As President of the Nationwide Financial distribution and sales division, David Giertz wants financial advisers to succeed. He started out in the business over 30 years ago with Citibank. He began working for Nationwide Financial in 1999. He has worked his way up the ladder the hard way, and he has seen a lot in his 30-year career.
And one of the mistakes he sees too many financial advisers make is ignoring Social Security. The Nationwide Retirement Institute surveyed 900 people close to or in retirement, and most of their respondents said their advisers did not bring up the subject. However, it is essential because Social Security can make up to 40% of a retiree’s total income after they leave their work.
For example, many people begin receiving Social Security at what the law calls the “early retirement” age of 62. That looks good to many people. They forget their full retirement age is from 65 to 67 depending on their date of birth, and they permanently lower their monthly benefit amount for every month they file for retirement prior to attaining their full retirement age. And working beyond the full retirement age will further raise their amount of their eventual benefits, up until age 70. Many people do not realize they need to delay receiving checks until they turn 70 if they want to maximize their Social Security income. There is no good reason to delay after attaining age 70.
Also, many people don’t realize the government taxes Social Security checks if they receive enough other income. Some people begin receiving checks and yet continue working, and this can put their total income above the level where it must be taxed. That is the kind of situation financial advisers should help people understand and avoid.
David Giertz started out at Citibank as a Financial Services Adviser. Since taking over as President of the distribution and sales at Nationwide Financial, he raised total sales from $11 billion to $17.8 billion.