Laurence's Recent Stories
Nation Jun 15New survey confirms no one understands Social Security. Do you?
MassMutual's recent survey on Americans' Social Security knowledge show that most people are clueless when it comes to collecting Social Security. It also showed that MassMutual, itself, doesn't have a full grasp on the system.
Nation Jun 11How to save Greece: Turn its banks into mutual fund companies
Einstein defined insanity as repeating the same thing and expecting different results. So why then, asks economist Laurence Kotlikoff, doesn't Germany, the European Central Bank, and the IMF take a different approach to Greece's debt?…
Nation Jun 08Can you collect your late spouse’s Social Security and still work?
Trying to understand how to maximize your Social Security can be a confusing process, but it doesn't have to be. Ask Larry your questions.
Nation Jun 0125 examples of why you can’t trust what Social Security says
I receive emails virtually every day from people who have been misled or misinformed, sometimes terribly, by Social Security. This generally involves particular staffers at Social Security telling people to do things they shouldn't do, telling them they can’t collect…
Economy May 26What Social Security has yet to get right: It’s your maximum age of life that matters
Social Security is an insurance company. It's taking money from us and promising insurance benefits in exchange. But insurance companies don't go out of their way to encourage people to ignore risks and focus on average outcomes.
Economy May 18A cautionary tale about taking retroactive Social Security benefits
The more I talk to people, the more I understand how easy it is to make major mistakes in taking Social Security benefits if you don't know exactly what you're doing or, equally important, don't know exactly what Social Security…
Economy May 11Playing God with Social Security fairness
Our fiscal system, in general, and Social Security, in particular, is an incredibly complex maze of entangled provisions, most of which were put into place in piecemeal fashion over the years. Saying that provision X is unfair because it benefits…
Economy May 0410 tricks to raise your retirement living standard
Every question in personal finance begins and ends with our living standard. Here are 10 magic tricks that produce the equivalent of a couple finding hundreds of thousands of dollars on the street.
Economy Apr 2720 reasons why I think Social Security is sexist
Times have changed, but Social Security has not. Women are still earning less than men, on average, and the system’s rules are, as a result, effectively sexist despite their nominal sex neutrality. …
Economy Apr 21How do grandkids fit into the Social Security formula?
Grandchildren are only eligible to collect benefits on grandparents' work records if they are adopted or if both of their natural parents are deceased or disabled.