Makin' Money

The billionaire competition

Chris Farrell Dec 9, 2010

The billionaire and multi-millionaire set has come up with a new way to keep up with the Jones’: Promise to give away their fortunes. It’s one of the better status competitions of this hyper-competitive club. Billionaire Bill Gates led the way. The latest member of the exclusive club is social media entrepreneur Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. You can see a list of members here.

This bears watching. The idea behind the 2008 Post 9/11 G.I. Bill–a good bill, too–is that veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan and military service could go to college at no cost. Yet it has turned into a bonanza for private colleges. Clearly, it’s good for the bottom line of private colleges. But what about the veterans? Are they getting value for the money and time?

I

I missed this yesterday so I’ll post it today. The Social Security do-over was too good to last. Here was the deal: If you retired early and took a reduced monthly benefit, you could change your mind, reapply, and get the bigger payments that go to those who wait to collect benefits. After filling out the paperwork you could write the government a check covering the benefits you’ve been paid, but without interest or adjusting for inflation. You would then get the higher benefit. Social Security has a proposed rule that would dramatically narrow the Social Security two-step.The proposal will restrict retirees to withdrawing their application for Social Security benefits only once during their lifetime. What’s more, they can do it within 12 months of when they began receiving benefits. That’s it.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.