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

Does Social Security Pay Up To 6 Months Of Retroactive Benefits If A Person Files Late?

I am doing annual Roth conversions, but staying within my current 22% tax bracket, before I turn 70 (July 2023), about which time I plan to claim SS benefits. If I don't do these conversions, I will be in a higher tax bracket when I start taking RMDs at 72 (I have a pension now + Soc. Sec. @ 70 + a higher RMD @ 72, which will put me permanently in 24% bracket). Does Soc. Sec. pay up to 6 months retroactive benefits if a person files late? My thinking is I delay filing until January 2024, so that I have the entire 2023 tax year with just my pension for income, which means I can . . . Read More

Category: Filing For Benefits
Posted: Jul 2 2022 - 10:49am

How Is It Possible For Me To Have Medicare Coverage At Age 60?

I'm receiving widow benefits. I am only 60 yrs old and social security said I can receive Medicare. How is that possible, if you have to be 65 years of age...thank you

Hi. The only way that a person can get Medicare coverage prior to age 65 is if they are receiving some type of disability benefit from Social Security (i.e. Social Security disability (SSDI), Disabled Widows Benefits (DWB), or Disabled Adult Child (DAC)), or if they have end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Therefore, I assume you meet one of those alternatives to the age 65 requirement for . . . Read More

Category: Medicare
Posted: Jul 2 2022 - 10:36am

Can My Sister Take Her Deceased Husband's Benefit Now And Still Change Over To Her Own Social Security Later?

I purchased your book a couple ofyears ago: Get What's Yours serveral years ago. My sister lost her husband and I wanted to know if she can still take his benefit now and still change over to her social security when she turns 66.5.
Thank you

Hi Jack. As long as your sister is at least age 60, or at least age 50 and disabled, then the answer is basically yes. She couldn't actually receive her husband's actual benefits, but she could potentially qualify for widow's benefits. However, if your sister is working, the Social Security earnings . . . Read More

Category: Filing Options
Posted: Jun 30 2022 - 4:06pm
MaxiFi software running on a laptop
Get What's Yours!
Discover tens of thousands in extra retirement dollars with Maximize My Social Security software!
  • Find your maximized strategy
  • Unlimited what-ifs
  • Step-by-Step filing instructions
  • Our software's lifetime-benefit increase for an illustrative couple earning $65K each and planning to take retirement benefits at 62.

    Results will differ based on your specific case and filing strategy.

Getting Started is Easy
Web-based software. Works on ALL browsers. No download.