Can you really earn $6,880 from a “little-known Social Security contract?”

Checking out a teaser pitch from Lifetime Income Report

This is the part of Zachary Scheidt’s recent ad that really caught my eye… and, no doubt, the eyes of many Gumshoe readers:

“FOR A TOTAL OF $6,880”

That’s a pretty perfectly headlined ad — it plays on the worst fears of near-retirees, who are already busily trying to wade through the Byzantine rules and regulations regarding Social Security and keep whispering under their breath, “oh my, that’s not going to be enough money… what can I do?”

Americans as a whole are, as you’ve no doubt seen in countless news reports, horrifically unprepared for “do it yourself” retirement — so Social Security stands out as a beacon of hope, despite the meager size of the checks in comparison to what one might hope for.

That means income-focused newsletters often play on the “Social Security” name as they try to peddle their wares, trying to give folks some false hope that there’s a top-secret way to do better but still using the comfort of that familiar name — whether it’s the old teaser pitch that got so much attention by promising to let you “piggyback” on Canadian social security, or, in this case, a “little known Social Security Contract” that can boost your income.

So… what the heck is Zachary Scheidt talking about? Well, he’ll tell you… for $79/year if you sign up for his Lifetime Income Report newsletter… but here at Stock Gumshoe we believe in figuring out the “secret” and uncovering the mystery first. Don’t subscribe to a newsletter just to learn what their hyped-up marketing spiel really means, you’ll probably just be mad and embarrassed and you’ll risk blustering through and buying whatever the investment might be, whether you like it or not, just so you don’t have to kick yourself. So we can get rid of that bit and let you know what Scheidt is really talking about first.

So what are the clues we get about this?

Well, as the lawyers no doubt will have insisted, they do have the disclaimer at the top that “this is not affiliated with the U.S. Social Security trust fund in any way — nor is it managed, subsidized or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any other government agency.” So that’s good, but there are a few other clues along the way.

First, it’s a quarterly payout of some kind — and it’s related to a contract, which they show a heavily redacted image of in tiny print, between Social Security and the private sector:

“… a contract just like this one helped me uncover an arrangement between the Social Security Administration and the private sector…

“One that allows any American citizen to receive FOUR deposits in 2017…

“Four more deposits in 2018…

“Four more in 2019…</