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Franklin Templeton Launches Social Security Optimizer Tool for Financial Advisors

From Franklin Templeton Investments
contact Cheryl Sanclemente
Telephone (650) 312-3270

San Mateo, CA, November 19, 2014 — Often driven by a lack of understanding and confusion surrounding Social Security, many Americans are making decisions that may permanently reduce their monthly income in retirement. In fact, according to the 2014 Franklin Templeton Retirement Income Strategies and Expectations (RISE) Survey1, nearly two-thirds of retired respondents are opting to take their Social Security benefits early, that is before “Full Retirement Age,” defined as age 66 for those born from 1943-1954 and gradually increasing to 672, despite the impact this course of action could have on their total benefits, and thus their overall retirement income.

In order to further support financial advisors as they help clients make important decisions regarding their Social Security benefits, Franklin Templeton Investments has introduced a new online Social Security Optimizer tool.

“We are excited to offer this robust new tool designed to make it easier for financial advisors to incorporate Social Security into the retirement income planning process for their clients,” said Michael Doshier, head of Retirement Marketing for Franklin Templeton Investments. “The Social Security Optimizer enhances the suite of resources we offer through our Income For What’s Next program to assist advisors in addressing the complexities and evolving reality of retirement. The tool provides advisors with a practical resource to help their clients develop long-lasting retirement income investment strategies that, importantly, take Social Security into account.”

The Social Security Optimizer was developed by LifeYield to assist in the review of potential Social Security benefits options. It enables financial advisors to begin tailoring a Social Security approach to fit the nature of each client’s overall retirement situation and income plan. Once an advisor enters specific inputs from their client, the tool assesses a range of variables and produces benefit filing options that could lead to greater total lifetime benefits using certain assumptions. Advisors then have the capability to further customize the proposed strategy to align more closely with a client’s specific retirement resources and goals. The Social Security Optimizer also provides actionable suggested “next steps” for the chosen Social Security benefits claiming strategy.

Other key features of the tool include:

  • Clear information on the month and year for filing a benefits claim based on a selected Social Security benefits strategy and certain assumptions,
  • An evaluation of a client’s potential benefits claiming choices in monthly and cumulative dollar amounts, and the ability to incorporate inflation assumptions into the calculation; and
  • A printable hypothetical illustration to aid advisors during client discussions.

“It is imperative that financial advisors be involved in their clients’ decisions about when to stop working and when to begin receiving the Social Security benefits for which they are eligible. These are choices that will permanently impact a client’s monthly income throughout their retirement,” said Gail Buckner, CFP®, Franklin Templeton’s financial planning spokesperson. “Retirement income is one of the most important investment topics of our day. Our new optimizer tool helps to deal with this crucial issue in a direct manner, allowing advisors to address the complicated and often misunderstood options for collecting Social Security as they guide their clients through the retirement planning process.”

About Franklin Templeton

Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN], a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment management to retail, institutional and sovereign wealth clients in over 150 countries. Through specialized teams, the company has expertise across all asset classes — including equity, fixed income, alternative and custom solutions. The company’s more than 600 investment professionals are supported by its integrated, worldwide team of risk management professionals and global trading desk network. With offices in 35 countries, the California-based company has more than 65 years of investment experience and over $898 billion in assets under management as of October 31, 2014. For more information, please visit franklintempleton.com.


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  1. The 2014 Franklin Templeton Retirement Income Strategies and Expectations (RISE) survey was conducted online among a sample of 2,011 adults comprising 1,008 men and 1,003 women 18 years of age and older. The survey was administered from January 2 to 16 by ORC International’s Online CARAVAN®.
  2. Full retirement age is 66 for those born from 1943-1954. It is gradually increasing to 67 for anyone born later. See http://www.ssa.gov/retirement/1943.html.

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