7 Replies Latest reply on Sep 27, 2012 10:19 AM by ethorne

    Moving to another country

      Does anyone know if SS can be collected if one should move to a foreign country after retirement?
        • Re: Moving to another country
          I believe you can.
          You must continue to pay taxes.
          You may also have to pay taxes in the new country.
          • Re: Moving to another country
            Visit SS office and ask questions about this scenario.
            • Re: Moving to another country
              Moving to a new country is never as easy as people think. It helps immensely to be very familiar with the area, e.g., a frequent/extended visitor beforehand. Language is just the first of many issues that need to be dealt with.
              Your SS may be taxed by the US, depending on your other income, such as pensions or dividends. A 'quick and dirty' explanation - offered as first step research ONLY - is on the SSA website: http://www.ssa.gov/planners/taxes.htm
              As af19789332 points out, some countries tax resident aliens and some don't. It's often a long, drawn-out process, especially in Latin/Central America. A couple we know is very happy in Boquete, Panama, but it took them almost two years to complete the move and they have tried at least four different areas in that time, before settling on their current place.
              Medicare will not follow you abroad. Healthcare is cheap for small things, but critical care issues should be thoroughly investigated. Our friends in Panama have been advised that if critical surgery or care is needed, the best solution is to fly to Cuba, which is the critical healthcare center for all of Latin/Central America (it's why Venezuela's Chavez went there for cancer treatment, for example).
              Resigning from Medicare means that if you change your mind and return to the US, you will be charged the 10%/annual penalty for the time you were gone (3 yrs = 30% surcharge), on top of every annual premium, for rejoining Medicare.
                • Re: Moving to another country
                  Thanks for the info and the link. I'll do some research on it.
                    • Re: Moving to another country
                      Do watch tax treaties carefully, as they vary dramatically country to  country (compare the examples cited above, Canada and France.) My wife  and I worked for awhile in the Faeroe Islands, a Danish dependency, and  both we and the school we taught at there -thought- we'd be covered by  the US-Denmark tax treaty. It turned out the Faeroes were excluded from  that treaty in a footnote, which wound up causing considerable expense  and chaos.
                    • Re: Moving to another country
                      I opted to live in France after I retired, I stayed there 12 years, the medical care was OK, and cheap, relatively to the US.  Dental care was a disaster, cost me a lot to undo some lousy work, when I got back to the States.  For routine medical care, it is OK, for specialized care like surgery, their doctors come a study US techniques, so they are several years behind current techniques.  I definitely would not go there for medical care after age 75.
                      We may be expensive in the US, but we can enjoy the finest medical care in the world.
                      As far as taxes, France has a tax treaty with the US, whereby you owe nothing to the French IRS, of course you must continue to file your US tax returns
                    • Re: Moving to another country
                      We moved to Canada and now have dual citizenship.  We file U.S. income tax returns, but the greater Canadian tax as a deduction wipes out all the U.S. tax due.

                      As for medical and dental care -- Canada has universal health care and in the two places we have lived -- Kelowna, B.C. and Toronto, ON, it is SUPERB.  As for dentistry, Toronto is a world leader!

                      I would recommend Canada to EVERYONE except that it is now MUCH more difficult to get in.