The President of Nationwide Financial’s sales and distribution division has some critical career advice for financial advisers. If they want to retain their clients they need to help those clients optimize their Social Security benefits as well as the rest of their retirement financial situation. Social Security can be up to 40% of a retiree’s income, so maximizing that is crucial, and can mean a big difference in the retired client’s lifestyle and quality of life.
Yet, Giertz says, in a survey conducted by the Nationwide Retirement Institute, most clients said their advisers did not bring up the topic. However, four out of five of those respondents also said they would switch advisers if they did not. Therefore, mastering Social Security and helping clients with it is a vital body of knowledge that affects the incomes of financial advisers.
Social Security is not simple. The Social Security Handbook contains 2700 rules. That’s why so many financial advisers prefer to avoid the topic. They don’t feel confident they have the expertise on it, so they lack confidence. However, clients who made the wrong Social Security decisions can lose a significant amount of benefits or pay additional taxes on it.
“Our parents and grandparents had pensions,” Giertz told CNBC. But those pensions are “drying up.” That makes maximizing Social Security benefits a vital part of everybody’s financial plan for retirement.
Yet a study conducted by the Nationwide Retirement Institute showed 30% of people receiving retirement benefits receive less than what they expected. And that’s up from 22% in the 2015 survey.
David Giertz has over 30 years of experience in the financial services advisory business. He started out with Nationwide Financial in 1999, as Regional Vice President in Miami, Florida. He ran the Southeast Territory, which is seven states plus Puerto Rico. In his five years in that position he increased the Southeast Territory’s revenue by 48%, leading to a promotion to President of Financial Institutions in 2004.
Read more about David Giertz: https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/people.asp?privcapId=3611386