There are generally no restrictions on where you may retire. Travel restrictions are generally the same as for all civilians, and thus subject to State Department regulations. Exceptions usually only apply for members who were previously assigned to areas which required special security clearances. Members may not travel to those areas until their security restrictions have expired.
Below is some information which may be useful for retirees who travel or live overseas.
Change of Address
To change your address, please follow these directions:
- Retirees send change of address requests to DFAS-Cleveland Center, DFAS-CL/FRB, PO Box 99191, Cleveland, OH 44199-1126. Mark the envelope "change of address" and include your retired grade and Social Security number. This is the only agency that can change addresses of retirees;
- Annuitants (surviving spouses who receive pay under the Survivor Benefit Plan or Retired Serviceman's Family Protection Plan) send change requests to DFAS-Denver Center, DFAS-DE/FRB, 6760 E. Irvington Place, Denver CO 80279-6000. Include retired grade and SSN of sponsor and your SSN. This is the only agency that can change addresses of annuitants.
Retiree Publications - Official service-wide publications such as Afterburner, Army Echoes, and Shift Colors are mailed to retirees and their survivors whose names and addresses are on file with their respective Finance and Accounting Centers. These publications contain valuable information aimed at keeping their addressees informed about matters of nation-wide interest such as health benefits, pay matters (to include COLAs) plus other items. The unofficial service-related associations normally publish periodicals informing their members of matters of a more narrowly defined interest. Each of the above types of publications should be read and used by retirees as a means of keeping informed.
Every retiree is reminded to read all the mail which is received from his branch of service. The services do not send out "junk" mail, and what you receive may be very, very important to you or to your dependents.
Little Known Travel Info
Retirees are not required to report their overseas travel to anyone, unless they are employed by or are associated with the Department of Defense. If, however, a retiree is planning to be in a foreign country for an extended period of time, it may be a good idea to visit the American Embassy and let them know.
Emergency Travel Passports
Retirees may encounter problems obtaining a passport for emergency travel when a family member residing overseas becomes a casualty. New procedures have been announced for immediate issuance of passports for next-of-kin alerted for emergency travel.
During normal duty hours, the next-of-kin should contact the nearest regional passport office and advise them of the emergency. Regional passport offices are located in the following cities: Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Stamford, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C.
After normal duty hours, contact the U.S. State Department passport duty officer by calling (202) 634-3600 or (202) 655-4000. In all cases, contact should be made as soon as casualty notice and authority to travel are received.
The next-of-kin is permitted to apply for the passport in person with evidence of US citizenship, which may be substantiated by providing a state-issued birth certificate, previous US passport, or naturalization certificate. If one of these documents is not available, advise the regional passport office or the passport duty officer during the initial contact and request instructions.
U.S. Customs: Revised Procedures for Retirees
U.S. Customs states "....civilians or retirees with U.S. passport may no longer enter the U.S. at any military installation not having routine presence of a customs officer or certified military customs official."
Also be aware that there are some countries, when you travel overseas, who require your passport be valid six to eight months after you leave that country. And, if you're coming back from an overseas destination, and your passport has expired, you'll be required to pay for a waiver fee to get back into the states.