“Kathleen, I was told you must live in the United States to continue receiving Social Security. I was just in the Lansing, Michigan, office of Social Security, and when asking about retirement abroad I received a pamphlet confirming this. Can you help?”
–Bea S., United States
Assuming you’re a U.S. citizen, you’ve been misinformed. As a U.S. citizen, you can receive your Social Security payments outside the United States as long as you remain eligible. If you’re not a U.S. citizen, restrictions apply, depending on your country of citizenship and whether you are a direct beneficiary or a dependent of a recipient.
I should note that this is the case as long as you’re not planning to retire to North Korea or Cuba. Those are the two exceptions. Retire to either of those two countries, and your Social Security checks will be held until you move somewhere else.
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