Premier Featured in the Cincinnati Enquirer
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Our young company was recently featured in the print edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer Newspaper. Thank you to Val Prevish for publishing the piece.
The following is the full text of the article…
CPA Transforms Frustration into Business Helping Retirees
Premier Living advises on Social Security options
By Val Prevish
SHARONVILLE − Ten thousand baby boomers apply for Social Security benefits every day. For Marc Kiner, a certified public accountant, and Jim Blair, a retired veteran with the Social Security Administration, that translates as an opportunity − and a need. Three years ago, the two formed Premier Living Social Security Consulting, which aims to help new retirees make the most of their Social Security benefits by providing them with expert advice on their choices for filing.
Kiner, who operated his own CPA firm for 30 years, said he felt frustrated with trying to help his accounting clients with questions about their benefits. A friend introduced Kiner to Blair, who had worked in the Social Security Administration for 35 years and became district manager in the Piqua office before he retired several years ago, and the two became partners.
Premier has attracted a growing list of clients, who pay a flat fee − either $195 or $295 for a one−time consulting session − to get expert advice on how and when to file for Social Security benefits, choices that can mean the difference in tens of thousands of dollars over an individual’s retired life, say the duo. The higher fee gets customers more in−depth analysis of their particular benefits and additional phone consulting afterward.
“Social Security employees are no longer allowed to talk with people about their options,” says Blair, who cites budget cuts and staff reductions as reasons for the lack of service. “They are losing staffing and trying to deal with the barrage of new filers at the same time. There is no time for them to give advice.”
Kiner says the combination of high numbers of new retirees and reduced personal attention from Social Security’s administrative offices has given rise to a new industry of private consultants. Premier is one of the only firms locally to specialize exclusively in Social Security benefits advice, he says. That’s something he feels sets his firm apart from others that may offer additional financial services or accounting as well.
Glen Cook, 61, of Milford, says he was amazed that Blair and Kiner were able to show him as many as 14 options for how and when to file for benefits when he and his wife, Donna, met with them recently. “There were a few scenarios that neither one of us was aware of,” says Cook. “We probably would have picked the wrong one…. It’s a significant difference depending on the one you pick.”
Kiner says this kind of reaction is common, and he expects the business to grow 10 percent per month over the next few years as more aging baby boomers seek help. He is prepared to hire additional former Social Security employees to help with consulting.
“Social Security strategies are in the news all the time now,” says Kiner. “It’s a hot topic.”
In addition, Premier is introducing the first certification program to train CPAs and other financial advisers to help clients wade through the Social Security options available to them. It will be launched in January and is the first certification program of its kind, says Kiner.
The training will be provided by a nonprofit, the National Social Security Association, he says. After certification, the financial professionals will be well versed in how to help their clients with strategies. Kiner says he would like to distinguish this type of consulting as a financial niche and to establish his firm as a leader in the field.
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