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Old 02-06-2016, 08:47   #46
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
I don't think you understand how Social Security works. There is no money in an account that is yours. There is no "account" that is yours. You've been paying a tax all these years. That tax money was going to your elders. Now the current generation are paying taxes, and that money is coming to you.

The notion that you have an "account" is nothing but a bookkeeping fiction that even the SSA has given up on trying to perpetuate.
The money placed into a SS account that we can view to see what we will be getting per month for retirement is money that has been withdrawn from our paychecks. We have absolutely no choice in the matter. IT IS MONEY WE EARNED.. I can care less what stupid laws or stipulations the government places on it, it is ours. So I just go along with whatever they want to hear to insure that I dont have an issue receiving what is rightfully mine as an American. Patriotism, right and wrong, all of the laws don't and can not change the fact that the money in each Americans SS account is their money. Twist it however you want, it will not change that fact.
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Old 02-06-2016, 10:08   #47
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
I don't think you understand how Social Security works. There is no money in an account that is yours. There is no "account" that is yours. You've been paying a tax all these years. That tax money was going to your elders. Now the current generation are paying taxes, and that money is coming to you.

The notion that you have an "account" is nothing but a bookkeeping fiction that even the SSA has given up on trying to perpetuate.
This is not entirely true. There is an account associated with each SS number
You can enter yours into SSA.GOV and see what you have paid in each year
and what your expected benefit is going to be at retirement.
That said what happens to the actual cash is a bit different.
By law SS money ( collected from pay checks) can only be invested or saved in
one type of security. United States Issued Bonds.
So what's really happening is that ones SS withholding is lent to the
Federal Gov't for use in the general account and the Gov't issues a paper
promise to pay it back to the Imaginary SS Trust Fund.
It's all a matter of journal entries.
The concept of a SS "Lockbox" is bullshit
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Old 02-06-2016, 11:21   #48
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

I was referred to this document by someone on Sailnet, "Your Payments While You are Outside the United States," and I have read it completely.

https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10137.pdf

Oldsalt - there is a list of specific countries where the bi-annual proof of life report is required. Panama is on the list, Mexico is not. So you and Zeehag are both correct.

From reading the publication, to be honest there was nothing in there that didn't seem reasonable to me, and it is not quite the "Big Brother" scenario that some are making it out to be. It seems mostly to apply to the following situations:

Special considerations involving non-U.S. citizens who are eligible for payments but living outside the country.
Living in countries where the U.S. cannot send payments at all. There were only 2, Cuba and North Korea. Viet Nam is no longer on the list.
Living in countries where receiving payments is restricted, and there are quite a few of those. It may be possible to receive payment in those countries, but special conditions will need to be met.
Situations involving earning income for work performed out of the country.
Proof of life verification for people living in specified countries.

In most situations applying to U.S. citizens you will experience no ceasing of benefits just because you live outside the United States.

Other than that they stress the need to report any "change of address." For those of us who use a permanent U.S. address as we travel about, I don't see how this would apply to us, unless of course we decided to stop our boat and stay for a length of time in one of the countries on the non-payment or restricted list.

My interpretation of the document after reading it carefully is that for my situation there would really be nothing to report just because I am sailing seasonally in and out of the Bahamas/Caribbean unless I decided to drop anchor and stay in Cuba. If someone else can find something in the document that supports a different take on it, please point it out to me. I have no desire to live outside the law, even if I think the law is stupid.
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Old 02-06-2016, 12:28   #49
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

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The money placed into a SS account that we can view to see what we will be getting per month for retirement is money that has been withdrawn from our paychecks.
No, it does not work like that. Your money is not put into some sort of savings account for you. I know that the SSA has tried to represent it in the past as if this is how it works, but it does not. Just because you can view your projected payments, that doesn't mean that there is a real account somewhere, with your money in it.

I understand that you feel you are entitled to it. I do too. I am counting on it to provide a meaningful portion of my retirement income. But there is no money sitting in some account somewhere for either you or me. The money that is collected is spent. Your payments have all been given to people who are currently (or were in the past) receiving benefits. The benefits you will get will come from people in the future paying their taxes.

This is how it works. You may not like hearing this. You may not want to believe this. But this is how it works. There is no account full of money, sitting somewhere, waiting for you to start drawing from it in the future.
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Old 02-06-2016, 12:34   #50
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

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There is an account associated with each SS number...
Depends on what you mean by "account." They have a set of records that they keep, of course. They keep track of what you have paid, and what your expected benefits will be.

But there is absolutely no "account," in the sense of some sort of bank account, where your money is being kept. You do not have any sort of "balance" in your "account" that represents anything like real dollars. Your payments have not been deposited and saved for you. At least, not unless you stretch the definition of those terms beyond all recognition. It is all just a bit of bookkeeping sleight of hand.
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Old 12-06-2016, 19:28   #51
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

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I almost cannot comment at all because of lack of info. Im relaying what SSA told me directly, an annual form sent to you in October wherein you estimate your next years income (otherwise, they said, how would we know how much to pay you next year?) In that form you will be checking boxes about life-changing events like, did you die this year, or are you expected to die in the coming year? (yes half joke here, but only half.)

