David Giertz Recommends Financial Advisers Include Social Security

Too many financial advisers try to ignore the role Social Security plays in retirement. That’s what David Giertz, President of Nationwide Financial’s sales and distribution division, told Veronica Dagher, a Wall Street Journal Wealth Advisor columnist. For As Ms. Dagher said, it seems like a “no-brainer.” After all, Social Security could be up to 40% of a client’s retirement income. That’s clearly important.

The Nationwide Retirement Institute did a survey of consumers of financial advice services who are retired or within ten years of retirement. Most of the people surveyed said their advisers did not give them advice on how to maximize their Social Security benefits.

However, it’s vital to financial advisors to discuss the topic. That’s because four out of five people in the survey said they would change advisers of they did not discuss Social Security with them. Giertz admits Social Security is a complex topic. The Social Security Handbook has 2700 rules. Too many financial advisers don’t under all those rules, so they don’t have confidence around them, and so they prefer to avoid discussing them with clients.

David Giertz agrees Social Security should be an integral part of their retirement income planning process. One possible mistake retirees make is applying for benefits too early. They could lose up to $300,000 over 25 years. That’s $1,000 a month, or $12,000 a year. Therefore, it’s certainly important for clients to optimize their Social Security benefit to receive the most income possible while they’re retired.

Giertz is President of Distribution at Nationwide Financial. He has over 30 years of experience in the financial advice business. Since he took over, he has increased their sales from $11 billion to $17.8 billion.

He oversees the distribution of the company’s financial investment products, including annuities, life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds and specialty products. They are sold to other businesses in the financial services market, including independent registered investment advisers and brokers and dealers.

Giertz graduated from Millikin University with a Bachelor of Science degree. Then he earned his Executive Master of Business Administration at the University of Miami. He started out as a Financial Services Adviser for Citigroup.

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