I am pleased to join millions of our older citizens as they celebrate Older Americans Month. The theme of this year’s celebration, “Older Americans: Connecting the Community,” recognizes the many ways in which older adults bring inspiration and continuity to the fabric of our communities. Their shared histories, diverse experiences, and wealth of knowledge have made our culture, economy, and local character what they are today. The theme also highlights the many ways technology is helping older Americans live longer, healthier, and more engaged lives.
One of the primary responsibilities of the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs is to ensure the safety and welfare of our fellow citizens overseas. An estimated five million Americans live overseas and another 65 million travel abroad annually, and these numbers continue to increase. This includes a growing community of older Americans who are retiring to another country, cruising the world’s oceans, or taking an educational excursion abroad as part of a lifelong learning tour. From Washington, we help prepare you to travel by providing important information about every country in the world and warning you of the international financial scams that may target you as you travel. When you travel or live overseas, consular personnel at U.S. embassies, consulates, and consular agencies will advise and help you with important tasks such as replacing a passport or obtaining federal benefits, and will provide guidance and support during a crisis.
As we celebrate Older Americans Month, we encourage our fellow Americans in this growing part of our community to prepare well for their travel abroad. We want your trips or overseas retirement to be as enjoyable as you wish them to be. With that in mind, we hope you will find our travel advice for older Americans and information on retiring abroad useful. We wish all older Americans, as well as all those who love and support them, a happy Older Americans Month and safe and enjoyable travels.
Janice L. Jacobs