New Book: Up To 98 Percent Of Retirees Are Getting Less Than They Should Be Getting From Social Security

Get What's Yours


DALLAS, TX, April 27, 2015 – If you are over 70 year of age, odds are your Social Security check is not as large as it could have been. But if you are younger than 70, there is still time to do what most Americans don’t do: get the maximum benefit the law allows.

Help is on the way. In a new book, Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security, Goodman Institute Senior Fellow Laurence Kotlikoff and co-authors Philip Moeller and Paul Solman identify just about every mistake you are likely to make and tell you how to avoid them.

In a review of the book at Forbes, Goodman Institute president John Goodman says:

  • The vast majority of people would be better off if they delay claiming their retirement benefit until age 70; yet less than 2 percent of retirees do that.
  • A benefit claimed at age 70 will be 76 percent greater than a benefit claimed at age 62.
  • Between 66 and 70 the retirement benefit grows by 8 percent in real terms for each year of delay.

Of the 8 percent increase, about 5 percent is an adjustment for mortality (the older you are, the fewer remaining years of life). But the other 3 percent is an inflation adjusted real rate of return. “Where else these days can you get a risk-free, real rate of return of 3 percent?” Goodman asks.

Here is something couples need to know. Suppose you and your spouse are age 66. In most cases, the optimal decision here is for one of you to file for retirement, but then suspend its collection (so that the benefit grows by 8 percent per year for the next four years). Then the other spouse can file for spousal benefits for the next four years and choose to draw a spousal benefit or a retirement benefit in their own right thereafter.

Here is a bad news gotcha: If you are entitled to two benefits (say spousal and retirement) you can only have one of them at any one time. If you are not careful, you may lose thousands of dollars. And “If you are not careful, odds are the Social Security employee processing you won’t be careful either,” says Goodman.

One study estimates that Americans are losing $10.6 billion a year by failing to make the right choices on decisions like this.

About John C. Goodman

Dr. Goodman, an author, health economist, and Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute is considered the “Father of Health Savings Accounts” and serves as president of the Goodman Institute, a think tank that focuses on the areas of health care, taxes and entitlement reform. Goodman served as the founder and president of the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) for 31 years, and regularly appears on television and radio news programs, including those on the Fox News Channel, CNN, PBS, Fox Business Network and CNBC. His articles appear in The Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, USA Today, Forbes, National Review, Health Affairs, Kaiser Health News and other national publications. Currently Goodman is working with members of Congress on an alternative to ObamaCare. Visit

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