How advisors can build a local referral network around Social Security income planning

By Frank Horath

ClientFirst Financial


Financial advisors who cultivate a niche in their practices have high chances of developing referral relationships with professionals such as estate planning attorneys and CPAs. Focusing your outreach message on an area that attorneys and accountants may not be familiar with can help you fill a knowledge gap that can benefit these professionals, as well as their clients.

Expertise in creative Social Security claiming techniques for pre- and early-retirees is an area that many attorneys and CPAs are eager to learn more about. Developing this niche gives you a platform and a purpose to connect with potential professional partners by highlighting how Social Security income planning can help their clients maximize or optimize their lifetime benefits and how this fits into their big-picture retirement income plan. This can unite you in the common goal of helping clients effectively grow and manage their estate while minimizing taxation of their Social Security benefits.

The Social Security income planning audience can be expanded to include enrolled agents, bookkeepers, family law and human resources personnel. Financial advisors who embrace the Social Security niche can easily become recognized as service-oriented, go-to financial advisors and can become a valuable financial planning resource within their communities.

How do you reach out to potential partners? Attorneys — more specifically, estate planning attorneys — can often be identified from a local bar or legal association directory. In many locations, these groups meet monthly for continuing education units, which may present an opportunity for a workshop or seminar on Social Security income claiming. You can also produce a letter, direct mail or email to reach out to this group.

You may want to use LinkedIn to connect with CPAs or accountants by searching using Groups, key words or zip codes. Local chapters of state CPA organizations are a good place to propose a presentation on Social Security or learn about group activities. There are also meetup groups for CPAs and mixed groups with CPAs, attorneys and financial advisors.