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US social security to Thailand


JBaker
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As a recent immigrant with a Thai wife, what advice can anyone offer on the best way to forward US pension and Social Security payments to a Thai bank account.

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I am 77 years old and I want to assure my Social Security will continue to be sent to my elderly wife here in Thailand, if I should predecease her.

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I believe many US nationals use 'Wise' to transfer funds to Thailand, but not being a US citizen, other US nationals may give more comprehensive advice.

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11 minutes ago, Transam said:

Does the US pay 'your' social security to a foreign wife if you pass on..? 

what they don't know can't hurt "the greatest nation in tihe world" 

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2 minutes ago, GMoney2312 said:

Yes, wife gets the Social Security check of mine when I kick the bucket. But she has to be 62.

Do two wives each 31 years old count ? 😂

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I have my social security deposited into a U.S. bank and then use Wise to transfer to Thailand.  You can set up social security to go directly into a Thai bank however you will get the exchange rate that the bank provides.  I have always found Wise to give a better exchange rate.  I have yet to look at the option of the foreign currency account that several banks offer.  If that was a viable option, you can set up automatic social security payments to that bank in USD and then convert whenever the exchange rate is good.  That is pretty much what I do with Wise.  I monitor the exchange rates and when it hits a favorable level I transfer.  

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1 hour ago, JBaker said:

I am 77 years old and I want to assure my Social Security will continue to be sent to my elderly wife here in Thailand, if I should predecease her.

The brief answer is no.

Social Security needs to be informed about your death. Any payments sent after will need to be sent back. Social Security decides what benefits a surviving spouse or any other family member may receive.

You need to get in touch with them to clarify your wifes situation.

 

When a Social Security beneficiary dies, his or her surviving spouse is eligible for survivor benefits. A surviving spouse can collect 100 percent of the late spouse’s benefit if the survivor has reached full retirement age, but the amount will be lower if the deceased spouse claimed benefits before he or she reached full retirement age. (Full retirement age for survivor benefits differs from that for retirement and spousal benefits; it is currently 66 but will gradually increase to 67 over the next several years.)

If you were already receiving spousal benefits on the deceased’s work record, Social Security will in most cases switch you automatically to survivor benefits when the death is reported. Otherwise, you will need to apply for survivor benefits by phone at 800-772-1213 or in person at your local Social Security office

[Editor’s note: Local Social Security offices are currently closed to walk-in visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many Social Security services are available online and by phone. If you have a "dire need situation" regarding your benefits or need to update information attached to your Social Security number, such as your name or citizenship status, you may be able to schedule an in-person appointment. See Social Security's coronavirus page or call your local office for more information.]

In most cases, a widow or widower qualifies for survivor benefits if he or she is at least 60 and had been married to the deceased for at least nine months at the time of death. But there are a few exceptions to those requirements:

  • If the late beneficiary’s death was accidental or occurred in the line of U.S. military duty, there’s no length-of-marriage requirement.
  • You can apply for survivor benefits as early as age 50 if you are disabled and the disability occurred within seven years of your spouse’s death.
  • If you are caring for children from the marriage who are under 16 or disabled, you can apply at any age.

Whether you have wed again can also affect eligibility. If the remarriage took place before you turned 60 (50 if you are disabled), you cannot draw survivor benefits. You regain eligibility if that marriage ends. And there is no effect on eligibility for survivor benefits if you remarry at or past 60 (50 if disabled).

The survivor benefit is generally calculated on the benefit your late spouse was receiving from Social Security at the time of death (or was entitled to receive, based on age and earnings history, if he or she had not yet claimed benefits). The actual amount of your payment will differ according to your age and family circumstance:

  • As noted above, if you have reached full retirement age, you get 100 percent of the benefit your spouse was (or would have been) collecting.
  • If you claim survivor benefits between age 60 and your full retirement age, you will receive between 71.5 percent and 99 percent of the deceased’s benefit. The percentage gets higher the older you are when you claim.
  • If you claim in your 50s as a disabled spouse, the survivor benefit is 71.5 percent of your late spouse's benefit.
  • If you apply on the basis of caring for a child who is under 16 or disabled, you can collect 75 percent of the late spouse’s benefit, regardless of your age.

