Expert Commentary

Social Security more complex than Americans think

Has your advisor helped you with your Social Security decision?  Social Security is the largest financial decision you will make regarding your retirement.  Quality matters….make sure you evaluate all the options and assess your Social Security strategy relative to the other resources you have.

Here is an article quoting William Meyer at a recent industry event.

Meyer and Reichenstein featured speakers at the National Financial Planning Association meeting

Over 1,000 financial planners listened to Bill Meyer and Bill Reichenstein talk about Social Security strategies at the premier event for practitioners in San Antonio, Texas.

Committed to education and helping advisors better help their clients, Meyer and Reichenstein had 3 separate sessions on this important topic.

Social Security benefits is the largest component of retirement income for Americans.

Get your Social Security statement online

Yesterday the Social Security Administration released new functionality on their website that allows you to get your benefit amounts and review your earnings history.

I did it myself…you set up a user profile and go through a process that takes 5 minutes. The link to where you start is copied below.

This is a big deal since the SSA stopped mailing out statements to everyone. If you are over 60 years of age, you will receive a paper statement. But, for everyone else you will need to go to this site to download your information. It is also a good idea to review the earnings history since the SSA does make mistakes that can impact your benefit amount.

NOTE, since the Social Security agents and offices won’t give you advice, you will need to figure out a claiming strategy for the information on your statement. You will have general information on your statement from SSA, but it doesn’t tell you when to start to get the most benefits. We are happy to help show you how to maximize your benefits and compare this strategy to other scenarios you think make sense for your situation.

Want a guaranteed 7% return in todays market? Then maximize your Social Security

Here is an article in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal about some recent research done by a Stanford and Occidental professor sponsored the Social Security Administration. I’m familiar with the research since it referenced our research we published on how to create a Social Security Strategy.

They focused on “returns” or return comparisons by maximizing your benefits. Check out the picture (enlarge image at the top) – return of a 10 yr Treasury Inflation Protected Bond -.26% OR return of an example married couple maximizing Social Security 7%. We have a paper coming out very soon in the Journal of Wealth Management on this very same area.

People, I don’t care what dimension you use…1) how much longer will your money last by maximizing Social Security, 2) how much more Social Security benefits you can receive, 3) how much more income you will receive, or 4) added “return”….all the numbers show the same thing. If you create a smart strategy to maximize your benefits, you will be a lot better off.

We have the leading application based on our research to help you get the most benefits. Also, the best planning process to show you how to combine your Social Security with a withdrawal plan on our other site

This is a very important decision. Make sure you take time to do some research to increase your benefits.

Putting the hoopla to rest that Social Security is going away

April 23rd we get the new numbers on the funding status on the Social Security Trust Fund.

As we have reported, the “sky is not falling.” This article predicts rosier news from Trustees on the funding status. The media has confused a lot of people into thinking taking benefits as early as possible is smart. The system will need to implement changes over time, but people over 55 years of age are likely to not be impacted.

Here is a quote from the article below regarding a new educational campaign to broaden education in this area, “The Campaign says the trustee report will also help put to rest the “misunderstanding” that Social Security has entered a cash deficit situation where it is paying out more in benefits than collecting in income. “Social Security is prohibited by law from doing that. It can only pay benefits if it has sufficient income to cover all costs. If there were less income than outgo this year, the Trustees would be reporting that benefits would not be able to be paid in full during the remainder of 2012!,” the Campaign says.”

Every speech or interview I give on Social Security the topic of “funding status” or that Social Security is going bust comes up. I will be relieved to have more people and data to help you feel confident that your Social Security is not going away. The bottom line is that you should figure out how to maximize your benefits to get the most money out of the system.
Social Security Trustees Will Report Large, Growing Surplus: Advocacy Group

Our New Research is Out!

The Journal of Financial Planning just published our research in the April edition.

I’m very proud of this work and want to give you some of my thoughts. I see this research as a large “breakthrough” for retirees and improving financial advice. Overall, the premise of the research is so simple it makes sense! If you get more Social Security, your money will last longer.

1. Deciding when to take Social Security is the largest decision you will make in your life. We showed that this decision adds 2 to 10 years to the length of how long your savings will last depending on your affluence.
2. The amont you have saved doesn’t matter. You should consider a strategy that maximes because it will have a huge impact on your financial situation. Note, the greatest impact is for families that haven’t saved as much. For example, someone who has $200,000 of savings can add +10 years of longevity to their money by maximizing Social Security.
3. This is the first study that addresses Social Security and taxation in the retirement income literature about the “4% rule.” It is crazy to me that there are all these “rules of thumb” that exclude the biggest elements that will impact your retirement strategy…taxes and Social Security.

I’ll post more about the research over time. But, here is the bottom line: 1) if you haven’t started Social Security, definitely spend time learning about creating a smart strategy to get more money, and 2) if you have started Social Security, make sure you withdrawal other saving you have to minimize the taxation of Social Security. We’ve developed tools to help you with this. Also, we can give you some educational pieces or guide you.

People, by carefully integrating Social Security into your financial plan every year can add thousands of dollars back into your pocket.

So, I’m proud to share our research with you and the financial services industry. We worked on this for a long time. I’m hopeful other institutions can use these ideas to help more Americans live better in retirement.


On behalf of our team, welcome to our site. We are proud to bring you services that will help you “Get More” Social Security.

Dr. Bill Reichenstein, from Baylor University, and I have worked for many years to develop the research, published in the Journal of Financial Planning, that underlies our technology.

Our mission is to help you maximize your retirement benefits! This is a very important decision and you won’t be able to change your strategy in the future.  Within seconds you will receive a “recommendation” from us that will show you how to get the most amount of benefits.  However, this is just a place to start. Our interactive tools will allow you to create and personalize other strategies that you believe are good for you.

My advice to you is “compare.”  Come in and look at our recommendation and also compare it to other strategies.  You will have the diagnostics and tools to see the difference in benefits and income one strategy will give you over another strategy.

There are a lot of rules and complexity. Register for our service so we can help you and make it easy to see the difference between claiming strategies. Again, our goal is simple…”get more” benefits.  So, don’t leave money on the table.  Come and receive your Recommended Solution and read our educational content to make the best decision possible for your situation.

Best of Luck, Bill