Ultimate Guide to Social Security Offices in Tennessee

Ultimate Guide to Social Security Offices in Tennessee

Signing up for Social Security benefits is one of the most important financial decisions Tennessee residents will ever make.  This decision affects EVERYTHING!

I have a ton of information about Social Security here too.

Lifestyle

It affects your ability to maintain a certain lifestyle. It affects your surviving spouses ability to maintain a certain lifestyle. It affects your children’s ability to maintain a certain lifestyle.

Taxes

It affects the taxes you pay…today and for decades to come.

It affects the taxes your surviving spouse will pay.

It affects the taxes your CHILDREN will pay if you plan on leaving any kind of inheritance.

Medicare Premiums

It affects the premiums you pay on your Medicare Part B and Part D.

The more taxable income you have, the higher the Medicare Premiums you pay.  And unfortunately, we’re not just talking a couple bucks here.  We’re talking potential increases in Medicare premiums of 400%!

Mental Health

Lastly, when you take Social Security affects your mental health too.  Being squeezed financially in retirement does wonders for your nerves.  The thing with Social Security, and retirement planning in general, is there is NO DO OVER!

You can’t say in a few years, “Oh man, I made a huge mistake. Let’s go back and start again.” Doesn’t work like that.

Imperative to Get This Right!

Thus, it’s critically important to get this right. You must take the time to research your options, understand those options, identify the likelihood of where you’ll be financially in 5, 10, 20 years and beyond and then, and ONLY THEN, take action.

But taking action is not simply going on a website, entering some basic data and then VOILA!, out comes your benefit amount. Taking action means going into the office and actually talking to a professional and allowing them to run your numbers.

Things to Consider

Were you married for more than ten years and now are divorced?

Are you a widow?

How long were you married before your spouse died?

Do you have children under the age of 18?

Do you intend to work while receiving benefits?

What’s the benefit of your higher income earning spouse deferring benefits?

What’s the benefit of your lower income earning spouse taking early benefits?

What happens to your benefit when you die?

What happens to your benefit when your spouse dies?

What if you need to go into an Assisted Living Facility?

These are just some of the questions you need to ask, and have answered, when it comes to your Social Security decision.

Can you get these questions answered online, with some calculator?  Maybe.  Should you?  NO!  Seek professional assistance with the folks at your local office who do this daily.  They know the ins and outs of the program more than you ever will by reading some information on a website.

Are ALL the pros at the Social Security office smart, knowledgeable and friendly? Of course not. In all environments there will be people who underwhelm you.  Guess what? If you happen to deal with a representative who didn’t satisfy you, then find someone else. Go on a different day. Shoot, go to a different office

You OWN the Social Security Administration

This is YOUR benefit, paid for by YOUR taxes.  This is YOUR Social Security Administration, paid for by YOUR taxes  You employ these people. Absolutely nothing wrong with wanting the correct answers to an issue that will affect you for the rest of your life.

Oh, just as a reminder Social Security is an issue that has lived with you the entirety of your working career. Remember that line item on your paycheck called FICA? Yeah, that’s you and the Social Security Administration being friends.  And you’ve been their friend since you started working, probably many, many years ago.

Put the SSA to Good Use

So, to close this up. I’ve been in financial planning for 20 years.  The number one piece of advice I can give to anyone and everyone who is thinking of taking their Social Security benefits is to set an appointment with their local office.

I have yet to have any client of mine come back to me and say that appointment was a waste of time.  In fact, just the opposite happens. I’ve had MULTIPLE clients get more benefits than they anticipated because of strategies the SSA rep explained to them that the client was unfamiliar with.

As a professional financial planner don’t I know of these strategies too? Yes…and no. I know general information, as do most, qualified financial planners. But no one, other than the folks at the SSA, and yourself, will know the specifics that affect you.  Even the statement you get may not give the accurate information you need.

Don’t believe me? Ask anyone who understands the Government Pension Offset (GPO).  What did their statement say in relation to the actual check they received???

Remember, This is YOUR Money at Stake

As a taxpaying American, this is YOUR money after all. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to leaving money on the table.  Will you get more than you expect? I have no clue. But it’s certainly worth your time to go down there and talk with a representative to crunch your numbers.  That’s what you’ve paid them to do for all these years you’ve worked and paying taxes.

 

Social Security Offices in Tennessee

I’ve compiled a list of all the offices in Georgia based on the SSA website.  I’ve listed these in alphabetic order, with the address, phone number for you to call directly to make an appointment as well as what seems to be the least busy times for that specific office. Clicking on the name of the office will take you to the Google Maps page where you can get specific directions to that office from your location.

Most Offices Closed Wednesday Afternoon

Please be advised, most, if not ALL, SSA offices are closed Wednesday afternoon. In fact, some, like one in Blue Ridge, GA are closed ALL DAY Wednesday.

So, I highly recommend you contact your specific office about their hours of operation instead of just driving up there and dropping in.  In short, MAKE AN APPOINTMENT!

Most Offices Close at 4pm

Secondly, most, if not all, SSA offices open at 9am and close at 4pm.  What I have found is the least busy time for almost all the offices here in Georgia is before 10am and after 3pm. Not all of the offices, mind you, but most.

So, just keep that in mind if you are scheduling an appointment or do need to just “drop in” for whatever reason.

Final Notes

Remember folks, the professionals working in these offices deal with ALL types of people with ALL types of needs.  It’s like the DMV.   Some ‘customers’ in there are just going to be as rude as can be.

