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Make Every Dollar Count in Retirement 

Defined Wealth: Financial Planning for a Long Life

At last tally, financial advisor Scott Palmer had counted 576 different ways to take Social Security. 

576 ways. 

“I think Social Security is misunderstood,” says Palmer, owner of Defined Wealth. This boutique firm specializes in retirement planning for clients ages 55 and older. 

Making the Most of Social Security

“Most people don’t use Social Security as part of their portfolio,” Palmer says. “We see Social Security as a huge part of their asset and retirement plans.” 

Taking it at the wrong time or in the wrong way can cost someone tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, he says. It’s complicated. There are various eligibility dates, spousal considerations, expected lifespan and constantly changing federal rules. 

Palmer acknowledges the fear surrounding this massive government program. He has attended countless classes to learn, learn, learn, and become an expert on this topic. 

Free Social Security Workshops for Anyone

Palmer thinks this subject is so vital that he offers two free Social Security workshops monthly. They are open to anyone—no strings attached. The 90-minute classes take place at the north campus of Pikes Peak State College, and he limits attendance to no more than 48. 

“It’s just a great way to give back to the community,” he says. “I love Colorado Springs. I’ll be here forever. I’ve been here forever.”

No talk about investment products. No catch. It’s all about spreading reliable information regarding Social Security. Palmer wants to help people in his community make informed financial decisions. 

“There is no pitch. … I think the super important thing to me is that people know they have options,” he says. 

Suppose attendees request more information after the class. In that case, Palmer offers to run their information through a "Social Security Maximizer" tool—clients or not—at no cost. 

A Bit About Defined Wealth

Palmer has been in the financial industry for 27 years–the first two decades at a big firm, where he talked with 20-30 people per day. About seven years ago, he decided to make his financial planning more about the relationships with his clients. He decided to open his own small, boutique, fiduciary firm, which doesn’t sell or promote any particular product or service and promises that clients’ interests always come first. 

Most are over the age of 55. Palmer has found that people nearing or in retirement appreciate more intentionality and direction. He sits with each client at least quarterly to review their portfolio and discuss possible changes. People live longer these days, and he wants to help them ensure they don't outlive their money. 

“In the financial industry, the thing we must plan for the most is long life. … It’s a little scary,” he says of retirement. “You've worked your whole life, and now, suddenly, you're trusting in what you've saved.” 

"I'm very selective with my clients," he says. "My goal is to make my company as boutique as possible. … I love it." 

In addition to focusing on clients who are over 55, Palmer says, "I just have a huge heart for the military community." He serves many military professionals and veterans and is well-versed in Tricare, the VA, and other military retirement benefits. Palmer's father was an Army captain, and his two sons attend the US Air Force Academy. 

To register for a Social Security workshop, visit


“Most people don’t use Social Security as part of their portfolio. We see Social Security as a huge part of their asset and retirement plans.” -Scott Palmer