US citizens: Any US drawbacks to living more than 6 months abroad?

#1
Hi, expats. I lived 20 years in Italy, visiting the US only a few months or weeks per year and found that my administrative reintegration when I returned was a piece of cake. However, now that I'm on the verge of Medicare age and with our current government, I want to know whether if I live in BA more than 6 months a year I risk losing any privileges of being a US citizen. It would be particularly helpful to hear from expats who are eligible for Medicare and Social Security.

Thanks a bunch!
 

John Doe

Well-Known Member
#2
I am an American citizen and have lived in BA, as a tourist, for many years. My U.S. passport an I have never spent more than 5 days a year in the U.S. I have voted absentee in every U.S.election..
Of course, you know that Medicare can only be used in the U.S.? Health insurance in BA is fairly expensive.
 
#3
I am an American citizen and have lived in BA, as a tourist, for many years. My U.S. passport an I have never spent more than 5 days a year in the U.S. I have voted absentee in every U.S.election..
Of course, you know that Medicare can only be used in the U.S.? Health insurance in BA is fairly expensive.
Thanks, JD! Yes, I usually get a good but inexpensive travel-health insurance policy for the months I'm here. And I use doctors very little.
 
#5
It would be particularly helpful to hear from expats who are eligible for Medicare and Social Security.
Living outside of the USA will have no effect on your Social Security benefits. You can sign up on line and have them deposited into your bank account.

You can withdraw those funds using ATM's (fee "free" with a Charles Schwab debit card) or transfer them to Argentina using XOOM (who will require the "Monthly Benefits Letter" which you can get in PDF form with an online "My Social Security" account).

You can opt out of Medicare part B (coverage for doctors visits) and not pay the monthly premiums, but if you ever return to the USA you will have to pay more than you would have paid if you had that coverage from the time you first became eligible for Medicare.

Every other year you will have to submit a "proof of life" form to the Social Security Administration in Baltimore or your benefits will be suspended. If you miss the deadline you can get your payments reinstated by taking the form to the US Embassy in BA, but they won't help you before your benefits have been suspended.
 
Last edited:
#6
Living outside of the USA will have no effect on your Social Security benefits. You can sign up on line and have them deposited into your bank account.

You can withdraw those funds using ATM's (fee "free" with a Charles Schwab debit card) or transfer them to Argentina using XOOM (who will require the "Monthly Benefits Letter" which you can get in PDF form with an online "My Social Security" account).

You can opt out of Medicare part B (coverage for doctors visits) and not pay the monthly premiums, but if you ever return to the USA you will have to pay more than you would have paid if you had that coverage from the time you first became eligible for Medicare.

Every other year you will have to submit a "proof of life" form to the Social Security Administration in Baltimore or your benefits will be suspended. If you miss the deadline you can get your payments reinstated by taking the form to the US Embassy in BA, but they won't help you before your benefits have been suspended.
Thanks so much, Steve. I'd be going back and forth every few months, so the situation would be pretty simple. :)