The first module of this program described the retirement planning process and the sources of income that clients will use to meet their financial needs during their retirement years. As we saw, for most individuals, the goal of financial independence in retirement can only be met and sustained with a combination of income sources including personal savings, employer-sponsored plans, and Social Security old-age benefits. An increasing number of individuals may anticipate part-time work during retirement and inheritances as other income sources. The following modules will help you better understand these income sources so you best can advise your clients on the part each plays in the retirement plan.

Module 3 is dedicated entirely to Social Security benefits, which for most retired Americans represent their biggest source of income. The importance of this program cannot be understated, as it keeps most seniors out of poverty and ensures them at least a minimal standard of living. Here we cover the basics of the Social Security system including eligibility requirements, provide an explanation of how payments are calculated, and discuss strategies for maximizing a person's monthly benefit.

About the Author

David Mannaioni, CFP®, MPASSM is a professor at the College for Financial Planning. Utilizing his 30+ years of experience in the financial services industry, David also maintains a financial planning practice where he works with his clients in all areas of financial planning. In addition to his certifications, David holds life and health insurance licenses in several states, as well as the Series 6, Series 7, and Series 63 registrations with FINRA. You can contact David at

Complexity Level: Intermediate