Top 10 Cities for Veterans
- Proximity to VA Hospital
- Proximity to military base
- Low unemployment
- History of veteran support
- Defense contracting companies
Every year thousands of U.S. soldiers opt for indefinite leave, also known as retirement. The majority of these men and women are 55 and over, but many younger veterans come out looking for a second career. They've dedicated, and in many cases risked, their lives to protect the freedom and quality of life our nation provides. These military veterans deserve to live in a city with a high quality of life, where job opportunities are plentiful but the opportunity for a life of leisure exists. They often don't want to move too far from the services, tax breaks, and camaraderie found on and around a base.
We've identified the best places for military retirees to live, whether you're looking to start a second career or a spot to relax. How did we make our picks? Well, we considered a number of factors including: climate, cost of living, unemployment rate, proximity to military installations, VA hospitals, recreational opportunities, cultural amenities and overall livability. Oh, and we also asked a few military veterans what they wanted in a city.
Retired Master Sgt. Paul Chester, a Colorado Springs resident who served in the U.S. Air Force for 24 years, says there are a number of reasons to retire near a military installation. Among the reasons he mentioned were being able to get post-military defense contracting jobs, access to medical and commissary and free services such as legal advice. Military installations also have a morale, welfare, and recreation (MWR) office that give vets access to all kinds of discounted tickets and equipment rentals for outdoor activities like camping.
"And finally, there are lots of friends around military installations who speak the same military lingo that you speak, and you can sit around and tell war stories until the cows come home," Chester says.