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 I Collect My Husband's Full Amount If I Start Drawing Widow's Benefits At Age 60?

My Husband passed away in Sept of last year he was collecting Disability , i will be 60 in Dec of this year i am going to apply for survivor benefits in Sept , my question to you is will i collect his full amount or is it a reduced rate and am i entitled to the Cola increases every year .

Hi. I'm sorry for your loss. No, if you start drawing widow's benefits at age 60, your widow's benefit rate will be reduced for age. When taken at age 60, widow's benefits are paid at 71.5% of the deceased spouse's primary insurance amount (PIA). A person's PIA is equal . . . Read More

Category: Widow's Benefits
Posted: Aug 13 2022 - 10:33am

Will Starting My Benefits In December Vs. January Make A Difference In Whether Or Not I Receive The Upcoming COLA?

I’m 62 and starting Social Security in either December 2022 or January 2023. Will it make a difference in the COLA starting in December versus January.

Hi. No. All Social Security cost of living (COLA) increases that occur after a person turns age 62 are added to their Social Security retirement benefit rate regardless of whether or not they are drawing benefits.

What drawing your benefits at age 62 will do is cause you to receive your lowest possible monthly benefit rate. If your full retirement age (FRA) is 67 and if you start drawing your . . . Read More

Category: Cost Of Living Increases
Posted: Aug 12 2022 - 3:45pm

Which Month Should I Choose To Start My Benefits?

I know you probably have answered this question a million times. My birthdate is September 7., 1952. On Social security application it asks for benefit start date. Should it be October or November? Thanks.

Hi. I assume you want to start your benefits effective at age 70, in which case you want to choose September 2022. Your first payment will then be due in October. Your benefit rate won't be any higher if you choose October or November instead of September, so you would just be losing a month or two of benefits if you did that.

Best, Jerry

Category: Retirement Benefits
Posted: Aug 12 2022 - 12:27pm
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