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How Would Moving To Sweden Affect The Calculation Of My U.S. Social Security Retirement Benefit?

I am a US citizen who has paid US social security taxes for 25 years. I lived in Sweden for 15 years during which time I had no US taxable income and paid taxes to Sweden on my Swedish taxable income. I currently live in the US and only have US taxable income. I plan to wait 8 years and then apply for US social security retirement benefits at age 70. If I move to Sweden before I apply for US social security retirement benefits, how would the calculation of my benefit be affected. Also, how would the future calculation of my surviving spouse's (also US citizen, married > 30 years) benefit based on my social security record be affected?

Hi. Living in Sweden wouldn't adversely affect your U.S. Social Security benefits, but if you receive a pension based on your work in Sweden then your U.S. Social Security retirement benefit rate could be lowered due to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) (

WEP only applies to retirement and disability (SSDI) benefits, though, so a pension from Sweden wouldn't adversely affect any spousal or survivor benefits that you qualify for from the U.S. Furthermore, if WEP lowers your U.S. Social Security retirement benefit rate, that reduction would be removed in the event of your death. So, if anyone qualifies for survivor benefits from your U.S. Social Security record, their survivor rate won't be reduced due to any WEP reduction that applied to your benefit rate.

Our software ( can handle calculations involving the WEP provision, so you may want to strongly consider using the software to fully analyze all of your various options so that you can determine your best strategy for maximizing your benefits.

Best, Jerry

Feb 22 2022 - 9:02am
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