Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Faye Sykes, CEO of Social Security Benefit Planners, located in Atlanta, GA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I have a very specialized flat fee social security planning business. I work with individuals, CPAs, and Financial advisors across the USA and the Globe. When the thought of retirement starts setting in, when to elect to start social security can be confusing. There are almost 2,800 rules that oversee Social Security, so think of me like a CPA but helps someone with their social security benefits instead of taxes. Social security is an insurance program we pay into our entire lives, giving coverage for retirement, disability, and life insurance for those we leave behind. How much we pay during our working years and at what age greatly impacts the benefit amount. I was the 2019 Social Security advisor of the year and am passionate about helping people with this valuable benefit - https://insurancenewsnet.com/oarticle/atlanta-financial-advisor-the-2019-national-social-security-advisor-of-the-year#:~:text=The National Social Security Association in Cincinnati has,board member of the National Social Security Association.
Tell us about yourself
I have been working in this field since 2005. Several years ago, a homemaker widower was referred to me for assistance; her husband had retired early and taken his pension early but only on his own life and social security at age 62; while alive, it was around $6,800 a month for living expenses. Sadly he passed away about 10 months after retirement. Due to no or poor planning, not only the pension went away, the social security was about $1650 a month. There were no outside savings. We had to have her sell her home and move into her daughter's basement. There was nothing I could really do to help. All the planning must be done on the front end; I was pretty upset about the whole thing and dug into the details. My years of learning now can benefit many people. The average person relies on social security for 40-60% of their retirement income, and about 10-30% rely on Social Security for 100% of their retirement income. With proper planning, it can mean thousands of additional benefits for you and your loved ones.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I have an amazing team and great clients in a business that I love and enjoy doing. Having a positive financial impact on other people's lives is amazing; life is good!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Time management, finding the right team members, and taking time for yourself.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Work with professionals to help. I wish I had started with a business coach early on, and once I did, my businesses excelled. Don't overspend on things that are not needed, like expensive furniture or space. My first rental space was $900 a month; as my business grew, so did everything else. Network, Network, and more Networking help others grow their business, and they will return the favor.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Our flat fee planning is either $497- this covers most people, single, married, divorced, or widowed. Our $1497 planning fee is for ex-patriots that live outside the US, LGBTQ couples, Grandparents that are full-time caregivers for grandkids, and people who earn a pension that does not pay into Social Security (some Teachers, firefighters, police, and government employees)
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.