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Active investment management’s weekly magazine for fee-based advisors

Sean Reading, CFP • Palmyra, PA
The North Star Financial Group LLC • J.W. Cole Financial Inc.

Our financial-education seminar program is one of our firm’s most successful strategies for introducing ourselves to prospective clients.

We have found that the topic of Social Security planning and claiming strategies draws tremendous interest in our area among pre-retirees and those who might already be retired. We hold regular educational classes at nearby libraries, often in association with other local financial advisors.

We use a third-party resource that helps manage the process of identifying potential attendees and planning the event. Our goal is to have members of 12 to 15 households at each event, and we generally achieve that.

The program itself talks about the importance of selecting the right Social Security claiming strategy for a client and their spouse, demystifies some of the terminology, and broadly examines some of the pros and cons of different claiming strategies.

We address questions that retirees typically have, which include the following:

  • Will Social Security be there for me?
  • How much can I expect to receive?
  • When should I apply for Social Security?
  • How can I maximize my benefits?
  • Will Social Security be enough to live on in retirement?
  • What are the trade-offs of claiming early, at full retirement age, or later?
  • How do spousal benefits work?
  • What are survivor benefits?
  • How can I minimize taxes on Social Security benefits?
  • What role does Social Security play in an overall retirement-income plan?

While the classes are full of detailed, useful information, we emphasize that each client or client family situation is very different. The best way to understand how to maximize Social Security benefits in the context of overall retirement planning is to work with a qualified financial advisor to build a full financial plan.

We offer no-obligation meetings to seminar attendees who are interested in learning more about this and other topics. Our success rate in obtaining those first meetings has been very strong. Once we meet with an individual or a couple, we have equally strong results in developing a new client relationship.

  • Educational seminars provide value to attendees and facilitate introductions to prospective clients.
  • Pre-retirees and those in retirement are particularly interested in understanding Social Security terminology and how to approach claiming strategies.

Disclosure: Securities offered through J.W. Cole Financial Inc. (JWC). Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through J.W. Cole Advisors Inc. (JWCA). The North Star Financial Group LLC and JWC/JWCA are separate and unaffiliated entities.

Photography by Jeremy Hess

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