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I am a Canadian living in the US. I am about to move back to Canada. While living in the US, I have contributed to a 401K (which I have since rolled into an IRA). In the last two years, while living here, I also married another Canadian. I never bothered to change my documentation from my maiden name to my married name as I figured it would be too complicated to do over the two countries. I always assumed I would eventually go back to Canada.

Anyways, now we are moving back and I'd like to start the process of changing my name. I have decided to leave my IRA in the US and claim it when I am 55 years of age. I can quite easily change the name on my account to my married name but wonder if I need to change the name on my Social Security card as well. This seems more complicated. I have to go to an office and present additional documentation if the marriage took place more than two years ago? Also does my Social Security even matter after I've left the country? I've heard that they go by whatever is on your I-94 which I obviously won't have anymore after I leave....?? Anybody have any advice?
 

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You should change your name on your social security record. A few years back, they started rejecting income tax forms where the name on the form didn't match the name on file for the social security number. Not sure if they are still doing that, but who knows when they could revive the policy. When it comes time to start drawing down your 401K, you will have to file US income tax forms and that's when it will come back to "bite" you.

I finally changed my name on my social security records a mere 18 years after my divorce, and while it was a pain, it went through and I've had no problems since.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Thanks for your reply Bev. Are you a Canadian citizen and were you still able to change the name of your SSN after you returned to Canada? Last time I tried to get it changed they would only go by what was on my I-94 and I won't have one anymore....Did you mail your forms in or go to an office in person?

Thanks!
 

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Thanks for your reply Bev. Are you a Canadian citizen and were you still able to change the name of your SSN after you returned to Canada? Last time I tried to get it changed they would only go by what was on my I-94 and I won't have one anymore....Did you mail your forms in or go to an office in person?

Thanks!
I was living in France when I changed my name on my social security card. Had to go down to the US Consulate with documents in both names (name on the social security record and the name I wanted to change to). That was a bit of a challenge, since in 18 years I had gotten rid of most of my old paperwork in my married (at the time) name.

The lady I dealt with at the Consulate was dubious about the transaction and whether it would go through, but I think I had an advantage because I was changing back to my maiden name - the name I had originally when I first got my social security card. (I'm a US citizen, too, which probably helps.)

However, they claim that your W-2 records and your social security card have to be in the same name and if you've been working in the two years since your marriage, that isn't the case. I'd just go in and give them the documents you have and ask them what to do. (My preferred strategy for these things after living in the France all these years. <g>)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I am a Canadian living in the US. I am about to move back to Canada. While living in the US, I have contributed to a 401K (which I have since rolled into an IRA). In the last two years, while living here, I also married another Canadian. I never bothered to change my documentation from my maiden name to my married name as I figured it would be too complicated to do over the two countries. I always assumed I would eventually go back to Canada.

Anyways, now we are moving back and I'd like to start the process of changing my name. I have decided to leave my IRA in the US and claim it when I am 55 years of age. I can quite easily change the name on my account to my married name but wonder if I need to change the name on my Social Security card as well. This seems more complicated. I have to go to an office and present additional documentation if the marriage took place more than two years ago? Also does my Social Security even matter after I've left the country? I've heard that they go by whatever is on your I-94 which I obviously won't have anymore after I leave....?? Anybody have any advice?
Your name should match on all your legal records. You'll end up with major problems if they don't. I had ended up with my funds company changing the name on one account but not the IRA account and then they needed a lot more paperwork to change the name on the IRA. At the end I found it easier to open an IRA account with another company and have them transfer it and then close the account. If possible I would advise anyone getting married not to change names legally. You can still use your married name socially.
 

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Thanks! I am definitely not looking forward to the name change thing, especially over two countries. It seems like such a hassle. Maybe just keeping my maiden name is the better option.
 
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