NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Ask a financial advisor about Social Security claiming strategies -- or healthcare costs during retirement -- and you’re likely to see a furrowed brow, followed by some snappy verbal tap dancing. And yet both matters are of primary concern for those planning for life after work.
Ron Mastrogiovanni Sr., president and CEO of HealthView services in Danvers, Mass., says he "grew up" in the financial services industry and knows why advisors have traditionally dodged such questions.
"No one ever trained us on Social Security and healthcare, years ago," Mastrogiovanni says. "Today, that's beginning to change pretty radically."
A 2014 survey by Practical Perspectives and GDC Research found that just 36% of financial advisors advised clients on specific Social Security claiming strategies, while a meager 13% offered recommendations on how to manage health care costs in retirement.
And yet, advisors often use Social Security as a marketing device to lure prospective clients to seminars, workshops and free consultations. Jared Weiss with the Corporation for Social Security Claiming Strategies (CSSCS) says it's "frightening" how many financial advisors talk about Social Security while the percentage who really know anything about it "is very low." He says pitches such as "The Seven Simple Secrets of Social Security" are common.