits. However, just because your client qualifies as disabled through other agencies doesn’t mean they are automatically eligible to receive Social Security benefits from the SSA.
In order for your client to know if they will be able to receive benefits from the SSA, they should read through the Disability Benefits manual.
If your client has worked long enough and paid social security taxes, then the SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) will pay benefits to individuals who are disabled and have children who need monetary assistance.
Benefits for Spouse and Family
When your client decides to file for their Social Security benefits, they may be able to also receive benefits for their spouse or family.
Depending on the age of your clients and the age of their spouse or family, these individuals may receive benefits from the SSA if…
- They are disabled, or
- If the client passes away
If the client happens to pass away and has children or a spouse, then their benefits can be collected as Survivor benefits.
How the Application Process Works
Once your advisors meet with their clients about Social Security, they will set up an appointment through the SSA at one of their community centers to file.
When your client visits the community center for their appointment, they may need to bring certain documents with them to receive benefits.
- Birth certificate or document to prove birth
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status
- Military service papers
- Copy of W-2 forms or self-employment tax documents
- LifeYield Social Security+ Report
If your client does not want to go in, they can call the SSA by phone and begin the application/filing process.
Should advisors prepare for social security conversations now?
Significantly more Americans filed for Social Security benefits in 2020 than the year before. Clients who meet the age requirements for retirement but weren’t previously considering making the move may now be shifting their thinking. As more and more investors approach retirement, advisors will benefit greatly from the tools LifeYield provides.
Once a client’s SSA application has been approved, it can take a month or two before they receive their first Social Security check. Clients should know it’s not instantaneous.
If your client is drawing from Social Security for disability benefits, the first check will be sent the sixth month after their disability began, which is why it is important for your client to apply for disability benefits as soon as possible since it could take between three to five months for their application to be approved.
If your client has further questions about the application process or how the social security system works, they should consult the social security official website for more information from the organization.
Enable your firm with the best Social Security and Retirement Income technology
How LifeYield Social Security+ Can Help
If your firm is looking to give your clients the best Social Security advice, then look no further than LifeYield.
LifeYield has a tool to use called Social Security+, which is available via API or a simple UI, that was made to help the advisor community easily answer the most complex questions about Social Security.
- When and how should I file?
- How does the SSA work?
- What’s the best strategy for me and my family?
- How much money do I need in retirement?
- How do we fill income gaps we identify?
- How does Social Security work with my other assets to get me through?
LifeYield Social Security+ helps advisors answer all these questions and more by:
- Comparing different strategies to help clients file
- Looking at the full retirement income picture
- Identifying income gaps and helping advisors position products to fill them
- Giving clients peace of mind as they file
You can watch a demo here to see how LifeYield Social Security+ works in under 3 minutes. If you are interested in using the tool, feel free to jump right to the pricing page and sign up. Don’t let your clients suffer through filing for Social Security any longer.
Try Social Security+ today for $35 a month, or schedule a demo to discuss implementing our Social Security solutions across your firm!