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Social Security Payments Overseas

“Would you please write a supplement showing the requirements of the U.S. government for Social Security payments while living in the countries you recommend? I believe that the Social Security Administration requires that you report if you are away from the United States for more than 30 days at a time.”

— Tomas S., United States

No, there is no requirement to report your whereabouts or any absences from U.S. soil to the Social Security Administration (assuming you are a U.S. citizen), and you can receive your Social Security payments anywhere in the world.

The rules for having your Social Security paid outside the States are here: www.ssa.gov/pubs/10137.html.

If you’re not a U.S. citizen, some restrictions may apply. These are detailed on the website I reference above.

The easiest thing is to have your monthly Social Security payment directly deposited into your U.S. bank account. Then you can withdraw cash from that account using your ATM card anywhere in the world.

In fact, you can even have your Social Security payment directly deposited into your overseas bank account in many countries, including Panama, Mexico, and most of Europe.

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“I have one question I could not find the answer to on your fabulous website. Do you know which overseas retirement countries allow gun ownership for personal protection? Does Panama?”

— Chris D., United States

In countries where it is possible to obtain a permit for gun ownership, you typically must be a legal resident. With a residency visa, you can get a gun permit in Panama and Nicaragua, for example. It isn’t easy, though. You have to provide a DNA sample and pass a psychological exam.

Continue reading: Retirement in Cuenca, Ecuador

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