Retiring after 20 plus years of serving your country in the military brings about feelings of excitement and probably some nervousness as well. In most cases, your life after the service will change quite a bit. Completing your road map beforehand helps you put any possible anxiety at bay once you are discharged. The best areas to retire, according to U.S. News & World Report, are places that have employment options, United States Department of Veteran Affairs health care, healthy economies, low cost of living and top notch educational opportunities.
Texas contains the majority of locations listed as stable for retirees, according to Military.com. Four cities: Waco, Austin, College Station and San Angelo offer affordable housing and easy access to health care. Waco is listed No. 1 because of the town's low unemployment. According to U.S. News & World Report, Austin holds the title of being one of the most liberal urban dwellings in the United States making the city a great choice if you like to stay on the move. College Station offers convenient access to Austin, Houston and Dallas. San Angelo has a distinctive culture scene because of the community's Western and Spanish influence, according to Military.com.
Harrisburg-Carlisle and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania are good retirement spots with reasonable housing costs; federal pensions are not taxed by the state, according to U.S. News & World Report. A commissary along with an exchange are located within the Carlisle Barracks outside of Harrisburg. If you prefer a smaller community with amenities, Harrisburg is a good choice because of its big city options such as plentiful restaurants and shopping. Pittsburgh, once known for its industry, now offers a diverse cultural scene and employment possibilities.The VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System provides quality health care for retirees.
Syracuse, New York is home to Syracuse University. New York, like Pennsylvania, does not tax federal pensions. The city provides locals with a wide array of outdoor activities including golf and hiking areas.
New Orleans, Louisiana is considered one of the south's top areas for military retirees, according to Military.com. Education options at nearby Tulane University range from foreign language to business majors and minors. New Orleans cultural opportunities include, but are not limited to, live music, Cajun cuisine and a yearly Mardi Gras parade. The closest VA center is approximately 90 miles to the east in the town of Biloxi, Mississippi. However, the city's own VA health care is scheduled to reopen its doors in 2013.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma's average housing cost remains stable, making the area as a possibility if predictable cost of living is an important factor for you, according to U.S. News & World Report. The University of Oklahoma, located in the nearby town of Norman, offers educational opportunities such as meteorology, biochemistry and broadcast media. Tinker Air Force Base, has an on-site commissary and exchange. The military installation is situated inside city limits.
Madison, Wisconsin, also ranks high as a potential place for prospective military retirees. The city provides residents with educational opportunities, low unemployment and VA care.
- Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images