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In the latest edition of his column, “Social Security And You,” Tom Margenau explains how Social Security fits into the global economy:

Q: I’ll bet you got a lot of hate mail from readers after you printed the column in which you explained that a Canadian citizen could get American Social Security benefits — even if she moves back to Canada. Is it any wonder our Social Security system is in such trouble if we’re sending all of our hard-earned money overseas?

A. Actually, I didn’t get any responses to that column — and certainly no “hate mail” — other than your curious take on the situation.

In that prior column, I answered a question from a woman who was getting Social Security retirement benefits — based on her many years of work in this country. She was a Canadian citizen who had been living in this country for about 30 years. And now that she was about to retire, she was planning to move back to her original home in Victoria, British Columbia. She asked if she would be able to collect her U.S. Social Security benefits in Canada. And the answer is yes.

And despite your assertions to the contrary, we would not be sending our hard-earned money overseas. We would be sending her hard-earned money overseas. After all, she worked and paid U.S. Social Security taxes for almost three decades. And now she’s getting a retirement benefit based on all those taxes she has paid. She should have every right to expect that her benefits will follow her back to her native land.

I think what you fail to comprehend is that Social Security is a worldwide phenomenon and that we are increasingly living — and working — in a global economy.

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