How To Prepare For Retirement Abroad

Retirement can be an opportunity for many to do something they’ve never been able to do. For instance, Americans can become eager for retirement because that might mean they are able to pack their bags and move abroad! With this idea in mind, you should not forget the planning that must take place in order to make your transition smooth. Although it can be a hassle for some, there are a number of things required and to consider upon approaching retirement in a foreign country. If not taken into consideration, important demands towards Social Security, medicare, US tax filing, and Form 8854, can be forgotten. Eventually, this will affect all your US benefits while you are living overseas. 

Social Security

In most countries, you will still receive US Social Security benefits, so long you remain eligible. Depending on the country you intend to retire in, keep in mind that there are a few in which the Social Security Administration prohibits any payments via mail. To name a few are Vietnam, Cambodia, and countries that had a part in the Soviet Union in the past. Though these countries might offer some exceptions, it may be wiser to plan retirement in a foreign country that allows you to receive your US Social Security benefits. If you so choose to reside in a country where your benefits are prohibited, that is not the end of your Social Security payments. At the moment you decide to move to a country with open access to your benefits, you will receive your payments!

While you enjoy your retirement elsewhere, don’t forget to report back to the Social Security Administration! The administration will renew your eligibility every so often as they send a questionnaire and gather needed information to determine if you still qualify. In any case where you do not report back to the administration, your benefits will be revoked. Remember to communicate any changes, especially your address, to the Social Security Administration in order to receive their questionnaire and continue with your benefits!


Before heading overseas, you may want to have a solidified plan for medicare. While you might obtain medicare benefits in the US, it is not always the case to transfer with you while you live abroad. Generally, your US medicare benefits will not follow you in a foreign country. We highly recommend you do thorough research on the public medical care your country of choice offers you! Things to consider would be the quality of public healthcare and cost of insurance. 

Form 8854

If you are planning retirement abroad with a renounced US citizenship, make note that you could still be required to file for taxes! Be watchful of the year you renounce your US citizenship. Depending if Section 877 pertained to you during your year you renounced your citizenship, it might be needed for you to complete a US tax return. This will give a report of your retirement income. You may be required to file a Form 8854 (Initial and Annual Expatriation Statement) which is dependent on your average five-year income, along with assets owned by you, the year in which you moved abroad.

If you are unsure whether you need to file US tax returns, we can help you! Consulting with a tax professional is very important to understand if you need to file during retirement and how you can file! If your filing requirements are not met, there is a possibility you will get a notice from the IRS, along with past-due bills! 

Get Help

It is important to consider all areas of US tax filing when moving abroad for retirement. Set yourself up for relaxing retirement by budgeting wisely and receiving important information from a tax professional. With someone looking out for your best interest, you will be free of unforeseen IRS notices and unexpected tax forms. Here at Americas Tax Firm we are committed towards helping you in your tax situation. Seek help today from a licensed professional to guide you through US tax abroad!