MaxiFi Planner is Economic Security Planner's next generation software built on the famed ESPlanner platform. Here's what the press has to say about our software.


60 Minutes
60 Minutes — Newsmakers How Social Security's overpayment mistakes can become your responsibility
An Economist’s Secrets to More Money, Less Risk, and a Better Life

For centuries, economists have worked toward solving personal financial problems of households. But how exactly can the concepts of economics be applied to financial planning?

Economics-Based vs Conventional Financial Planning

An enormous gulf separates conventional and economics-based financial planning. I am going to briefly lay out the differences.

There’s a Better Way to Measure Economic Inequality

Differences in wealth and differences in income are the wrong ways to measure economic inequality, and going by either of them “dramatically overstates” the degree of inequality in the United States, a working paper argues.

Think Advisor
Kotlikoff: Advisors Do Retirement Planning All Wrong

“Advisors are systematically telling clients the wrong thing about retirement planning because they’re trying to maximize their profits,” he argues in an interview with ThinkAdvisor.

Stocks Are Great for the Very Young — and the Very Old

For most people, Kotlikoff argues, the ideal path for allocation to stocks is high when they’re young, low in the years just before and after retirement and then higher again in the last stage of retirement.

Smart Money Advice From a Personal Finance Iconoclast

'Money Magic' author Laurence Kotlikoff shares his provocative views about retirement, Social Security, mortgages and more

Answers to Your Questions on When to Start Collecting Social Security

... many researchers say reversing the order — living on retirement savings in the early years and holding off on collecting benefits — is likely to increase monthly income over a lifetime.

Yahoo Finance
This Social Security move 'can alleviate, if not eliminate' the retirement crisis

“They think they're going to make a killing in the market one day,” he said. “That's largely Wall Street convincing them that they need to leave it in there and the reward will come. It might. But you certainly can’t count on the kind of return you get in Social Security checks for the rest of your life if you have the planning and patience to wait.”

Think Advisor
Don't Let Social Security Dupe Your Clients Into Claiming Early

Typical workers’ lifetime spending could increase by 10.4% if they simply waited until age 70 to start Social Security benefits. But, according to a new study, “How Much Lifetime Social Security Benefits Are Americans Leaving on the Table?” only 10.2% of Americans do so. This means a median loss of “lifetime discretionary spending of $182,370.”

My Money Blog
Money Magic: 5 Levers To Boost Your Safe Retirement Income

Laurence Kotlikoff has another good example of pulling certain levers involving a couple that comes to him with their proposed retirement plan.

When Should JG Mullaney Retire?

When the objective is well defined by the household and the characteristics of the household are known, life-cycle theory offers the foundation for the best solution. In other words, the optimal standard of living is the objective, and the magnitude of savings is dictated by household inputs to that goal.

Your World Your Money
Money Magic Podcast

An Economist’s Look Into Personal Finance

Yahoo Money
Here's how the self-employed can save on taxes and help their retirement

One of the toughest things to do when you’re self-employed or running your own business is to save for retirement.

Why people end up collecting Social Security benefits too early

Figuring out when to collect your Social Security benefits is a personal decision. You’ll want to account for factors like your current health status, spouse and additional sources of retirement income.

Does More Education Make Sense?
Personal Finance Economics

More importantly, the Preston case study serves to motivate how to better think about the education decision in the spirit of Personal Finance Economics.

Four Tools

MaxiFi Planner is a fee-based Social Security tool developed by economist Laurence Kotlikoff. The software focuses on helping retirees smooth consumption over time. In other words, it creates a plan for retirees that allows them to have a standard of living that stays constant once they’re done working.

To Get the Most From Social Security, Log On

A variety of online tools can guide retirees looking to make the most of this benefit — which many older Americans depend on.

BU Today
BU Economist on College Rankings, Student Loans, and “Shacking Up” with Mom

In his new book, Money Magic: An Economist’s Secrets to More Money, Less Risk, and a Better Life, Laurence Kotlikoff says everything financial planners tell you is wrong

Simplify Your Retirement
Podcast Part Two: Money Magic

In this episode, Stephen Stricklin continues his conversation with Laurence Kotlikoff, a Professor of Economics at Boston University and best-selling author. They cover several more details about Laurence’s new book, “Money Magic: An Economist’s Secrets to More Money, Less Risk, and a Better Life”.

Simplify Your Retirement
Podcast Part One: Money Magic

In part one of this two-part interview, Stephen Stricklin is joined by Laurence Kotlikoff, a Professor of Economics at Boston University and a best-selling author. They discuss Kotlikoff’s brand-new book, “Money Magic: An Economist’s Secrets to More Money, Less Risk, and a Better Life”.

