Social Security Consulting Services and Fee Arrangements
Pure Consulting. If you are not ready to order a report but simply want answers to questions about your Social Security situation, I charge an hourly fee of $200-$300 with a quarter-hour minimum. That includes time spent on any background work that may be required to answer your questions. If the conversation moves into either a Comprehensive or Summary report, the consulting time is folded into the quoted fee.
Comprehensive Report. In the vast majority of situations, I am retained to prepare a detailed, handcrafted written report illustrating a range of 3 to 6 claiming options, which includes any particular strategies you would like to see illustrated. The report is personalized, with step-by-step explanations of each strategy, along with strategy comparison table, cash flow tables, comparison charts, and standardized Appendix containing reference material. The fee includes a follow-up phone call within a week of the time the report is delivered, or a reasonable amount of email communication, to clarify any items contained in the report.
A typical fee range for the above runs $600-$900, depending on complexity and the number of strategies illustrated. In very complex situations (e.g., the situation involves a disabled adult child; international issues; Windfall Elimination Provision and/or Government Pension Offset) the fee could be higher. The Comprehensive Report is almost mandatory for complex situations.
Summary Report. If you want the same in-depth analysis and creative strategies as are found in the Comprehensive Report, but with less personalized commentary and no cash flow tables or charts, you may elect a Summary Report. A typical fee for this option runs around $500, but could be more depending on complexity. This option may be appropriate if one or more of the following apply:
- You are already familiar with Social Security and don’t need much detailed explanation.
- Your situation is very straightforward and options are limited.
- You are not visually oriented and don’t find cash flow tables and charts to be helpful.
- You are on a tight budget, and the cost of the Summary Report seems more affordable to you than the cost for the Comprehensive Report.
- You have a short attention span and prefer less detail.
Custom Report. I will consider other arrangements to fit your particular needs and budget. One of my underlying principles is that no one should be deprived of assistance with their Social Security situation based solely on financial challenges.
- I typically require a retainer equal to the anticipated consulting fee before I begin a project.
- I do not sell financial products and do not accept commissions or fees related to the sale of financial products.
Social Security Seminars
In the course of a year, I present approximately 20 Social Security seminars to audiences such as the following:
- Public groups
- Private client groups
- CPAs, attorneys, and financial services professionals
- Employee groups
Most seminars run for 1.5 – 2 hours, although the length can be adjusted to meet the needs of the seminar sponsor. The vast majority of my Social Security seminars are presented in person to live audiences, but I have used the webinar format as well. These are not canned presentations: all seminars are hand-crafted by me and tailored to fit the particular audience. Fees vary with the context, the location, and the nature and size of the group.
Here is a partial list of seminars presented over the past few years:
|The Vermont Agency||Burlington, VT||Public||95|
|Landmark Financial Services||Vergennes, VT||Client (Private)||59|
|Troiano & Associates, Inc. (CPAs)||Sanford, ME||Client (Private)||34|
|Key Advisors Group||Philadelphia, PA||Attorneys, CPAs||110|
|Key Advisors Group||Philadelphia, PA||Client (Private)||50|
|Small Business Council of America||Webinar||Membership||55|
|Small Business Council of America||Orlando, FL||Directors||27|
|Harris Beach PLLC||Pittsford, NY||Senior Partners||30|
|Harris Beach PLLC||Pittsford, NY||Attorneys/Staff||70|
|Scheer & Hickey, PC (CPAs)||Colchester, VT||Client (Private)||22|
|Scheer & Hickey, PC (CPAs)||Colchester, VT||Clients/Public||45|
|West Bay Financial Group||Plattsburgh, NY||Client (Private)||36|
|Cheryl M. Taylor, CFP®||Rochester, NY||Client (Private)||30|
|Roberts, Lawson & Associates||Winston-Salem, NC||Client (Private)||39|
|National Financial Legacy Group||Hunt Valley, MD||Financial Advisors||30|
|National Financial Legacy Group||Hunt Valley, MD||CPAs||10|
|Champlain College||Burlington, VT||Faculty/Staff||45|
|Vermont NAIFA Chapter (three times)||Burlington, VT||Financial Advisors||20-30|
|Purdy Powers Company (CPAs)||Portland, ME||Client (Private)||18|
|Financial Integrity Strategies||New York City, NY||Financial Advisors||40|
|National Conference of CPA Practitioners (Nassau County, NY)||Hicksville, NY||CPAs||100|
|Nassau Chapter of New York State Society of CPAs||Hicksville, NY||CPAs||23|
|LPL Financial||Walpole, NH||Client (Private)||10|
|Salem Financial Group||Winston-Salem, NC||CPAs||11|
|Blue Point Financial||Scarborough, ME||Client (Private)||32|
|Blue Point Financial||Scarborough, ME||CPAs||12|
|Vita Financial Group||Sunrise, FL||Financial Advisors||36|
|Fellows, Helfenbein & Newman||Grasonville, MD||Senior Center||45|
|University of Vermont Extension Tax School||Essex & Killington, VT||Income Tax Professionals||154|
|NPA Financial, LLC||Clifton Park, NY||Financial Advisors||25|
|NPA Financial, LLC||Clifton Park, NY||CPAs||20|
|Rubino & Liang, LLC||Burlington & Dedham, MA||Public||82|
|VT State Employees Credit Union||Montpelier, VT||Annual Meeting||125|
|Summit Advisory Group||Charlotte, NC||Financial Advisors||35|
|National Life Group||Montpelier, VT||Employees||40|
|Life Planning Group||Uniondale, NY||Financial Advisors||30|
|Sun National Bank||Freehold, NJ||Customers||30|
|Sun National Bank||Mullica Hill, NJ||Customers||20|
|Zenith Marketing Group, Inc.||Freehold, NJ||Financial Advisors||50|
|Champlain College||Burlington, VT||Faculty/Staff||68|
Social Security Consulting for Professionals
Financial services professionals and CPAs in particular may have client situations that require my expertise, but not to the extent of a complete analysis and report. This could be anything from the answers to a few specific questions to a comprehensive analysis, but without the written report. I provide this kind of service on either an hourly basis or for an agreed upon fee. Individuals and couples may also take advantage of this hourly Social Security consulting service.