The problem is the way out THEY have. Its fine, dont report a thing, but should they get on to something they believe you should have reported, thats their ammo to cut you.

I truly thought they were only interested in income, and then only by way of what they pick up from IRS records after April filings. But no, they want more. As an example if any of you retirees own guns, soon you will have to report that ownership and then should you get a Trustee or someone to handle your affairs and payments, SSA can take away the guns because of your "unfitness for duty" type of thing.

Im brand new at this but so far in my dealings with them they dont seem to be on my side, they are on their own side and finding excuses for cutting benefits seems to be their favored hobby, given the abundant warnings they have conveyed.
The more you talk to them and the more info you give them, the more problems you will have. Just have your SS checks deposited into your regular account and enjoy your life. There are a lot of nice people working at SS but then again there are a lot of nitwits; tread carefully.

They know nothing about your movement unless you tell them. If you die in a foreign country, they will be notified and they will take back from your bank account any money that was paid after death or take it from your estate if your kids already made a run on your account.

The SS has no reason to track you unless you throw up some red flag.

Fair winds,
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Old 13-06-2016, 08:45   #52
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

Oldragbaggers,

Glad you have that PDF document about payments while outside, but get into the POMS documents. Here is a sample, about what constitutes earning income while abroad:
https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0302605005

Play around in that section, the PDF brochures are incomplete and even wrong when compared to the POMS which are basically the training manuals for agents. They have a POMS for every topic of SS.

Can I ask everyone......when you arrive back from a long time out, have you been asked by immigration or any authority where you have been and why?
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Old 13-06-2016, 09:00   #53
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

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-----Can I ask everyone......when you arrive back from a long time out, have you been asked by immigration or any authority where you have been and why?
Never that I recall. That info is recorded in my passport anyway (I haven't been to Cuba - yet).
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Old 13-06-2016, 09:03   #54
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

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Originally Posted by Taichungman View Post
The more you talk to them and the more info you give them, the more problems you will have. Just have your SS checks deposited into your regular account and enjoy your life. There are a lot of nice people working at SS but then again there are a lot of nitwits; tread carefully.

They know nothing about your movement unless you tell them. If you die in a foreign country, they will be notified and they will take back from your bank account any money that was paid after death or take it from your estate if your kids already made a run on your account.

The SS has no reason to track you unless you throw up some red flag.
-----
Those that involve a bureaucracy unnecessarily deserve it.
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Old 13-06-2016, 09:20   #55
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

I agree not to tell SSA or anyone more than they need to hear. My ins and outs from US during the past many years is by airplane and Im asked all sorts of questions on arrivals. Assuming that info is shared by any agency, SSA would know where youve been and how long, yes? Yet, you didnt tell them anything. Something isnt going to add up if the requirement is to tell them....and I dont want to tell them anything.
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Old 13-06-2016, 09:31   #56
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

As someone mentioned many pages earlier it is about "Proof of life"

There is a huge amount of fraud in the system. Quite a few dead folks get payments here in the States and abroad.

A PO Box and a local bank in the same zip code has worked well. We spend the winters in the Bahamas and have never mentioned it to SSA.

I do wonder how SSA will know when I have "Passed on" ....I suspect a certificate of death would generate a flag in the system.
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Old 13-06-2016, 09:40   #57
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

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As someone mentioned many pages earlier it is about "Proof of life"

There is a huge amount of fraud in the system. Quite a few dead folks get payments here in the States and abroad.

A PO Box and a local bank in the same zip code has worked well. We spend the winters in the Bahamas and have never mentioned it to SSA.

I do wonder how SSA will know when I have "Passed on" ....I suspect a certificate of death would generate a flag in the system.
I suppose the proof of life is that annual questionaire SSA told me about. And a death cert would be sent in by the family--who would justifiably hesitate in light of that bank account filling every month. Decisions, decisions.....

Sure there is massive fraud, especially in SSI and disability and dependents and sick dependents and people who never seem to die, and and and....
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Old 13-06-2016, 09:57   #58
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

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Depends on what you mean by "account." They have a set of records that they keep, of course. They keep track of what you have paid, and what your expected benefits will be.

But there is absolutely no "account," in the sense of some sort of bank account, where your money is being kept. You do not have any sort of "balance" in your "account" that represents anything like real dollars. Your payments have not been deposited and saved for you. At least, not unless you stretch the definition of those terms beyond all recognition. It is all just a bit of bookkeeping sleight of hand.
DUH. It's semantics. Even if you have a cash savings account at the bank... there are no actual greenbacks in a box called "your account" somewhere. Your SS account is no different.
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Old 13-06-2016, 10:24   #59
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

I have little to add that could be "new" information for this thread.

Like others, we have our SS funds directly deposited in a US credit union.
Like others, we keep the Saint Brendans Isle residence.
Like others, we spend significant time out of the country without initiating a notice.
Like others, we clear Customs & Immigration with our passports leaving a record.

I don't have any concerns with this. I can state with confidence that I will not be reporting my death!
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Old 13-06-2016, 10:29   #60
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

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Never that I recall. That info is recorded in my passport anyway (I haven't been to Cuba - yet).
They don't stamp your passport unless you ask for it..
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