Prepare for Social Security Benefit Cuts With Stress Tests

We've talked a lot about the solvency of the Social Security system over the past several months—with good reason. The pandemic creates uncertainty in many ways: record-high unemployment rates, market instability, and consumers nearing retirement who are nervous about the future of Social Security and what it will mean for their retirement plans.

We've made it easier than ever for advisors to calm fears and plan ahead with the Social Security benefit cut stress test in Income InSight®.

It's important to remember that most people should not claim their Social Security benefits early, even when considering the additional factor of possible benefit cuts. Advisors can show clients exactly how a benefit cut situation will impact their future with Income InSight. See the impact and adjust the strategy with just a few easy steps.

How to Use the Social Security Benefit Cut Stress Test in Income InSight

  1. Click on the folder labeled "Social Security" on the client information page.

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  2. The section labeled "Benefit Cut" allows you to add the year the benefit cut occurs and the percentage by which the benefit will be cut. The default is the year (2034) and rate (24%) outlined in The 2020 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees. 

  3. Click the red Income InSight tab in the top right corner of the screen.

  4. On the Income InSight home screen, you'll see a series of green and red icons. The third stress test icon is a pair of scissors that represents Social Security benefit cuts. A green icon indicates that the client's strategy will remain relatively unscathed by Social Security benefit cuts. A red icon indicates that benefit cuts will cause the client significant hardship, and the current strategy needs to be adjusted.

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  5. Click the scissors to see more details about the impact of benefit cuts on the retirement plan.

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  6. Use the "Plan" tab to adjust the client's Social Security claiming strategy to prepare them for potential benefit cuts. 

  7. The Income InSight PDF report also includes information about the benefit cut stress test. Click "Generate PDF" at the top of the screen.

Get the Conversation Started

Many of your clients and prospects are probably already sharing their Social Security concerns with you. This free consumer-facing Social Security benefits cut calculator is a great way to start a conversation about the impact of potential benefit cuts before diving in deeper with Income InSight. Not a subscriber? Start a 10-day free trial; no credit card required. Create comprehensive retirement strategies that account for tax, income need, and Social Security. Test that strategy against roadblocks like a long-term health care need, Social Security benefit cuts, or a down market, and prepare your clients for the next chapter of their lives.

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