Book Club

This week, I read a provocative new book by Kotlikoff called, “Money Magic: An Economist’s Secrets to More Money, Less Risk, and a Better Life.”

Money Magic

If you’re going to read just one financial book this year, read Money Magic by well-known economist Laurence Kotlikoff, who also co-authored the definitive book on Social Security, “Get What’s Yours.” Kotlikoff has the extraordinary ability to make complicated money matters understandable – and to debunk the lures of Wall Street and the financial planning community.

Study: Many Missing Hefty Social Security Benefits

The National Bureau of Economic Research study found that Social Security beneficiaries are missing out on receiving nearly $200,000 by claiming too early.

Americans Are Paying a Hidden Tax

If inflation doesn’t drop back to where it was before the pandemic, nearly every American—rich or poor—will see their spending power diminished, a new working paper finds.

The 63-Year Old Divorcee

The need for financial planning guidance is vast, not limited to wealthy or high-income households. Colorado represents the many in the middle of the income distribution.

60 Minutes
How Social Security's overpayment mistakes can become your responsibility

Each month, about 71 million Americans - retirees, disabled workers and others – receive checks from Social Security. But each year, about a million people get something else in the mail – a bill. They're told they owe the government money, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars, because the Social Security Administration miscalculated their benefits and paid them too much.

Bottom Line
Go Rogue! Using Unconventional Wisdom to Guide Your Financial Decisions

Top economist and Wall Street gadfly Laurence J. Kotlikoff, PhD, believes that the way most of us go about planning our finances is all wrong.

Personal Finance Economics
Social Security at Risk

Principles of economics-based financial planning provide an answer. Any change in taxes and benefits can be modeled and the effect, while measurable, is sensitive to the age and financial characteristics of the individual and the household.

Wall Street Journal
Fear Over Social Security’s Future Leads Some to Claim Retirement Benefits Early

Filing for benefits before full retirement age is a gamble, say economists and financial advisers

The Street
Take Your Job and Shove It Should you keep working or retire early?

Let’s start with regret. Kotlikoff worries that people will regret retiring early and then coming up a few dollars short. That may be a mistake. But so would working an extra decade to pad the portfolio, only to find yourself among the half of people who stop needing any money prior to average life expectancy.

The New Retirement Law Lets You Delay RMDs. That Doesn’t Mean You Should.

The Secure 2.0 Act gives savers 72 and under an extra year before you have to withdraw money from your retirement accounts. But just because you can postpone your required minimum distribution (RMD) doesn’t mean you necessarily should, financial advisors say.

Americans Give Up $182,000 By Claiming Social Security Too Early
Social Security Claiming Baffles Even Sophisticated Clients. Here's What Advisors Can Do

Even sophisticated investors tend to be under-informed and overwhelmed by the complexity of Social Security claiming and how to choose (and time) the best strategy for their situation.

Social Security Benefits Increase if You Wait to 70 to Claim

While some people would only gain a few thousand dollars by delaying until age 70, those at the high end would gain about $900,000 over the course of their retirement by waiting, according to a National Bureau of Economic Research paper by authors at Boston University and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

401k Specialist
Here's How Much Waiting Until 70 Boosts Social Security Income

A NBER study finds postponing Social Security benefits can substantially increase retirement income, yet only 10.2% delay

Barron (WI) News-Shield
Report: Vast majority of Americans should wait until 70 to collect Social Security

The majority of Americans should wait until they’re age 70 to begin collecting their Social Security benefits to maximize their monthly payments, according to a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

WISC-TV Madison
This 1 Social Security Mistake Could Cost You $182,000

There are some important decisions that you’ll have to make with respect to Social Security along the way. Some of them have big consequences. There’s one Social Security mistake that could even cost you $182,000.

Money Talks News
90% of People Should Claim Social Security at This Age

Deciding when to file for Social Security benefits can be daunting. Some choose to file early, while others believe it is a better bet to wait.

Readers Have Questions About Stocks. An Economist Replies

Lots of readers responded to my Jan. 5 newsletter discussing a new book, “Money Magic: An Economist’s Secrets to More Money."

Social Security Recipients are Missing Out on $182,000
Countdown to Retirement: A Five-Year Plan

This article reviews MaxiFi, focusing on its ability to compare an unlimited number of alternative financial plans.

When a Mortgage Is Part of Your Retirement Plan

This article discussing whether eliminating mortgage debt makes sense.

