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Old 31-05-2016, 21:42   #1
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Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

A little update...... We are finally making our break. Our house is under contract and settlement is set for June 15th. We have our appointment with the retirement office tomorrow morning and will be retired from the school system effective July 1. We should be living aboard the boat by end of July and southbound in the ICW by September. Life is good. Very good indeed.

Tonight I was doing my online application for my social security benefits and at the end of the application I had to check a statement that says I agree to report to the social security administration any time I leave the country for more than 30 days. Really...??

Our plans for the near future, at least the first few years, is the snow bird route, with winters being in the Bahamas and Caribbean, at least for some of the season, and then back to the U.S. and north as far as we feel like going in the summer. Rinse and repeat.

I know there are many others doing the same thing, and probably a large portion of them that are retired, so I had to wonder, do you really contact the social security administration and report in to them every time you sail out of country for 30 days. And....why do they care?
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Old 01-06-2016, 00:55   #2
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

Becky,

They care because they want to keep benefits costs down.

Ann
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Old 01-06-2016, 02:24   #3
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

Part of the law authorizing Social Security said the number could NEVER be used for ID other than in the Social Security system.

That, and just about every other promise of the Social Security system has been broken.
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Old 01-06-2016, 03:31   #4
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Becky,

They care because they want to keep benefits costs down.

Ann
This needs an explanation
My father moved to a foreign country
at the age of 86 to be with my ex-pat
sister and continued to receive both his SS and military disability benefits from the VA (WWll related)
I don't recall if he ever notified anybody of anything as he continued
to keep all his bank accounts in the US
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Old 01-06-2016, 05:13   #5
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

Someone on Sailnet just directed me to a document concerning this. They are talking about non-citizens, or if you are going to a country where they can't send payments, like Cuba or North Korea, in which case they hold them until you return to someplace where they send payments. Fortunately ours will be direct deposit to a US bank so that will not be an issue. They really should be more clear what they are referring to in the documents they have you sign.
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:34   #6
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

If you are living outside of the U.S. as an expat you are required, every two years, to submit a "Proof of Life" form. I have lived in Panama (Republic of) for six years and just submitted my third one. If you DON'T submit it they will cut off your funds. Here in Panama there is no home mail delivery but my General Delivery address is fine with SS.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:16   #7
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

hello,
I am also retired and was wondering about that.. How do you receive that form, and when and how do you notify them that your travailing out side this country. if i move to alaska do i have to do the same thing?
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:27   #8
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

I am doing EXACTLY the same thing. retiring from teaching and heading down south. I am signing up for SS next week and will be interested in seeing what they say. This is the first I have heard. I will also ask my financial guy about this.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:29   #9
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

Oldragbaggers,

Im in this too, filling out the online app as we speak and came to that too. My app is paused with a re-entry number.

Im on another forum that talks about SSA in more detail, but I called SSA about this question and they also have abundant things to read too.

First of all, by law, you have to report all doings to SSA, like marriage, kids, divorce, re-marriage, starting a business, ending a business, living abroad, any kind of life change and if you dont your benefits can be cut off.

Its true, on one hand its for payment purposes, like knowing where to send your payments, but its for all aspects of their annual benefit calculations. Just on this note alone, they send you an annual form and ask you the above questions and what in your life has changed, like getting a job, and maybe its in Panama for a year while your boat is repaired. Oh and by the way if you dont send that form back, they cut off your benefits so it cant be ignored.

They didnt not directly answer the question about "who cares how long im out" but you have to inform them. If you are abroad you report to your nearest US Embassy, even if its just to report you are still out more than 30 days.

You may have an additional problem because you are giving up your address. I was about to say keep your address and bank account and let them direct deposit every month and then you can transfer from there to whatever bank abroad. But there is a problem if you have given up the address and SSA has to send the payments and letters and forms to other people acting in your behalf. This may or may not work and you have to consult them.

Im not on a boat this moment but Ive been out for more than 30 on this particular trip and when I called them I said I was abroad having surgery (truth) and they said, "well ok, medical is an approved reason to be abroad." Huh? What ISNT? Hmmm.

