A recent article in Real Daily highlighted a report from the Inspector General of the Social Security Administration (SSA) that suggests almost 10,000 retirees have been underpaid beneficiary benefits to the tune of $132 million.
There are a few reasons for the discrepancy; many retirees do not understand the benefits they are entitled to, many others have been given poor advice or have difficulty navigating the system.
For instance, the Social Security Administration office does not currently have a system in place to notify widow(er)s that they should delay their applications for retirement benefits.
Covisum President, Joe Elsasser, CFP®, is quoted.
"We see that sort of situation a lot, where a divorced spouse doesn’t have any idea what is available or what could be available based on their ex’s record. If I call Social Security and ask about my ex’s benefit record, they’re not allowed to tell me much."
More than 11,000 recipients may currently be eligible for increased monthly benefits according to the Inspector General’s office. Advisors have an obligation to ensure that their clients clearly understand all of the benefits they may be entitled to. Education is going to be key to help retirees access the benefits allotted to them.
Making the best financial decisions is complex
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