‘Money Magic’ author Laurence Kotlikoff shares his provocative views about retirement, Social Security, mortgages and more
Laurence Kotlikoff, the provocative Boston University economics professor and Social Security expert, has written an excellent new book, “Money Magic: An Economist’s Secrets to More Money, Less Risk, and a Better Life.” In it, he offers counterintuitive and surprising personal finance tips regardless of your age.
You’ll want to hear them.
I had to smile at some of what Kotlikoff expounds on because they’re often thought, but rarely verbalized.
Take this nugget: “Marrying for money may sound crass,” he writes. “But it’s one of the oldest financial practices. For most of us, love transcends money. But we humans have the capacity to fall in love with lots of people. And there’s no shame in targeting your swooning on someone who can provide you with a higher living standard. The bottom line: If you’re going shopping for a partner or a spouse, you might as well shop for someone who is earning a lot more than you.”
Laurence Kotlikoff’s ‘Money Magic’ Views
He’s not being playful. That’s not his style. He’s serious. In fact, it’s exactly because Kotlikoff’s views are worth hearing that Next Avenue named him a 2015 Influencer In Aging and why the site has republished pieces he wrote for “PBS NewsHour.”
In his new book — his 20th— Kotlikoff digs into how to maximize Social Security benefits, why mortgages are “not your friend” and why he’s a fan of Treasury bonds and Treasury bond funds whose returns are tied to inflation known as TIPs. But maybe his two most important pieces of advice: tie your financial plans to our longer lives and don’t retire too early.
Let’s just say this onetime presidential candidate (it’s true; a write-in) is a bit of a rabblerouser when it comes to conventional financial advice. For example, he urges retirees to tap their Individual Retirement Account (IRA) first and Social Security second and to cash out their IRAs to pay off their mortgages.
Who says that?!
And Kotlikoff had my total attention when I read his take on managing careers for the long run, which can be summarized in three words: Don’t be complacent.