This is not to say you cannot retire abroad but there are rules about it, including informing them where you are and what you are doing there--by law. And by the way, 90% of the countries do not have reciprocal agreements to allow direct payments to your foreign country bank, only a few, so maintaining a US bank is obviously important. However, even here there can be snags, many banks in US do not allow americans to be out more than six months without being called a foreigner and therefore subject to the same banking rules as foreigners. You have to decide for yourself who you tell that you are leaving and who you dont. I wont come into a public blog and advocate anything but being truthful.

The SSA website has several consumer-oriented, detailed pamphlets in PDF format for reading. Read them all. Also search for POMS documents on the site which are the actual rules the SSA agents follow. Some of those you really need a lawyer to understand and as a newbie to SSA Ive been advised to keep a lawyer handy for fights. What fights? SSA told me they can cut, increase, modify benefits for any reason, anytime, without your knowledge or permission or rationale. So, some people hire lawyers.

So right now my advice is to keep SSA up to date on everything. For that, you can buy and maintain a MagicJack so you can call back to the US for free and also maintain what everyone will know as your local number so that you can receive calls from people like SSA. They will only see your local number but it will ring you anywhere in the world.

Last thing, when you start SSA there will be papers coming to your house--which is gone now. So tell them to call you, email you, etc, because you are gone and cannot receive mail at home anymore.

Oh and very last thing for the moment, keep in mind that if you dont follow their rules and do get cut off, its very hard to get benefits reinstated.

I spent a month reading before I tried the online app. As an expat I find SSA to be a daunting thing.

If I have said anything wrong, I hope a more experienced person will chime in and make corrections. Im learning too.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:34   #10
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

Well, you might end up loosing your social security and your citizenship. Might even be hunted down.

Otoh, do not see what the deal is if you direct deposit into an American bank in America. Doubt if anyone complies with that requirement anyways since many retired folks take two to three months vacations abroad. Can see big screw ups if you did report and the numbnuts at SS code that as renounced citizenship.

Kruschev was right about the grandkids living under communism. We just give it another name.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:37   #11
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

The only annual forms SS sends is a benefit statement and a yearly income statement for tax purposes. Otherwise, they really do not want to hear from you. Any problems best addressed via your elected congressional representative or senator. Works wonders.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:39   #12
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

Since we are on this subject , my SSI says i have to notify them within 10 days of moving well i plan on moving every few days or so, does anyone else have this problem and if so what do you do ? Sorry for moving the subject a little but it might be helpful to others .
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:55   #13
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesV View Post
Oldragbaggers,

You may have an additional problem because you are giving up your address. I was about to say keep your address and bank account and let them direct deposit every month and then you can transfer from there to whatever bank abroad. But there is a problem if you have given up the address and SSA has to send the payments and letters and forms to other people acting in your behalf. This may or may not work and you have to consult them.
Thank you for this in depth reply. As far as the [above] we have a permanent U.S. address through St. Brendan's Isle, and our social security checks are being direct deposited to a U.S. bank, so contact and receipt of funds will not be an issue. We will not be expats anywhere. We will be returning to the U.S. regularly.

Just seems odd that they want so much oversight into our personal life. I can understand when it concerns citizenship issues, or earning of money in other countries, especially if you are under full retirement age and still subject to the earnings cap, but none of that applies to us so it seems a tad intrusive.
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Old 01-06-2016, 10:07   #14
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

I'm guessing that they mainly want to keep tabs on us so they know when we cease to be among the living. They don't want to send money to any more dead people than they already do.
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Old 01-06-2016, 10:15   #15
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Re: Do You Report Your Movements to Social Security

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I'm guessing that they mainly want to keep tabs on us so they know when we cease to be among the living. They don't want to send money to any more dead people than they already do.
Not really, its the anti terrorist push by DHS. Frequent travelers are usually tracked nowadays not only in terms of their physical movement, but all charges to credit cards, phone calls, emails etc. Happened to one of our medical employees. How bad is it? Well, the OP could be an ISIS terrorist looking for holes in the reporting system by asking such a question. And of course everyone else obligingly gives advice and thus information.
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