Best Places for Military Retirement

Best Places for Military Retirement presented by USAA and

#3 Austin-Round Rock, TX

Population: 1,659,140
Military Installation: Fort Hood
Median Home Price: $180,600

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The metro area of Austin is hot these days and it's not just the weather. Austin has the reputation as a hip and quirky place, due in part to the 50,000 students at the University of Texas, located in the heart of the city. Like other Texas metros in our top ten rankings, federal pensions aren't taxed, and Austin housing has managed to remain fairly affordable. As a larger metro area, Austin offers the retiree more arts and culture, trendy restaurants and mass transit. It has a reputation as one of the most progressive cities in the U.S., with 'green' initiatives and thoughtful urban design. One drawback for the military retiree is that access to benefits and amenities such as base exchanges, commissaries and a VA medical center are all 60 miles away.

USAA and worked with Sperling's BestPlaces to determine the variables on which 379 major metropolitan areas in the U.S. were evaluated against. Sperling's BestPlaces considers general quality of life issues along with variables that correspond directly to military retirees. The variables included:

  • Military base proximity
  • Military base amenities
  • Veteran's Affairs hospital proximity
  • Military pension taxation
  • Unemployment rate
  • Presence of colleges and universities
  • Affordability
  • Housing costs
  • Housing appreciation (2007-2010)
  • Economic stability

Each of the identified variables was weighted based on importance to military retirees, and each metro area was given a score based on its total points for each variable. The metro areas were ranked based on these scores. Metro areas where the median housing cost was ` above the national median were excluded from the list.

Military Retired Pay Overview

The military retirement system is arguably the best retirement deal around. Unlike most retirement plans, the Armed Forces offer a pension with benefits, that start the day you retire, no matter how old you are.

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TRICARE for Retirees

So you are set to retire, but do you know what is going to happen with your health care? Can you really stand to lose your military health care benefits now that you're leaving and probably have a family to take care of?

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Online Retirement Center

Helpful tools and advice for military retirees whether you're just getting started, approaching or living in retirement.

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Who is USAA?

USAA was formed over 88 years ago by members of the U.S. military to meet the financial needs of servicemembers and their families.

At USAA, we believe that honesty, integrity, loyalty and service aren't just things you talk about — they're the way you live. That's why we work together to create complete retirement plans that include investments, life insurance, estate planning and health care solutions, to give you the freedom to do what's important to you.

We know what it means to serve. Let us serve you.

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Austin-Round Rock, TX
Category Metro Area Statistics
Population 1,659,140
Median Home Price $180,600
Unemployment Rate 7.4%
Federal Pension Taxed No
Military Installation Name: Fort Hood
Proximity: within 57 miles
Amenities: 2 large commissaries, 2 large exchanges, 187-bed hospital, 7 clinics
VA Hospital Proximity 58 miles
Education Number of 4-year colleges: 9
Prominent Institution: University of Texas

Ask June

Got money questions and looking for answers you can trust? Just Ask June! June Lantz Walbert is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner with USAA Financial Planning Services. She is also a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve with 19 years of service. Walbert's basic branch is Air Defense Artillery. She also is Airborne, Air Assault, and Canadian Air borne qualified.

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