When you need help with a complicated matter, turning to an expert is usually a wise move. Unfortunately, that is not always the case when it comes to Social Security.
As we have reported many times in the past, Social Security agents often offer guidance that is subpar or even flat-out wrong.
But don’t just take our word for it. As Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff recently told financial columnist Terry Savage:
“At least half of what Social Security tells you is either dead wrong, misleading or incomplete. My rule is never ask Social Security anything. Just tell them precisely what to do.”
Savage recounts the tale of a woman named Ellen whose husband recently died. A Social Security agent told Ellen she was ineligible for survivor’s benefits.
Convinced that the agent was wrong, Ellen scheduled a second appointment with a Social Security manager — and got more misinformation.
It wasn’t until Ellen contacted a website founded by Kotlikoff — MaximizeMySocialSecurity.com — and reached out to Social Security a third time that she finally got the right answer and the benefit to which she was entitled.
Millions of retirees count on Social Security to provide the bulk of their retirement income. Getting the wrong answer about their benefit can have severe financial repercussions for such folks.
So how can you make sure you get the most from your benefits?
Perhaps your best bet is to turn to an organization like MaximizeMySocialSecurity.com or the Money Talks News partner Social Security Choices.
We can’t vouch for the former organization — although we suspect it does a fine job — but we can tell you that Social Security Choices offers a great personalized Social Security analysis, tailored to your specific circumstances.
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