Landscapeinsight- People have come to the United States from all over the world because of the appeal of the American dream.

But, in an interesting turn of events, some Americans are now going abroad to try to make money and find a different way of life and new adventures.

Retirees’ Pursuit of Financial Stability Beyond Borders

This is a very common goal for retirees, who often think about the appeal of traveling abroad, getting cheap medical care, and living in a cheaper place.

However, amidst the joy, a persistent fear remains: Will their leaving the country mean that they lose their Social Security benefits? Luckily, the answer gives many people peace of mind.

Based on information from the US Department of State in 2022, about 760,000 people living outside of the US receive Social Security payments every year, which add up to about $6.1 billion.

On the plus side, most US citizens can keep getting Social Security payments even if they live abroad, though there are a few exceptions.

Knowing Social Security: How Long You Can Live Abroad Without Losing Benefits

Contrary to what most people think, you can get Social Security payments even if you live outside of the United States. Even so, retirees have to show proof of life papers on a regular basis.

Formally known as the “report to the United States Social Security Administration,” this process needs Form SSA-7162 to be filled out, which asks for important details like marriage status and changes in residence.

Seniors who live outside of the US are still responsible for paying US taxes even if they are retired. People who live outside of the United States may have to pay taxes on some of their Social Security benefits if their total annual income is higher than certain levels.

The windfall elimination rule could also mean that retirees who get foreign annuities will see their Social Security benefits go down. The Social Security Administration’s Windfall Elimination Screening Tool for Foreign Pensions is one tool that retirees can use to get a better idea of their position.

People from the US can’t move to some countries and still get Social Security funds. Examples include North Korea, Azerbaijan, and Cuba. Individuals residing in these countries can still receive withheld payments when they move to one of the eligible places.

Additionally, foreigners who have worked in the United States in the past may be able to get Social Security payments.

Totalization deals between the US and many countries, mostly in Europe but also Japan, South Korea, Canada, and Australia, make this process easier. These deals let people combine their work histories for benefit purposes, which gets rid of the need to be taxed twice.

Even though expats can easily get Social Security benefits, it can be hard to figure out how to use the system. For retirees to fully understand the rules and get the most out of their payments, Social Security experts who know about foreign benefits should be consulted.


Many Americans are interested in retiring abroad, but it is important to fully understand how Social Security payments work before making any decisions.

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Individuals who are retired can confidently follow their goals while protecting their financial security by planning ahead and understanding the rules, no matter where they live.

Reference Article

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