The Next Baby Boomer Trend: Survey Reveals Retirees Want Social Security Advice

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Social Security Timing's survey shows more boomers than two years ago said they'd go elsewhere if financial planners can't help with Social Security strategies.

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This data serves as a call-to-action for financial planners to educate themselves and to incorporate Social Security into their clients’ financial plans.

As baby boomers reach retirement age, more want Social Security claiming advice and expect their financial planners to analyze the best Social Security strategies, according to a new survey by Social Security Timing® in partnership with Qualtrics.

“This shift in consumer demand clearly will shape the financial planning industry, but it also will resonate beyond our industry, just because of the massive size of this generation,” said Joe Elsasser, creator of Social Security Timing, an online software application that allows advisors to help their clients maximize Social Security benefits. “This data serves as a call-to-action for financial planners to educate themselves and to incorporate Social Security into their clients’ financial plans.”

When a couple elects Social Security may be one of their most important decisions about retirement. A poor election decision can cost people tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits. Yet, respondents remain largely unaware of unusual Social Security claiming options, like “file and suspend” and “restricted application,” that can impact their benefits. Only about 27 percent were aware of such options in 2011 and 2013, despite increased industry outreach and mass media coverage in that time span.

While awareness has not increased, their desire for Social Security claiming advice has increased across the board:

  • 46 percent of respondents want their financial planner to analyze the timing of electing Social Security benefits, up from 40 percent in 2011.
  • 60 percent of respondents want their financial planner to analyze Social Security switch strategies, up from 57 percent in 2011.
  • 57 percent of respondents want their financial planner to evaluate Social Security survivor benefits, up from 52 percent in 2011.

Respondents were also increasingly likely, compared to two years ago, to look to another financial planner if their financial planner couldn’t help with each of those Social Security options. More than half said they would look for another advisor if theirs couldn’t help with Social Security.

With the number of older Americans projected to increase from 45.1 million today to 77.4 million by 2033, their increased demand for Social Security advice promises to influence the financial planning industry as well as public and private institutions.

For more survey details, visit http://www.socialsecuritytiming.com/report.

Methodology
The survey was delivered to respondents via e-mail and completed online Aug. 29 and 30, 2013. A total of 500 respondents qualified and completed the survey. The margin of error was +/- 4.3 percent.

About Social Security Timing®
Thousands of financial advisors use Social Security Timing’s patent-pending software application to help their clients maximize their Social Security benefits. Social Security Timing has also developed resources to help consumers maximize their benefits, including a free online calculator and the nation’s largest online network of financial advisors who offer Social Security planning as part of their services. Learn more at http://www.SocialSecurityTiming.com.

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Dan Trumblee
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