“Kathleen, am loving your newsletters! Will be making my overseas move in the next year or so. Part of my planning is to know whether I remain eligible to receive my California state pension if I change my citizenship?”
–Karen W., United States
Your pension is earned by working in the state and follows you wherever you go. It is “guaranteed” and can’t be lost or reduced for any reason, including leaving the state or renouncing your U.S. citizenship.
It remains California-source income when you leave the state, because it was earned while working in California. Therefore, it remains taxable in California no matter where you live.
There is a big debate going on about these guaranteed pensions in California right now. The state and cities are looking for ways to skip out on their obligations. Here is an interesting article on the subject.
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