[Noozhawk’s note: One in a series of Social Security-related columns by Ameriflex representatives. Click here for a related article.]

Q. My husband and I will be filing for our Social Security benefits soon. However, we plan to live in Europe during the first year of our retirement. Will this present a problem in collecting benefits? — JS

A. If you are a U.S. citizen and have met the eligibility requirements (40 credits), you can receive your benefits outside of the United States. If you are not a U.S. citizen but are eligible for Social Security benefits, there are certain countries that do not allow Social Security benefits to be paid after you have been outside of the United States for longer than six months. Click here for a Social Security Administration list of these countries.

Q. If I did not work (outside of the home) for 35 years, will I not receive Social Security? — Anne Marie

A. Anne Marie, eligibility requirements are 40 credits and are not based on the number of years worked. Benefit amounts are computed using the highest-earning 35 years of your work record. If there are not 35 years of earnings, a zero earnings amount would be used for the remaining years.

Readers: Email your Social Security questions to bibi.taylor@ameriflex.com.

— Justin Anderson, CFP, CRC, CLU, is a financial planner and Bibi Taylor, MBA, is the Social Security project coordinator at AmeriFlex, 3700 State St., Suite 310, in Santa Barbara. Call 805.898.0893 for more information. Financial advisors and registered representatives associated with AmeriFlex Financial Services offer securities and advisory services through SagePoint Financial Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance services offered through AmeriFlex Financial Services, which is not affiliated with SagePoint Financial Inc. or registered as a broker-dealer or investment advisor. Registered representatives may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: AR, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, IN, MI, MO, NC, ND, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, PR, SC, TX, VA, WA, WI.