Social Security Timing Optimizer

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Social Security Optimization 

  • We are proud to announce our integration with Social Security Timing (SST) to deliver an in-app social security strategy calculator, which will allow you to offer your clients a quick and accurate outlook on future benefits and cash-flow.
  • In order to benefit all of our users, we are providing the integration with SST free of charge and completely integrated into our system. For those advisors who wish to dive even further in the world of Social Security, we provide Single Sign On access to the SST website,  which provides a more advanced interface to fine tune the claim strategies. SST advanced tool is a subscription based offering. To find out more go to www.socialsecuritytiming.com
  • Our new interface:

optimize.png

    • You can access the new interface from the same place you accessed the detail screen for social security before. Once inside the new interface you will see three sections:
      1. Inputs
      2. Comparisons
      3. Select Strategy
    • These sections will allow you to manipulate, interpret and edit the results returned to our system from the Social Security Timing website.
    • All results are then included in the standard reports, with charts and claim instructions that can be presented to the client directly, taking the guesswork out of the process.
    • As always, we believe in allowing the advisor to have the flexibility to use our tools as well as using other sources. It is for this reason that we have included an “Override” option. This option allows the advisor to fully customize the data in the system and present whichever strategy they like best to the client.

 

  • Let’s review the three sections in detail.
    • Inputs

inputs.png

      • General Assumptions:
        • Inflate Benefits:
          • You can choose to inflate the benefits using the baseline inflation set in the plan, or use a rate of your choosing.
        • Claim Status:
          • If the client is single, you can choose what claim status they will file under. Your options are: Single, Divorced.
        • Inflation %:
          • If you selected Other for the Inflate Benefits, you can specify the rate in this field.
        • Spouse DOB:
          • If the client’s Claim Status is either Married or Divorced, the system will require the Spouse’s DOB to correctly calculate the Spousal Benefits of the client. If the Claim Status is set to Divorced the field will be editable.
        • Claim Age:
          • The options available on the claim age are:
            • Full Retirement Age (FRA) – this option will populate the start age with the calculated FRA based on the date of birth of either the client or the spouse respectively.
            • Early Start – this option will allow you to input a start age between 62 and the FRA.
            • Delayed – this option will allow you to input a start age between FRA+1 and 70.
            • Already Started – will set the start age to the greater of 62 or the current age.
        • Benefit Amount (Monthly):
          • By default these will be set to calculate automatically. The system uses the existing calculation for the monthly benefit, based on the wage history (salary) for the client and the spouse. If there is no salary for either the spouse or the client, you will have to enter the monthly benefit manually.
          • If you have the Social Security statement from your clients, you can select the “Enter Manually” check box, and enter the monthly benefit amount as it is stated on the SSA statement.
          • Whenever you change any of the values in the Inputs section, you will see a green highlight around the Run Optimization button like so.      run_opt.png
          • Make sure you run the optimization to get the correct values from Social Security Timing.

 

  • Comparisons

comparisons.png

    • This chart illustrates visually the cumulative lifetime value of the benefits received by the client. You will notice that there are three lines:
      • Optimized
        • The OPTIMIZED line represents the benefits cash flow as defined by choosing the optimal claim strategy. This is calculated for you by Social Security Timing, and it includes complex strategies like “File and Hold” and “Claim Spousal until age…”
        • The instructions for this strategy are included in the following section, and are detailed yet simple to follow.
      • Specified
        • The SPECIFIED line represents the benefits cash flow as defined by the inputs at the top of the page.
      • Override
        • The OVERRIDE line represents the benefit cash flow from the manual schedule inputs. We allow you to give us override values in case you choose to use data from another system, or you want to illustrate a different claim strategy altogether.
        • The OVERRIDE schedule can be edited from the following section by clicking the Edit Schedule button.



  • Select Strategy

strategy.png

    • You can choose which of the three strategies you want to use in the plan and in the reports by selecting the corresponding radio button.
    • In order to enter values into the OVERRIDE strategy, simply select the option and the Edit Schedule button will be enabled.
    • You will be able to enter values for every year in the plan, for both the client and the spouse (if married).
    • The “Fill schedule with” drop down allows you to use either one of the other schedules (optimized, specified) to fill in the table below, so that you may have a starting point for you to work with.
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Comments

  • Avatar
    Jeff Spivack

    In using the Social Security Optimizer, I have a couple of questions:

    1 - If a client has started their benefits already, but a spouse has not, how do we model this for optimization?  Using the override might work, but how do we calculate the numbers to fill into the fields?

    2 - Once you've click override, how do you get rid of the yellow line if you go for optimized or specified?

    3 - Is there any way to verify or breakout the 'What's at Stake' number?

    4 - Does the benefit include any surtax?