By John Durfee
I’ve still got a decade or two before I can retire but my father, also a veteran, is about ready to. Where my family lives is very important to me, and I don’t want to leave this decision to fate. With the help of my daughter, I did some research to find the best places to retire for military in that fit my father and me as veterans. This article will share what we found out about our top 3 locations.
There are a few things in particular that I am looking for in a retirement location. First and foremost…
I’d like it to be near a V.A. hospital. The rest of the aspects on my list are more just for perks. For one, I don’t want to be the only old guy in town. A town with an substantial over 60 community would be great. Second, I’d like to be near a college or community college for the stage shows they often put on, and so I can take a class to pick up pottery or something on a whim. I’d like to go to a place where my retirement pension won’t be taxed. And lastly, I’d like to be near some sort of military base so I can shop at the PX. Here are a few places that I found, I’ll limit it to my three favorites.
- Wilmington, NC
First we looked at Wilmington, North Carolina. There’s a VA hospital right in town, Camp Legeune is just to the north, and it’s a lively port town with plenty of fun events. Dad’s pension won’t be taxed but since I started later than him, mine would be. The downfall here is the weather. It gets hot and sticky in the summer and freezing in the winter. This is no good for a person with any type of arthritis.
- Glendora, CA
Glendora lies in sunny southern California in the San Gabriel Valley district. It’s about a half hour from L.A. and about twenty minutes from the Long Beach VA hospital. Just down the street is Citrus Community College that offers classes to people of all ages and puts on Broadway-caliber stage performances. About 45 minutes to the south is Marine Corps Camp Pendleton with everything I could need from a military base. The weather here is really great, especially for somebody with arthritis. It is warm and dry but not too extreme in either direction. The main downfall is the significant tax in California that would nip thousands of dollars a year off my pension.
- Waco, TX
The big winner is little Waco, Texas. Approximately 100 miles south of Dallas, Waco is home to Baylor University, which offers plenty of entertainment, artistic and sports alike. There’s an senior community in town with a VA hospital right down the street and a PX approximately 45 minutes away (along with a number of clinics and additional medical centers) in Fort Hood. Best of all, Texas doesn’t tax your pension, since there is no state income tax. My dad agrees that’s the best place and that’s where he’s headed soon. That’s probably where I’ll end up joining him before long as well!
The transition into one’s golden years is both physically and emotionally taxing. As a veteran of war, I can feel all those years of P.T. and combat taking their toll on my knees, wrists, ankles, back and… heck, everywhere. So I am looking forward to relaxing and taking it easy, knowing I have done my homework in site selection.
What do you think? Use the Comments section below to share your thoughts about the best, or the worst, places for a military retirement. And thanks John, for sharing your research with your fellow Topretirements members!