Paying it Forward: Marketwatch Picks Up
the Social Security Payback Story

One of the first things I do every day is check for the morning's financial news. Today, MarketWatch picked up the story of paying back social security with an article entitled Paying it Forward: Little-known rule lets you restart Social Security and collect more each month. I imagine that with over 50% of "Age 62-ers" currently opting to begin benefits early, and with the increasing trend toward "encore careers," that there will be many more such articles, and the payback rule won't be so "little known."

There isn't too much that's factually new in this article but here are some quotable quotes:

"Paying back your benefits and then restarting at a later age can mean a 'potentially huge increase in your living standard,' said Laurence Kotlikoff, an economist at Boston University."
"Social Security beneficiaries 'should definitely look into it because the increases you get by delaying are so substantial and they are guaranteed,' Fahlund said. Plus, she said, Social Security's annual cost-of-living adjustment works in your favor at a higher monthly benefit."
... and here's my favorite ...

" 'People don't necessarily get where the risk is here," Kotlikoff said. 'When you're dead, you're not going to feel bad because you left money on the table. It's only when you're alive that you've got to care about it.' Running out of money before you die is the biggest risk, he said."
So if I haven't convinced you with all my other ranting and nagging, you may want to head over to and check it out. It's one of my "Platinum WebSites," as listed in the right hand column, so I'm sure you go there all the time, right? Seriously, Marketwatch is a great financial web site and their articles are very good.

They also have a huge readership so this article got a lot of comments, over thirty so far. And they are revealing a lot of the misconceptions people have about social security in general and the issue of when to begin taking benefits in particular. So in my next blog I plan to share a sampling of the idiotic, um, I mean, misguided, but sadly common misconceptions that are out there. :-) Bob


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