As you meet with clients and obtain their Social Security statements, there are a few things you should review.
First, take a look at the second page of the statement, where it states “We based your benefit estimates on these facts: Your estimated taxable earnings per year after 2015…” If you keep reading, you’ll see that the Social Security Administration is assuming you’ll continue to work and make about the same as you did in 2013 or 2014, all the way until the age of the estimate.
Talk to your client about their future work income, possible increases and when they actually plan on stopping work.
Also, the statement doesn’t include a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) increase. These increases have been an average median, according to the2015 Annual Trustees Report, at 2.7 percent. If you have a client who’s a few years from filing, the estimates are smaller because a hypothetical COLA is not included.
These statements also don’t have benefit information about a client’s spouse, widow, or a former spouse from whom your client is divorced — all factors that can greatly impact a client’s benefit amount. The information in these benefit estimates is only about that individual.
When using the Social Security Timing software, enter the earnings record from the third page of the statement for the most accurate calculation for your client.
Katie thrives on making an impact and achieving big goals. She believes that communication strategy has a major impact on business success. As a strategic communicator with a diverse background in non-profit, B2B, healthcare, and SaaS, Katie combines her expertise in strategy development, marketing and sales to spread the word about how Covisum can help advisors and institutions inform their clients of the best financial decisions.