American citizens who retire abroad are eligible for social security benefits.
Of course, everything about social security is subject to change in the coming years. But it is good to know that overseas retirees are not shortchanged on this (as is the case for Medicare, which I will cover in a separate post).Here are the important facts about receiving social security payments while living outside the US:
- If you are a US citizen, you are eligible for social security retirement benefits (provided you have worked for a minimum of 10 years), just as if you stayed in the US.
- If you are not a US citizen, your eligibility to receive social security benefits depends on which country you are a citizen of. [If you are an Indian citizen, you are eligible to receive benefits provided you have lived in the US for at least 10 years or earned at least 40 credits under the social security system.]
- Social Security payments may be deposited directly into your account at a US financial institution. This is the most convenient way to receive social security payments. They may also be directly deposited into accounts in some other countries. However, India is not one of them.
- The Social Security benefits paid to a US citizen outside the US are taxed in the same manner as those paid to a US citizen living in the US. In addition, some foreign governments also tax US Social Security benefits. [Under the Indo-US Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA), India does not tax social security payments.]