This Economist Says Most Retirement Planning Is Wrong.

Economist Laurence Kotlikoff thinks that most financial planners go about it wrong. Rather than helping clients amass wealth for a retirement-income target, the Boston University professor says the emphasis should be on smoothing and protecting spending throughout a person’s life and then saving toward that goal.

Financial Planning Tools

If you demand the deepest and most powerful financial planning engine, look no further.


Maxifi Planner is a powerful budgeting platform with future-thinking analysis tools you’d usually only get with a financial planner.

Here’s what a Biden presidential win may mean for your Social Security benefits

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s plan for Social Security includes increased benefits for low earners and more taxes for high-income individuals.

14 Best Money Management Programs

MaxiFi will also make suggestions to help improve your money plan. These changes are intended to lower your tax bill, optimize your income and help correct your current spending habits.

Bloomberg Businessweek
Reverse Mortgages Aren’t Just for People Who Are Out of Money

One recent convert is Laurence Kotlikoff, an economics professor at Boston University who’s an expert on retirement planning.

Why Larry Kotlikoff Changed His Mind on Reverse Mortgages

But others liken it to an annuity that provides free rent long after the house is paid off. This group includes economist Larry Kotlikoff, who was a guest on a recent webinar discussing reverse mortgages.

The next big question you need to answer after you decide to retire

A recent analysis from MaxiFi, a personal financial planning platform, found that the more assets a retiree couple has, the more their discretionary spending will increase in retirement by downsizing their home.

My Preferred Planning Software is MaxiFi

I rarely promote products at my blog but I know that many of my readers are do-it-yourselfers and many have expressed interest in software tools. I have a lot of confidence in MaxiFi.

Senior Finance Advisor
Exploring Financial Software: MaxiFi Planner

MaxiFi Planner is designed to help individuals and families make smarter, more accurate financial decisions. It’s a web-based app with an easy-to-use interface.

Rethink the Order of Your Retirement Account Drawdowns

Roth conversions make sense for retirees who have enough after-tax money to pay the taxes on the funds being converted. Otherwise, retirees have to pull even more money from their tax-deferred account to cover taxes.

Ignoring This Conventional Advice Could Save You on Taxes in Retirement

The analysis found that the retiree could boost his lifetime retirement income by $25,000 by tapping the tax-deferred account earlier.

Questions on Roth IRA Conversions and Taxes in Retirement, Answered

We dug into readers’ questions on Roth IRA conversions and other maneuvers to reduce your taxes in retirement.

How Social Security Pushes Poor Claiming Choices

The Social Security Administration is misleading and mistreating Americans by “running scams” and “tricking them” into making claiming choices that cheat them out of benefits to which they’re entitled, argues Laurence Kotlikoff, Boston University economics professor, in an interview with ThinkAdvisor.

Is This a Good Time to Get a Reverse Mortgage?

"It's a complicated product to get your brain around. If you couldn't come up any other option to stay in the home, then use a reverse mortgage."

New Social Security Statements

How Social Security made it easier to see what you could get, depending on when you start claiming

MaxiFi Planner Review

The software is easy to use and provides amazingly detailed financial recommendations which are supported by advanced Monte Carlo analysis. MaxiFi Planner is an outstanding resource for regular investors as well as for professional investors with a large financial planning practice.

Why You Should Wait to Claim Social Security — Even If Stocks Crash

Should I sell stocks or wait for the market to recover? Should I tap into my retirement funds now? What should I do about Social Security?

Life Cycle Economics and the Safety First Strategy

Life-cycle economics can provide guidelines for far more than retirement finance questions.

Software Review

If you have complex situations such as previous marriages, children’s benefits, disability benefits, etc., maybe the paid calculators will give you something different.

Holistic Planner for Your Financial Future

Sure, there's plenty of financial software out there that can help you establish a budget, save money for your kids' education and even live out your dream retirement. But can these apps help you calculate your highest sustainable living standard? MaxiFi Planner takes on the role of a financial planner to help you live your best life. It takes into account your entire financial picture and calculates what your retirement will look like with several scenarios

Tips for Tapping Your Retirement Savings

Tools do exist for doing it right, but a good adviser can be invaluable.

This economist thinks the US is poised for financial disaster

Professor Kotlikoff's Economic Security Plannings Inc.'s tools include MaxiFi, which works to analyze your spending, saving and insurance to make sure they match your lifestyle and level of wealth. It also looks at other ways to increase the money you take in through Social Security, annuities or retirement savings.

