In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, David Giertz, the President of Nationwide Financial, argues that more financial advisors need to talk to their clients about Social Security. A recent survey conducted by Nationwide’s retirement division, which surveyed retired consumers and people ten years from retirement, found that the majority of consumers hadn’t discussed Social Security with their financial advisors. 4 out of 5 people surveyed also said that they would switch advisors if their current advisor wasn’t talking to them about Social Security.
Why are advisors avoiding the topic? David Giertz thinks that the biggest reason is probably the complexity of Social Security–after all, the Social Security Handbook lists over 2700 different rules. But whatever the reason, Giertz makes it clear that it’s crucial for advisors to have these conversations, for their sake and for the sake of their clients. From an advisor’s perspective, Nationwide’s survey demonstrated that clients may consider switching advisors if they aren’t receiving sufficient Social Security counseling. And they would be right to switch; it’s important for consumers to be informed about Social Security because Social Security checks can make up as much as 40 percent of retirement income for consumers. Nationwide’s research also found that clients who activate their social security payments too early may end up losing thousands of dollars in the long run, something that advisors should be informing their clients about.
David Giertz is a business coach and financial advisor who’s been in the business for over 30 years. Prior to serving as Nationwide’s President, he served the company in various other roles from 2006 onward, and Giertz has also previously worked with Citcorp Investment Services, Financial Horizons Securities, and Mutual Life Insurance of New York, among other corporations.
Mr. Giertz is highly accredited and well-qualified to discuss Social Security and other financial advisory issues. He is certified as a broker by FINRA, and is registered to conduct business as a financial advisor in 18 different states. Currently, Giertz continues to be employed by Nationwide in Dublin, Ohio.