Optimize Your Social Security Benefits
“After hearing Peter Weinbaum’s presentation this past August on Social Security planning, we decided to plan our own event. It turned out to be a home run! 110 Accountants and Attorneys attended our seminar, where we offered 2 hours of continuing education credit. It was an informative and interactive morning with these professionals. Thursday night we did the same presentation with 50 clients and soon-to-be clients that was at least as good – if not better! The evaluation sheets we received were full of positive comments.”Nicholas Mingone
Request a Social Security Seminar
“As is the case for many other baby boomers who are at or nearing retirement age, Social Security represents the only substantial annuity type benefit I will receive. And since Social Security benefits will constitute a vital part of our retirement income, I felt that it would be very important for my wife and me to take great care in determining how to optimize those benefits.
I am an Enrolled Actuary with over 30 years of experience in the pension world. I had attended a webinar that Peter presented last fall, and based on what I learned I created a reasonably sophisticated claiming strategy for me and my wife. I decided to run it by Peter just to confirm that I hadn’t missed something; he suggested that I provide him with the usual information that he requires to do an analysis, which I promptly did.
Noting that my top priority was to maximize combined monthly income after my wife reaches age 70, Peter came up with a strategy that generated 19% more income after her age 70 than my strategy had been able to produce! He provided me with a very clear and comprehensive written report showing several viable strategies that we could use to optimize our Social Security benefits.
Now I believe that the vast majority of those at or approaching Social Security eligibility could benefit immensely from the kind of work he does. I plan to recommend Peter to all my colleagues and friends so that they too may make informed decisions regarding their Social Security benefits.
Peter – Thank you very much!”
To Whom This May Concern:
I am the Director of Human Resources at a distinguished law firm comprised of more than 500 individuals occupying one central campus and several other practice offices. I have worked at this firm for more than 12 years, having previously held senior managerial positions in Human Resources at such enterprises as Xelus, Veritor, Eastman Kodak, and Danka Office Products.
Two years ago, I was asked to come up with some educational programs for our more senior partners and staff to help them deal with the financial implications of retirement. Obviously, Social Security, Medicare, and a number of other topics in the financial and retirement planning area came to the forefront. Although I have a very solid foundation in most of these areas, I was amazed to learn how complicated the Social Security rules are; the multitude of options that retirees face; and the endless amounts of both factual and erroneous (or at least misleading) information that is available on the subject.
Coincidentally, a financial consultant who is a friend of the firm advised me that he had found a Social Security expert. In my line of work the term “expert” is met with significant skepticism, as many of these individuals are basically sales people with no real expertise. Trusting our consultant’s assessment, I took a phone meeting with Peter Weinbaum, also known as The Social Security Maven®. The meeting, to my delight, far exceeded my expectations: Peter demonstrated that he is truly an expert on Social Security.
I was so impressed that I invited Peter to present on this topic to senior partners during the summer of 2013. About 30 partners participated, the majority in person at our headquarters and several others by video conference from our other practice offices. Many brought their spouses as well. The program was so well received that we brought him back a year later to do a presentation for all partners and staff across the organization. This time more than 70 individuals participated after learning about the first program.
Peter was so enthusiastically received by our partners and staff that more than a dozen who attended – and several who did not attend but heard about the seminar from those who did – approached him individually for personal consultations. Of those who contacted him on an individual basis, all stated that he was very professional and easy to work with and that his analysis and report were extremely valuable.
If you are a Human Resources professional in an organization that has a sizable number of employees approaching retirement age, you could deliver significant value to your pre-retirees by bringing Peter in to present a Social Security seminar at your company or firm. I did, and it proved to be a big “win” for all concerned. I recommend him without reservation.
[My firm’s policy is to avoid appearing to endorse outside contractors, and thus the firm has requested that I refrain from using its name in preparing my own personal endorsement.]Mario Domanti