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Can You Lose Your Social Security Benefits By Retiring Overseas?

“Kathleen, first of all I love reading your post every day. I look forward to it. Now here is the but: your picture. You write about the paradise beach countries, and you look like you are dressed for Minnesota in the winter. I am not saying bikini or something, but a scarf and heavy coat? Now really?

“That’s why I was so glad to see the recent photos of you and your family in Belize!

“Again you articles are great. Thanks for all the information.”

–Ron M., United States

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“Kathleen, I am reading a publication prepared by the ABA Division for Public Education. It says, “Retirement benefits may be terminated if you leave the United States for more than six months…’ Apparently that cannot be consistently true as many retirees have been living on their Social Security checks in foreign countries. However, this does give one pause.”

–Marie D., United States

I believe the ABA Division for Public Education reference you’re thinking of is to do with retirement benefits for people who aren’t U.S. citizens and to supplemental payments, which stop when the beneficiary leaves the United States.

However, I can also tell you, with confidence, that you cannot lose your Social Security benefits as a U.S. citizen simply because you relocate overseas. In fact, you can arrange to have your Social Security payments direct-deposited into local bank accounts in 55 countries. The list of these is here.

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