Working Abroad, most Americans don’t seem to understand that vast amount of issues facing them regarding their U.S. Social Security. There can be challenges whether you are paid into the U.S. Social Security system (needing at least 40 quarters – 10 years), or you are just starting out.
Most U.S. Expats don’t realize that unless you are on a Corporate Expatriate assignment and your company is making the contributions for your U.S. Social Security, or you are self-employed, where you make the contributions to U.S. Social security and medicare yourself, you can’t make individual contributions. So if you are working on a local contract and most likely making contributions into that country’s social insurance plan, you will miss out on individual U.S. Social Security contributions.
Ask the right questions because rules differ by country and employee classification.