Savvy Senior: Getting Social Security may help boost your benefits

BY JIM MILLER Published: January 22, 2013
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Two free sites are Analyze Now (analyzenow.com), which offers a robust decision-making tool called the “Strategic Social Security Planner,” but requires Microsoft Excel to use it. And AARP's Social Security Benefits Calculator (aarp.org/socialsecuritybenefits), which is a less sophisticated tool but easy to use.

Personalized advice

If, however, you want or need more help, there are specialized firms and financial advisers that can advise you for a fee.

One of the best is Social Security Solutions (socialsecuritysolutions.com, (866) 762-7526), which offers several levels of service including their “Premier Plus” plan that runs multiple calculations and comparisons, recommends a best course of action in a detailed report, and gives you a one-on-one session with a Social Security specialist over the phone to discuss the report and ask questions. The fee for this service is $125.

Premier Social Security Consulting (premiersocialsecurityconsulting.com, (800) 518-0761) is another option that offers several consulting packages, ranging from $75 to $295.

Or, you can get help through a fee-only financial adviser who specializes in Social Security analysis and charges on an hourly basis.

To find someone use the Garrett Planning Network (garrettplanningnetwork.com, (866) 260-8400), which offers the services of 300 independent advisers nationwide. The cost for a Garrett adviser ranges between $150 and $300 per hour.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to NBC's Today show, KFOR-TV and is author of “The Savvy Senior” book.



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