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Ten Best Places for Military Retirement from USAA
Old 11-12-2014, 11:15 AM   #1
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Ten Best Places for Military Retirement from USAA

Ten Best Places for Military Retirement

Cincinnati, which ranked in the top five in the other two categories as well, is one of the most affordable cities on the list with a median home price of $129,200. Home prices and rents are below the national average. The city is a sports lover’s dream, and there are a large number of cultural attractions.



The Rest

Madison, Wisconsin

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

San Antonio

Austin, Texas

Orlando, Florida

Wichita, Kansas

Gainesville, Florida

Albany, New York

Nashville, Tennessee

Source: USAA News Fall 2014

https://communities.usaa.com/t5/USAA..._11_EANEWS3-09




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Old 11-12-2014, 11:44 AM   #2
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Just curious. Is there any reason that military personel would need different places to retire than non-military? I know a number of ex GI's and they seem well adapted to non military life. Are we talking about being near VA facilities for example? Or near a PX?
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:56 AM   #3
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Except for San Antonio I don't see any big military presence in these places
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Old 11-12-2014, 12:46 PM   #4
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Just curious. Is there any reason that military personel would need different places to retire than non-military? I know a number of ex GI's and they seem well adapted to non military life. Are we talking about being near VA facilities for example? Or near a PX?
The article at the OP doesn't do a good job of spelling out their criteria. But the items of high importance to many military retirees which might differ from other retirees are:
1) State/local tax treatment of military retirement pay
2) Proximity to a significant military base (provides access to a military hospital for use of Tricare Prime, provides acces to a commissary and PX/BX, provides access to low-cost recreation/hobby centers, etc). Also, businesses in these communities are slightly more likely to offer discounts for active/retired servicemembers. Plus, some retired servicemembers just enjoy going to the NCO/O Club and hanging out.
3) Military retirees are often not truly retiring, and they are younger than "regular" retirees. So, the job market is important and good schools may be of more importance.
4) There might be some cultural issues that affect retired servicemembers. Maybe some would feel more welcomed/comfortable/at ease with common community values in Dallas or Dayton than in Berkley or Madison. There's a risk of stereotyping if we go down this path, but I think people do tend to self-segregate into groups of like-minded people.
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Old 11-14-2014, 05:15 PM   #5
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Cincinnati? I'm trying very hard to move AWAY from the Cincinnati area...


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Old 11-14-2014, 06:26 PM   #6
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Access to a base with the commissary, BX, and medical facility was high on my list. After 18 years, the medical facility turned out to be the only imperative.
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Old 11-14-2014, 07:13 PM   #7
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Cincinnati My goal in high school was to get as far and fast from the place as I could. Haven't lived there since the mid-70's.
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Old 11-15-2014, 12:21 PM   #8
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These "Top Ten" lists are always controversial, and sometimes it seems as if "controversial" is one of the criteria.

USAA broke the criteria down into three phases. Here's the page:
https://www.usaa.com/inet/pages/ente...14_landing_mkt
and here's the text of the link "How We Chose Our 2014 Top 10 Places":

Starting Out:
G.I. Bill Enrollment
Presence of Colleges/Universities
U.S. News & World Report "Best Colleges for Veterans"
Certification/License Transfers
Unemployment Rate
Population Growth
Military Skills Jobs
Job Growth
Health Resources

Mid-Career:
Veteran Wage Growth
Certification/License Transfers
Unemployment Rate
Population Growth
Military Skills Jobs
Government Jobs
Defense Contractor Jobs
Supervisor/Manager Jobs
Job Growth
Health Resources

Military Retirement:
Installation Proximity/Offerings
VA Hospital Proximity/Offerings
Veteran Wage Growth
Military Pension Taxation
Certification/License Transfers
Unemployment Rate
Population Growth
Military Skills Jobs
Government Jobs
Defense Contractor Jobs
Supervisor/Manager Jobs
Job Growth
Health Resources

The #1 towns are Pittsburgh, Houston, and San Antonio. I've spent time in all three of them, and they all have their attractions, but I ain't movin'.

I grew up near Pittsburgh (Murrysville), but my father grew up near Cincinnati (Milford). I used to ask him if we could move closer to Grandma & Grandpa but the answer was always "No way-- Pittsburgh is much better!"
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Old 11-15-2014, 06:13 PM   #9
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Good to see two Florida places in the list. Lived there twice and enjoyed it. Thinking about establishing a home there again in the future. The Villages looks interesting. No commissary nearby, but decent amount of Tricare / VA health care providers.
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Old 11-15-2014, 09:53 PM   #10
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While not on the OP's list, I have seen Albuquerque as a popular military retiree location. Being that I live in Albuquerque area I can confirm there are a lot of miltary retirees here.
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:45 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by seraphim View Post
Cincinnati? I'm trying very hard to move AWAY from the Cincinnati area...
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjm-7 View Post
Cincinnati My goal in high school was to get as far and fast from the place as I could.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
my father grew up near Cincinnati (Milford). I used to ask him if we could move closer to Grandma & Grandpa but the answer was always "No way-- Pittsburgh is much better!"
Cincinnati is the nearest city to where we live. DW has lived in this area all her life, and I've grown to like it well enough over the years. Cost of living is definitely a plus, and it's clear from these posts that I won't have to worry too much about getting crowded out in the near future.