Don’t let that be you.  As easy as it can be to fall into disparaging government employees, please remember these are professionals and they are there to do a job for you.  You DO need them to do it right by the way.

So, word of wisdom, be courteous, even if you have to wait. You have to wait at your doctor’s office even if you have an appointment don’t you? Would you yell and scream at your doctor or say snide remarks? I certainly hope not.  After all, your doctor is examining your health which does affect your lifestyle.

Think your Social Security benefit is any different? As I said in the very first paragraph, Social Security will, not may but WILL, affect your lifestyle.  So, logically, one would want to treat the person who is helping me with this lifestyle decision with the utmost respect and courtesy.

 

My Story at the Post Office

I will never forget one time standing in line at the Post Office in Alpharetta. It was a very busy day. Only two agents taking customers.  And things were moving slowly.

Was it frustrating? Sure. But what can you do? It wasn’t like the agents were moving deliberately slowly.  It’s just various issues that had to be dealt with.

Well, a crusty old man behind me began to mumble under his breath about why does he pay taxes for this and blah, blah, blah. Soon, his mumbling was no longer under his breath and was directed to the staff.

It became rather embarrassing. I mean, yeah, we did have to wait a bit, but not more than 15 minutes or so. Certainly, this guy wasn’t going to miss his early dinner.

I felt bad for those agents though. They are just doing their job.  Can they be quicker? Probably. Is it that big a deal where you need to embarrass them though in front of people? No.  Actually, the person who looked like the biggest idiot was that guy.  I remember just looking at him and shaking my head.  A wonderful person to live with he must be.

However, at the end of the day, I did wonder if his package mistakenly found itself in the wrong pile.  Instead of being delivered to say Paris, Texas, it was sent to Paris, Maine.  Who knows?  Would the good folks at the Post Office deliberately do such a thing??? NO WAY!  But mistakes DO happen.

The moral of this story. You NEED the people at the SSA. Just work with them and don’t give them a hard time. You always attract more bees with honey than vinegar.

Social Security Offices in Tennessee:

 

Please inform me of updates, changes I should make, etc.  I’m happy to gather that info.

 

CityAddressPhone
Best Time to Visit
Athens921 Congress Pkwy N
Athens TN 37303
1-866-964-7431M,T,F > 3
Chattanooga1290 Premier Dr
Chattanooga TN 37421
1-866-964-0029T, F > 3
Clarksville119 Center Pointe Dr
Clarksville TN 37040
1-877-531-4695
M, 12 and 3, R 3, F > 1
Cleveland529 Inman Street West
Cleveland TN 37311
1-855-207-4867T 3, R 11, F >1
Columbia1885 Shady Brook St
Columbia TN 38401
1-877-876-3174Nothing reported
Cookeville1145 Perimeter Park Dr
Cookeville TN 38501
1-888-717-1528M, T, R, F >3
Dyersburg1070 Vendall Rd
Dyersburg TN 38024
1-877-480-5002Nothing reported
Gallatin637 Commons Dr
Gallatin TN 37066
1-866-964-7392M,T,R,F >3
Greeneville1618 Old Tusculum Road
Greeneville TN 37745
1-877-405-0416
F 11:3-0 -12:30 and > 3
Jacksboro140 Sharp Perkins Rd
Jacksboro TN 37757
1-866-964-7324
M 9,>3,T >3 R 9,>3 F 9-11:30 >3
Jackson415 Cheyenne Dr
Jackson TN 38305
1-888-383-1593M >3, F 9,>3
Johnson City818 Sunset Drive
Johnson City TN 37604
1-866-964-5059M>3
Kingsport2401 South Wilcox Dr
Kingsport TN 37660
1-888-487-0161M >3, F 12, >3
Knoxville8530 Kingston Pike
Knoxville TN 37919
1-866-331-9091
A busy office. Make an appt!
Lawrenceburg109 E. Taylor Street
Lawrenceburg TN 38464
1-877-405-5866
M 9,1 T >3, T >3, R >3
Madison140 Cude Lane
Madison TN 37115
1-866-964-6302F>2:30
Mcminnville900 Sparta St
Mcminnville TN 37110
1-877-616-2515M and F >3
Memphis3602 Austin Peay Hwy
Memphis TN 38128
1-855-420-8557
Best Bet is After 3
Memphis1330 Monroe Avenue
Memphis TN 38104
1-866-336-2212M>3, R>3, F>12
Memphis3461 South Third St
Memphis TN 38109
1-855-782-9155R > 3, F>2
Morristown3112 Millers Point Dr
Morristown TN 37813
1-866-875-6156
M, R, F >3, T < 12, W >11
Murfreesboro2836 Saint Patrick Ct
Murfreesboro TN 37128
1-866-593-3112T > 3
Nashville120 Athens Way
Nashville TN 37228
1-877-808-5461M > 3
Oak Ridge565 Oak Ridge Tpke
Oak Ridge TN 37830
1-888-676-2954M > 3
Paris186 Commerce St
Paris TN 38242
1-866-698-2507Nothing reported
Selmer661 Mulberry Ave
Selmer TN 38375
1-888-397-4814
M > 2, T,R >3, F > noon
Tullahoma717 Kings Lane
Tullahoma TN 37388
1-866-635-0647M, T, F > 3
Union City1800 Old Troy Rd
Union City TN 38261
1-877-401-5904
M,T >3, R,<9:30, >3 All F

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