Keep a Lid on Social Security Taxes and Medicare Costs. Consider Roth IRA Conversions

In a Roth conversion, you move money from a tax-deferred pretax account like a traditional IRA to the tax-free after-tax account. Each dollar you convert is taxed as ordinary income on the day it moves. In essence, you’re electing to prepay taxes that wouldn’t ordinarily be due for years.

The Best Online Tools for Retirement Planning and Living

Planning for retirement? Look no further than your tablet or smartphone.

A growing array of apps and websites make it easier to complete many of the most basic—and most important—tasks, from saving money and creating legal documents to figuring out a second career and where to live.

Exploring Financial Software: MaxiFi Planner

The difference between MaxiFi Planner compared to other financial planning software is that it plans out your future retirement — it shows you what you can spend and how much you will be able to withdraw from your accounts. ... Figuring out how to maintain your current living standard for the rest of your life is a feature unique to MaxiFi. It prioritizes maintaining your standard of living and creates a plan for you based on that. A comfortable, happy retirement is the ultimate goal for millions of workers, and MaxiFi Planner can help you plan with your highest sustainable standard of living in mind.

Going it Alone with Retirement Planning Software

The best and most comprehensive retirement planning software . . . is Laurence Kotlikoff's

Build Your Financial Plan
Personal Finance Economics
Financial Planning vs. Chaos

MaxiFi Planner is a simple and elegant solution for financial advisors seeking to advise clients or for unadvised investors looking to optimize their own plan.

Social Security Is Dying Because Baby Boomers Aren’t

According to Larry Kotlikoff, four things explain my high returns. Double indexing of benefits in the early 1970s (thank you, Richard Nixon). I delayed claiming benefits until age 70, which I could afford to do but isn’t an option for many people. I will probably live longer than average, due to both genetic factors and maintaining good health (thank you, Shane!).

The Hidden Risks of Equities When Saving for Retirement

Optimization means getting the most consumption for a given amount of variability, but not eliminating variability.

The Latest In Financial Advisor #FinTech

Though ultimately, the real distinction for financial advisors is not MaxiFi’s cost-effective price point, but its potential to frame the entire financial planning conversation differently—around the long-term impact of a client’s decisions on their long-term sustainable standard of living, instead of “just” their assets.

Best Money Management Programs in 2019

MaxiFi will also make suggestions to help improve your money plan. These changes are intended to lower your tax bill, optimize your income and help correct your current spending habits.

Chicago Tribune
Terry Savage: You can’t plan a retirement without understanding longevity

One of the most sophisticated financial planning tools is based not only on mathematical factors but on economic-based decision making.

Nobel laureate Richard Thaler thinks you should be able to use your 401(k) to get a bigger Social Security check.

But there is room for a solution, Kotlikoff said. “But it has to be done carefully so Social Security doesn’t lose money,” he said.

IBD life cycle

ESPlanner's [now known as MaxiFI Planner] life-cycle smoothing determines the highest possible living standard you can maintain for the rest of your life.

For a larger Social Security check, tap your IRA first

Delaying your Social Security is one of the best ways to expand your retirement income. Your monthly check from the government will often be three-quarters larger if you claim at 70 instead of at 62, said Laurence Kotlikoff, an economics professor at Boston University and the author of " Get What's Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security ."

Morningstar Forum
MaxiFi Planner Software--Useful for Novice?

I found Kotlikoff and his software on SS very helpful, and I think I've gotten our 403b's and TIRA/RIRA's in reasonably good order, but they don't total enough to make it clear that we can live and spend as we have been doing when we are no longer earning income. So the the idea of somehow getting a picture of how to support a level of spending seems like it might be a good idea, after a life of not paying attention to finances. And I'm nowhere near being able to work out a spreadsheet on my own that takes all the moving parts into account reasonably.

Laurence Kotlikoff, author

Our President, Laurence Kotlikoff, is a Professor of Economics at Boston University. He founded Economic Security Planning, Inc. in 1993 to build economics-based financial planning tools for use by households and financial professionals. Kotlikoff is a prolific writer whose financial planning columns, including his Ask Larry blog, have appeared in a long list of leading publications. His co-authored book, "Get What's Yours -- The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security Benefits," was a NY Times Best Seller.

Media Resources

For media or speaking inquiries, please use our contact form.

Media downloads:
Company Logo
Photo of President, Laurence Kotlikoff

Getting Started is Easy

  • It’s all online—No software to download or install
  • Runs on computers, tablets, and smart phones
  • Minimal, user-friendly data entry
  • Helpful, responsive customer support
  • Safe and secure