As for the military aspect, the only reasonably close installation is Wright-Patterson AFB, which is huge and not likely to ever close. I visit probably 8-10 times a year.
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Old 11-16-2014, 10:27 AM   #12
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The #1 towns are Pittsburgh, Houston, and San Antonio. I've spent time in all three of them, and they all have their attractions, but I ain't movin'.
I think that Honolulu probably should have been at the top of the list, if it wasn't for the cost of housing there (and you have already worked through that potential issue). I know that wasn't on their list of criteria, but I can't imagine that it wouldn't be near the top for many of the ones they did list. Maybe some of those other towns had more industry and jobs, but using available jobs in their criteria assumes that a military retiree wants one.

I always thought Hawaii would be a great place for military retirement if one could afford it. Lots of military bases there, and plenty of access to commissaries, military hospitals, and so on. And then there's the sunshine, beaches, lush tropical surroundings, surf, and other attractions.
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Old 11-16-2014, 11:04 AM   #13
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I wonder where people from the military actually do retire to. I couldn't find data on this but it should be relatively easy to track if they are receiving retiree benefits?
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Old 11-16-2014, 11:52 AM   #14
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There are at least two distinct types of Mil. retirees. One is really not a retiree but a transition to another job with a guaranteed income. They are retired from the military, but not retired. The second is the real retired, retired. They don't work or they pick up an odd job now and then, but for them life is not work.

For us, when we were in the first category, job availability was the place determinant. When we pulled the plug for good, it was all the reasons others choose a place to retire. Family, COL, quality of life, all the things others consider. Close to a military base was not a consideration. Being away in phase one showed us that there was little or no savings from the Exchange system, and Commissary could be replaced by Walmart. Tricare and Tricare for life adequately replaces the military hospitals. While we will drop into bases on our travels, having one close by in retirement is of little or no consequence.
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Old 11-16-2014, 12:14 PM   #15
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Very well put. Exactly how I see it.
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Old 11-16-2014, 12:32 PM   #16
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The #1 towns are Pittsburgh, Houston, and San Antonio. I've spent time in all three of them, and they all have their attractions, but I ain't movin'.
I'm in Houston now and the Michael DeBakey VA hospital is HUGE
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Old 11-16-2014, 12:39 PM   #17
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There are at least two distinct types of Mil. retirees. One is really not a retiree but a transition to another job with a guaranteed income. They are retired from the military, but not retired. The second is the real retired, retired. They don't work or they pick up an odd job now and then, but for them life is not work.

For us, when we were in the first category, job availability was the place determinant. When we pulled the plug for good, it was all the reasons others choose a place to retire. Family, COL, quality of life, all the things others consider. Close to a military base was not a consideration. Being away in phase one showed us that there was little or no savings from the Exchange system, and Commissary could be replaced by Walmart. Tricare and Tricare for life adequately replaces the military hospitals. While we will drop into bases on our travels, having one close by in retirement is of little or no consequence.
That makes sense. We do have retired military friends who picked a place based on the OP article, but I imagine as for the rest of us the places on the top ten lists are not usually where people end up.
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:14 PM   #18
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I'm early retiring to Huntsville. Alabama area. No state taxes on pension, many businesses offer military discounts, local population is very military friendly, low cost of living, plenty of golf, fishing and other out doors activities. Can't wait. ER June 30th 2015.


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Old 11-16-2014, 10:54 PM   #19
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There are at least two distinct types of Mil. retirees. One is really not a retiree but a transition to another job with a guaranteed income. They are retired from the military, but not retired. The second is the real retired, retired. They don't work or they pick up an odd job now and then, but for them life is not work.

For us, when we were in the first category, job availability was the place determinant. When we pulled the plug for good, it was all the reasons others choose a place to retire. Family, COL, quality of life, all the things others consider. Close to a military base was not a consideration. Being away in phase one showed us that there was little or no savings from the Exchange system, and Commissary could be replaced by Walmart. Tricare and Tricare for life adequately replaces the military hospitals. While we will drop into bases on our travels, having one close by in retirement is of little or no consequence.
I'm the latter, will be retired military fully retired with no bridge career. My number one priority is being near family. I spent 20+ years away from my family and it sucked. I was able to get an assignment back home and it's been great. Atlanta is far from a military town and I prefer it that way. I have absolutely no desire to be near a military installation ever again.

Sent from my mobile device so please excuse grammatical errors.
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:42 AM   #20
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I wonder where people from the military actually do retire to. I couldn't find data on this but it should be relatively easy to track if they are receiving retiree benefits?
I could spend hours going through the DoD Actuary's website.
http://actuary.defense.gov/

Here's the 2013 statistical report on military retirees:
http://actuary.defense.gov/Portals/1...statbook13.pdf

Last year (30 Sep 2013) there were 1,957,453 military retirees drawing a pension. 30,847 of them retired during that fiscal year.

Page 26 lists retirees by state: CA, TX, FL, and VA have the largest populations. Texas has the largest number of retirees but Florida has the largest population of retirees over the age of 65.

Page 31 starts the list of military retirees by country, and the last few pages of that section list only the retirees over age 65.

Page 36 starts the list of retirees by ZIP code. For example in ZIP code 967 (Hawaii, p. 49) there are 13,511 retirees (of all ages).

A quick scan shows that the biggest populations appear to be in ZIP Code regions 234, 283, 325, 765, 782, 809, and 921. That appears to be VA, NC, FL, TX (two areas), CO, and San Diego.

Last year there were also 274 centenarians receiving military pensions. DoD used to break it down by years above 100 but they stopped doing that a few years ago. ("Attrition"?) I read on Veteran's Day that the nation's oldest veteran is 108 years old, although I don't know whether or not he's a military retiree.

I've also read that reaching the U.S. Naval Academy's list of 10 oldest alumni (veterans, not necessarily military retirees) requires living to at least age 98 (as of this year) with most of them being over the age of 100. In 46 years, when I reach age 100, I expect the bar will be a few years higher...
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