Retiring Overseas? What You Need to Know About Getting Benefits Abroad

October 20, 2016 • By

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Last Updated: October 20, 2016

retire-overseasThere are a number of people who choose to live their retirement years in places outside of the United States. Perhaps retirement in Thailand or Portugal is in your plans. Maybe you plan to split your year between Central Europe and Central Asia. In many cases, it’s still possible to receive your retirement benefits while living abroad. Our website can help you navigate your benefit eligibility while living overseas.

If you’ve worked in both the United States and another country, it may be possible for your credits to combine for a larger benefit. Currently, there are 25 countries with such international agreements with the United States. To find out if you have qualifying work in a country with such an agreement, visit

You can receive benefits in many countries. To find out whether you can receive your benefits in the country where you are retiring, you should use our Payments Abroad Screening Tool at

There are easy ways to get in touch with us and report changes to Social Security if you live overseas. You can contact your local U.S. embassy, write to us by mail, or call us at 1-800-772-1213. You can find other information in regards to living overseas at

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications


  1. Rita

    I am contemplating retiring back to England. I am a registered alian green card holder and am a senior retired. Will I continue to receive my Social Security as I plan to live permanently in England.

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Rita, thanks for using our blog. Our publication, “Your Payments While You Are Outside the United States”, explains how being outside the United States may affect your Social Security payments. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must meet one of the conditions for payment described in this publication.

      You may use our Payments Abroad Screening Tool to see if your benefits will continue indefinitely, stop after six consecutive months or if certain country specific restrictions apply.

      Keep in mind, that if you do move, you are required to report your change of address to Social Security, even if we are sending your payments to a bank or other financial institution.

      We also recommend that individuals planning to leave the United States visit our Office of International Operations home page, which provides additional information for our customers living abroad. We hope this information helps!

  2. Jonathan B.

    I have a dual citizenship in the United States and Italy. I have paid into the Social security in the USA for over 15 years and paid in to Italy’s for over 12 years of working there as well. I am moving to Italy and will be working in Italy for an Italian based corporation. How can I continue paying into the United States social security system so when I am of age to retire and collect my SS benefits will have increased and be available to me ? Thank you. I look forward to hearing back from someone.

  3. esin b.

    Hi, I am writing this from Turkey (overseas). İn 1980 to 1990 I worked in USA (earned 40 quarter) The time I worked I had Green Card. I moved to my country 30 years ago. My green card has expired. I applied my retirement in November 2019 through neighboor consulate (Greece). I sent all papers to consulate by email.
    I can not get any information. I cant open account because the system does not accept foreign address and telephone. I also tried to call international 410-965-9418 number to know the status of the application. İt is not possible. I like to know how much my monthly income will be approximately as I wrote I had 40 quarter. Please be understanding my English may not be good. Thank you at least I liked to hear from you.

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