Keep in mind

  • You will not receive a survivor benefit in addition to your own retirement benefit; Social Security will pay the higher of the two amounts.
  • If you are the divorced former spouse of a deceased Social Security recipient, you might qualify for survivor benefits on his or her work record.
  • If you are below full retirement age and still working, your survivor benefit could be affected by Social Security's earnings limit.
  • It does not matter whether a surviving spouse worked long enough to qualify for Social Security on his or her own. He or she can still collect benefits on the deceased spouse’s work record.

 

Edited by Disenfranchised
Added more info.
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But to your first question, the best way to get the money into Thailand is using Wise. In the US, Wise maintains a "checking" account for you with a routing number and account number which work the same as any other US account. You set up the direct deposit into Wise which appears in your balance as US$ which you can convert to TH฿ as needed and sent to your Thai bank account. It actually works out a bit cheaper than the traditional way to use Wise from the US.

In addition to the SSA rules @Disenfranchised lists you'll also have to consider that any survivor benefits allowed by the SSA would go to your wife and not to your old accounts (which will be closed by your executor during probate). To do this - at a minimum - she would need a US Social Security number and a US account. She would also have to file an income tax return annually. Since you also mention a pension you should check with them to see what their requirements are for beneficiaries. At the very least she'll need a SSN to collect any survivor benefits or residual balance into a US account.

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20 hours ago, Transam said:

Does the US pay 'your' social security to a foreign wife if you pass on..? 

I have done a bit of research on this because I wanted to know if my Thai wife could collect my survivor benefits if she was not a us citizen or green card holder....found a definitive answer on the aarp site...NO...unfortunately Thailand and USA do not have a SS agreement

 

the same as for a U.S. citizen:

  • You are at least 62 years old.
  • You have not remarried.
  • The marriage lasted at least 10 years.
  • Your former spouse qualifies for Social Security retirement or disability benefits.

 

 

If you are a foreign national living abroad

You may face additional requirements, depending on where you live.

If you are a citizen or, in most cases, a legal resident of a country with which the United States has an international Social Security agreement, you have no extra hurdles. You need meet only the standard requirements listed above to draw ex-spousal benefits.

As of February 2020, the United States had such agreements with 30 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Uruguay. The roster is subject to change; you'll find an up-to-date list at the Social Security website.

Citizens of most other countries must meet a U.S. residency test to collect divorced-spouse benefits. Along with meeting the standard criteria, you must have:

  • lived in the United States for at least five years, and
  • been in the marriage in question during that period.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 9/13/2021 at 10:40 PM, JamesE said:

But to your first question, the best way to get the money into Thailand is using Wise. In the US, Wise maintains a "checking" account for you with a routing number and account number which work the same as any other US account. You set up the direct deposit into Wise which appears in your balance as US$ which you can convert to TH฿ as needed and sent to your Thai bank account. It actually works out a bit cheaper than the traditional way to use Wise from the US.

In addition to the SSA rules @Disenfranchised lists you'll also have to consider that any survivor benefits allowed by the SSA would go to your wife and not to your old accounts (which will be closed by your executor during probate). To do this - at a minimum - she would need a US Social Security number and a US account. She would also have to file an income tax return annually. Since you also mention a pension you should check with them to see what their requirements are for beneficiaries. At the very least she'll need a SSN to collect any survivor benefits or residual balance into a US account.

This is why my wife  wisely became a US citizen before we moved here. She enters Thailand on her Thai passport but when we go to the US she uses the US passport. It used to be illegal but that changed in 1992. Full benefits and rights in both countries. 

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9 minutes ago, LoongFred said:

This is why my wife  wisely became a US citizen before we moved here. She enters Thailand on her Thai passport but when we go to the US she uses the US passport. It used to be illegal but that changed in 1992. Full benefits and rights in both countries. 

Glad you got your benefits sorted.....👍

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