What Is a National Social Security Advisor (NSSA)?
A national social security advisor (NSSA) is a professional who provides guidance to individuals and businesses on social security programs. They can offer advice on eligibility, program options, and filing strategies.
In addition, they can help people decide whether certain financial moves may affect their social security benefits, such as taking a lump sum from their retirement accounts.
In the US, you’re required to pay social security taxes on your wages until you reach full retirement age—between 66 and 67 years old, depending on when you were born. In exchange for those taxes, you receive a monthly benefit in your retirement years.
However, the rules surrounding social security are complex and constantly changing, making an expert advisor invaluable. An NSSA can help you maximize your benefits by helping to finesse the system so that you get every penny of what’s due to you.
Keep in mind that a national social security advisor is not the same as an estate planning attorney, though the two can work together to provide a more holistic approach to retirement planning.
Why Should You Have One?
There are many reasons to have a national social security advisor, but some of the most important are:
1) They can help you maximize your benefits by ensuring you are taking advantage of all applicable programs and filing strategies.
2) They can help you plan for retirement, including estimating your benefits and helping you save for retirement.
3) They can help you coordinate with other professionals, such as estate planning attorneys or investment advisors, to get a more holistic view of your financial situation.
4) They are up-to-date on all the latest changes to the US social security system, and can help you figure out when it’s best to claim benefits.
5) They can provide a second-opinion on whether or not claiming early may be the right choice for you.
6) Their advice is objective and personalized to your situation, so they can keep your needs in mind rather than pushing their own agenda.
How to Find One?
The best way to find a national social security advisor is through personal referrals. Ask your friends, family, or colleagues if they have any recommendations.
Alternatively, you can check with professional organizations such as the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) or the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). Both of these organizations have directories of qualified professionals.
Finally, you can check online review sites to see what others have had to say about their experience with an NSSA.
The Importance of Finding an Experienced and Qualified NSSA
When looking for an advisor, there are a number of factors you should take into account.
For starters, look for an advisor who has experience working with people in a similar situation to you. To determine this, ask how many years of experience they have and what percentage of their clientele is your age group.
Also make sure they have the proper credentials, such as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or a Personal Financial Specialist (PFS).
These are not requirements, but they indicate that the advisor is able to handle more complex financial situations than someone without these designations.
You should also ask about their educational background and where they received their training.
In addition, when interviewing advisors it’s important to ask about their fee structure and whether they are contracted with any insurance or investment companies.
Make sure you understand how their fees are calculated — for example, whether they are based on assets under management, hourly rates, or flat rates.
And make sure you know what programs they work with so that you’re not surprised by extra fees later on.
How to Prepare For Your First Meeting
The initial meeting is usually the longest and will likely include a thorough review of your financial situation.
Before your first meeting, it’s a good idea to gather as much information about yourself as possible. This includes:
2) Your estimated expenses in retirement.
3) Documents such as your social security statement, pension information, and investment statements.
4) Your beneficiaries’ contact information.
By having this information readily available, you’ll be able to make the most of each meeting with your advisor and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.
A national social security advisor can help you make the most of your social security benefits. They can provide expert advice on when to claim, how to maximize your benefits, and ways to reduce taxes in retirement.
When looking for an advisor, be sure to ask about their experience, credentials, and fee structure. And don’t forget to ask about the programs they work with.
By taking the time to interview a few different advisors, you can be sure to find one that is a good fit for your unique situation.
Disclaimer: The above references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.
About the Author
True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®
True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.
True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.