How to Receive Social Security Overseas

“I am planning to move at least for three to six months to Sousse, Tunisia. I am on Social Security and need information on how I can receive this money overseas?”

Dianne D., United States

Have your Social Security income direct deposited into a U.S. bank account, then access that money abroad using ATMs and your debit card. This is generally the most cost-effective way of getting access to cash anywhere in the world.

Your other option would be to open a local bank account (which is not so easy in some countries) and then to wire funds from your U.S. account to your local account, say, every quarter. This strategy can be more efficient, depending on the ATM fees you’re liable for with your U.S. bank.

Open an account with an online bank such as Everbank or a brokerage account with Schwab, and you’re reimbursed for ATM charges.


“Kathleen, you spelled ‘Columbia’ wrong…unless you were referring to the university. The country is ‘Colombia.’”

Emil M., United States

“The nation in South America whose capital is Bogota is spelled ‘Colombia.’ Eek! I’ve made that mistake myself…”

Roger K., United States

I’d blame the jet lag, but D.C. and Annapolis, from whence I returned yesterday morning, are only one hour ahead of Panama City. The truth is, I’ve been making this mistake my entire career. Thank you, dear readers, for setting me straight so politely.