Aug 12, 2009, 10:33 AM
Post #14 of 15
Re: [jerezano] Moving My Personal Household Effects with an FM 2
Can't Post | Private Reply
Thanks for your comments Jerezano. They are cogent and correct. As to our US residence address it is our daughters house in Fairbanks, Alaska, we receive mail at that address, including some small dividend checks. My voter registration card lists it as my address, and since Alaska has voting via fax it is quite easy for me to vote, and I do vote every two years in the US general elections. We also use that address when filing our joint US income taxes every year.
I did not know that there was a possibility of my wife receiving a reduced Social Security benefit after my death. Maybe that is a new restriction. I do know that an ex-wife may file for reduced benefits on an ex-husbands Social Security earnings with no reduction of the ex-husbands benefit if the marriage lasted for ten years and the ex-wife has not remarried. I tried to help my first wife by gathering all of the information about how she could do that when she retired several years ago. She had remarried and divorced after about one year, but she still qualified to file for SS benefits on my account. Still being a blockhead, she decided not to file on my earnings, it would have nearly doubled her benefit.
Many people do not remember that Social Security was never intended to be a full pension, but only a supplement to any other retirement pensions or plans a person has. It does that very well, we could live comfortably on the three union pensions I earned without Social Security, which is sort of a nice bonus to us every month. My 3 union pensions actually slightly exceed the amount I netted when working a 40 hour week at the time of my retirement, even after the hefty reductions to assure 100% survivors benefits for Doris. Normally, I did work 70 hours per week though. It would not affect Doris' Lifestyle if she lost SS after my death, she wouldn't need to feed me anymore or pay for my extra expenses.
Doris did live in The United States for over twenty years with a permanent residency card. Doris' father was an American, and if she wanted to, she is eligible to apply for “derivative citizenship”. She doesn't want it. Applying for derivative citizenship does not automatically gain a person US citizenship, but it puts them at the head of the line to take all the tests for citizenship.
Doris does belong to an international family. Besides her late father, she has many aunts. Uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews that are US citizens either by birth or naturalization. She also has an aunt and an uncle that are Canadian citizens by naturalization. Her Canadian uncle had to flee México to save his life during the “dirty war” here in the early 1970s. He wandered the world for a few years, and nobody knew his whereabouts. He finally settled in Canada and gained Canadian citizenship.
The Canadian aunt is married to a man from an eastern European country, I don't remember exactly right now, but he might be originally from Lithuania. He is a naturalized Canadian citizen too. Her uncle in Canada is married to a lady from Cuba, she is also a Canadian citizen now.
Sometimes when we are having family gatherings at our house, there are so many languages being spoken, it sounds like the tower of Babel.
Back to pensions. I had to accept a 36% reduction in monthly benefits for two of my pensions to enable 100% survivor benefits for Doris after my death, and a 39% reduction on one of them. It was costly to assure that she would receive 100% of the amount that I receive now, the reductions are based on the present age of the beneficiary (Doris) and the estimated number of years that the beneficiary is expected to live beyond the estimated lifespan of the person that earned those pensions. Doris is 23 years younger than me, so barring an accident or serious illness, she would normally be widowed for 31 years after I die, so I had to plan for her future as well as my own.
I will do some more research on any recent changes for SS survivors benefits though.
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo