David Giertz Says Financial Advisors are Failing by Not Talking to Their Clients About Social Security

According to David Giertz, a former president of one of the biggest insurance providers in the country, a majority of financial advisors are failing to discuss social security with their clients. When financial advisors do not include a discussion about social security retirement benefits as a part of their advice, it may be detrimental to both the clients and the advisors.

A research institute conducted a survey of consumers who were either already retired or within 10 years of reaching retirement age. The researchers found that a majority of the respondents said that their financial advisors did not talk to them about social security, and four out of five reported that they would switch advisors if their advisors did not discuss social security as a part of their retirement planning process.

Why do financial advisors avoid talking about social security?

Giertz attributes this failure on the part of financial advisors to the complexity of the social security program. He points out that the handbook for the program contains 2,700 rules, and he believes that many advisors find it too overwhelming to try to digest all of those rules. He reports that financial advisors should not avoid learning all that they can about social security, however. Instead, they should incorporate the program into their discussions with their clients for a couple of reasons.

Why advisors should discuss social security with their clients

The Nationwide survey reveals that many people will move on to new advisors if theirs do not talk about social security benefits to them. This means that learning about and discussing social security with clients is important to advisors so that they can retain more of them. From the consumer perspective, social security retirement benefits may account for up to 40 percent of the income that they may have during retirement. Finally, people who start drawing their retirement benefits too early may lose as much as $300,000 over their retirement years in lost benefits. Given the importance of social security to the ability of people to retire comfortably, it is imperative that financial advisors become comfortable with the program's rules so that they can discuss it with their clients during the retirement planning process.

About David Giertz

With more than 30 years of progressively responsible experience in the financial services industry, David Giertz is uniquely qualified to give investment advice . He has focused his career on using innovative strategies to help build growth and profits. As the president of the sales and distribution division of Nationwide Financial, Giertz was able to grow the division's profits from $11 billion to $17.8 billion, exceeding expectations.

During his tenure as the leader of the Financial Institutions Bank channel, Giertz spoke about growing its revenues from $1.5 billion to $8 billion. Before joining Nationwide in 1999, Giertz worked for 10 years at Citigroup, where he began as a financial advisor and progressed first to the area director and then ultimately to the executive vice president of sales. Giertz holds a Bachelor of Science from Millikin University and an Executive Master of Business Administration from the University of Miami. Giertz is a certified FINRA broker and works in the Dublin, Ohio office of Nationwide Life Insurance Company.

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