I am pleased to join millions of our older citizens as they celebrate Older Americans Month. The theme of this year's celebration, "Never Too Old To Play!" puts a spotlight on the important role older adults play in sharing their experience, wisdom, and understanding, and passing on that knowledge to other generations in a variety of significant ways. International travel is increasingly one of the more popular ways that older Americans "play" as they visit new places and learn about new cultures. The experiences older Americans share with their families and friends upon return further enrich all generations in our communities.
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 6.3 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 the travel information links below 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.