Social Security's 1,728 rules, written in gobbledygook and riddled with nasty traps, are duping Americans out of retirement benefits that they've earned — in some cases, amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

So says Social Security expert Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Boston University economics professor and president of financial planning software company Economic Security Planning. He has served as consultant to the U.S. Department of Labor, Merrill Lynch and Fidelity Investments, among other institutions globally.

Kotlikoff's newest book, "Get What's Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security," is an often humorous — that's right, humorous — guide on how to triumph over Social Security's gotchas and what the professor calls a deeply flawed system, which has thousands of other rules stemming from those basic 1,728. "Danger lurks," Kotlikoff writes.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Jane Wollman Rusoff

Jane Wollman Rusoff is a ThinkAdvisor contributing editor specializing in interviews with thought leaders. She has written for ThinkAdvisor since its inception and was a contributing editor to Research magazine, a predecessor to ThinkAdvisor, starting in 1992.

Jane has received two AZBEE Awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors. She has contributed articles to The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and Esquire, among numerous other publications.

Jane has written or co-authored five books, including three written with “Tonight” show creator Steve Allen. Jane was a staff editor with London Express Features and Billboard’s Merchandising Magazine. She has interviewed and profiled thousands of entertainment personalities, including Ray Charles, George Clooney, Angelina Jolie and Meryl Streep.

Jane is the founder of