Ask Larry

What are your Social Security questions? Ask Professor Larry Kotlikoff and the experts at Maximize My Social Security

Ask Larry

My weekly Ask Larry column ran for almost four years at PBS NewsHours' site. We've now moved Ask Larry to the best place to both answer your general questions and let you calculate your particular optimal benefit collection strategy.

We pledge to answer as many questions as possible in the columns below. Please share Ask Larry on social media and consider purchasing our Maximize My Social Security program, which will show you precisely how to get everything you paid for. All my best, Larry.

Picture of Professor Laurence Kotlikoff
Laurence "Larry" Kotlikoff, Professor of Economics, Boston University, and President of Economic Security Planning, Inc., makers of Maximize My Social Security

Latest Questions and Answers

Will My Husband's Military And Social Security Benefits Affect My Eligibility For SSI?

Will my husband's military retirement and military disability affect Mt eligibilty for ssi? My husband is planning to apply for his ssdi, will that also affect My eligibilty for ssi?

Hi. My answer assumes that by SSI you're referring to Supplemental Security Income, not Social Security benefits. Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is a needs based benefit administered by the Social Security Administration.

In that case, then assuming that you reside with your husband then any any benefits that he receives may affect either your eligibility for . . . Read More

Category: Supplemental Security Income
Posted: Nov 25 2022 - 1:46pm

Can You Confirm That My Plan Is Valid?

Can you confirm that my plan is valid: My wife earned a lot less than me over our lifetimes, so my plan is for her to claim HER benefit at 62 while I continue to work. Then when I claim at either 67 or later, she will step up to a spousal benefit of 1/2 mine. But I don't see any downside to her taking HER benefit for those 5 years+ until I claim mine. Correct?

Hi. No, your wife can't file for her own benefits at age 62 and then simply switch from her own benefits to spousal benefits when you file for your benefits. Your wife can file for reduced benefits . . . Read More

Category: Filing Strategies
Posted: Nov 25 2022 - 1:12pm

If My Wife Applies For SSDI Now Will It Reduce Later SS Benefits For Her Or Me?

I am 67, retired, and planning to start SS retirement benefits (substantial) when I turn 70 in January 2025 (per your book and MaxiFi). My wife is 63 and will qualify for her own small SS retirement benefits plus spousal benefits. BUT: she was just diagnosed with ALS. I believe that she can apply now for SSDI benefits, which may be automatic, and that she can then get Medicare, which will help enormously. My question: if she does this (apply for SSDI now), will that goof up or reduce later SS benefits for her or for me? Maybe MaxiFi can answer this, but I haven’t figured that . . . Read More

Category: Disability Benefits
Posted: Nov 24 2022 - 12:38pm
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