Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

Highlights

Open

Contests and
Sweeps

Dream Vacation Sweepstakes

10 weeks. 10 amazing trips. Seize your chance to win!
See official rules. 

Free Fun!

AARP Games - Play Now!

Work
PROGRAMS

Best Employers for Workers Over 50

See the latest winners of this AARP recognition program.

Employer Resource Center

Attract and retain top talent in a changing workforce.

Most Popular
ARTICLES

Viewed

Commented

Social Security Mailbox

Can I Get My Benefits Abroad?

Generally you can, but there are complex exceptions

En español | Q. I'm a U.S. citizen but I may decide to live outside the United States after retirement. If I do so, will I be able to get my Social Security checks by mail?

A. Generally speaking, the answer is yes. Social Security will send checks to retirees in most foreign countries. However, there are a few exceptions.

See also: Working overseas, collecting Social Security in U.S.

For instance, the checks can't be sent to Cuba or North Korea. If you're a U.S. citizen, once you leave those places for an unrestricted country, Social Security will send you checks that were withheld.

In addition, Social Security generally does not send checks to Cambodia, Vietnam and certain areas of the former Soviet Union. It will make exceptions in some cases if you agree to such conditions as visiting the U.S. embassy in those countries to pick up your benefits.

Generally speaking, U.S. citizens can receive benefits abroad as long as they're eligible.

The rules for beneficiaries who are foreign citizens are different, and complex. In some cases, payments will be cut off if the person remains outside the United States for more than six months.

For more information, read "Your Payments While You Are Outside the United States."

Also of interest: 10 things you should know about Social Security. >>

Stan Hinden, a former columnist for the Washington Post, wrote How to Retire Happy: The 12 Most Important Decisions You Must Make Before You Retire. Have a question for the Social Security Mailbox? Check out the archive. If you don't find your answer there, send a query.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Your Work

Jobs You Might Like

Discounts & Benefits

Explore Your Learning Possiblities