Good point, but conditional on reaching 60, survival probabilities are not so different between men and women. I'm not claiming that the entire system is underpaying women. I'm saying that there are a lot of specific sexist provisions that impact a large number of women (and sometimes men) in particular circumstances. best and thanks, Larry

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I hate that those already on SSD cannot collect their spouses benefits without totally reapplying for SSD unless age 60. They make us go through it all again, and then deny the spousal portion

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That's simply outrageous. How terrible. Is there a POMS reference to this requirement?

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When you call to get spouses benefits and are also on social security, they call you back and ask an hour or more of questions again, and send you to their doctor, and then send you determination. Was sent one and it said I did not qualify for my spouses benefits, yet I stayed on mine. It makes zero sense. They changed the law just before I was gonna get his. Was married 27 years and his only spouse.

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Hi Shay, Let's discuss. Pls call me at 617 834-2148. Next Tuesday or thereafter. best, Larry

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Will do :)

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Jun 16, 2022·edited Jun 16, 2022

Larry, One big factor against men is that their lifespans are significantly shorter than women's, so women receive benefits for several years longer than men while contributing less. How much does this anti-men factor offset the anti-women factors you mentioned?

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# 2 is not true. Child-in-care benefits are not dependent on age.

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Most adults are in families. If you prefer to view women as individuals instead of members of family units, then Social Security on net favors women. Years ago SS Commisioner Roberty Ball testified to Congress that if you were to set up separate systems for women and men, the women's benefits would decline. No doubt women's higher earnings and the progressively of SS benefits.

However, it makes more sense to consider fairness to families. We can distinguish the traditional "one-earner" family from the increasingly common "two-earner family". The former usually involves mom sacrificing earnings to spend more time rearing children. This is clearly a choice, but one that research supports as benefiting children. Congress has chosen to support this choice with the design of Social Security. The "earnings sharing" change that you seem to support would favor two-earner families (who are also higher income families, on average) over one-earner families where one parent stays home to rear the kids. This was considered 20 or 30 years ago by Congress and when conservative women's groups pointed out their opposition to a policy change that would favor the higher income two-earner families, the proposal for earnings sharing was rejected.

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Michael, See what you think of the SS reform in this book:


best, Larry

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Jun 18, 2022Liked by Larry Kotlikoff

Larry, My late wife, Judith Finn, worked with Phyliss Schlafly, and testified in Congress on behalf of her organization, Eagle Forum, to defeat an earnings sharing proposal and preserve the "spouse benefit". They argued that the social benefit of stay-at-home moms made this feature worth preserving. The women they were representing are generally conservative in the traditional sense and also generally favor smaller govt. I read your SS replacement proposal. I like it and I don't think it would be opposed by most conservative women. One danger I see with your Personal Accounts is the expressed need to subsidize the contributions of low earners. There would be a line of lobbyists for special interests seeking subsidy as well.

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PS, I would separately reform the spousal and widow benefit parts of the program.

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SS is almost broke -- is broke. How much faster would theses changes make that happen? What is the approx cost of these changes you suggest? How high would your SS contribution have to be to cover these changes?

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Fred, Fixing SS long-term finances requires far larger changes, which I discuss in my free book -- You're Hired, which you can download at kotlikoff.net. best, Larry

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I agree,

I also, have a issue with Social Security… My Husband worked 35, yrs as a Machinest..

He had to to take Early SSDI for being disabled ( His back finally, gave out)

I am disabled, per SSI.. and was approved on My first attempt, at finally deciding to apply

( I was in DENIAL)

I am Schitzoaffective with major Bipolar One & OCD…

I personally, received no benefits…before,the above..

My Husband, receives $1700) after Medicare, takes a cut.

We are in this position,

We make too much, to received Food Stamps, or I Medicaid..


For, less than $150…a month, from cut off amount.

To get all My meds… I am on a sliding scale, for the mental Health clinic…

I take EXTREMELY expensive meds… $1100, for 30… $1200 for another(30)plus 5 others, less expensive…. The manufacturers, has given Me approval, (graciously) and have let Me have their meds free of charge…

( They must have read My file):)

I truly thank Them…

It is Sad to say, if, They didn’t…

I would be walking around, stone cold crazy….not violent… just, a mess.

Getting back to my point…

We are penalized for being married… after 3, months of getting assistance, I was terminated and had to pay back $733 to SSI… because, My Husband was approved that month..

If, I were single… I would get all the help I needed… but, because I am married, we are forced to do without, things Some take for granted…

I Don’t think this a rule… that aids the extensively documented disabled.

I would have to divorce my Husband… ( not living together one year)

also, 2 yrs after that… I would be able to get assistance…

I have not ever received ANY ASSISTANCE… in My whole life…other than The 3, months above….

I have been this way, My entire life, it was My normal… I had no idea, I was acting strange….


was Our TOTAL and ONLY income…at that time…

My Husband had none. He as still trying to be approved, to take early retirement benefits due to being physically, disabled…

My Husband, made $35 an hr for 20, of His 35, yrs….$27 an hour for 15…of those years.

He was Filing SINGLE…. ( we were not married) he worked about 55 hours a week…

I happen to look at His taxes, withheld…one day.

Over $800….paid….in One week

Over 35, years… He has help to support at least 5 families… plus His own…. By the taxes He paid.

I think, this system promotes, being unmarried compared to matrimony…it should have nothing to do with His income… UNLESS, He was able to hold a job…Then I would understand.

We live off of $1700 a month….

If, They would have not penalized Us…

We might not have to struggle as hard…to eat… buy gas… fix Our Car… etc..

Things, many take for granted…

He is 62, I am 58, in October…

I cannot KEEP a JOB … I will get nervous… and talk and write things backwards( medicated) forget how to do tasks…I’ve done for a year….jump from one subject to the next, whatever, pops in my head, at the moment..lt just, doesn’t work out.

I have physical health issues, as well….I won’t bore You ,anymore than I have…

My Point~

They need to help those that are not trying to beat the system, but are up in age… and need a little extra help…I’m not complaining, per say, just perplexed, by the reasoning of this law.


We don’t even make enough, to be required to pay Federal Taxes…and that’s gross…income..

See, There is a problem, with this…

Thanks, for reading, my blabbering.:)

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Thank you so much for sending this. Our country treats people in real need so terribly, it's just a disgrace.

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