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Best Places for Military Retirees: 11 Cities that Salute Veterans

Moving is a fact of life for many in the U.S. military – along with their families, of course. But what happens when it’s time to retire? Where are the best places for military retirees to find their forever home?

Just like for any other retiree, there are a lot of factors to consider. Some are universal – e.g., if you like warm weather, look south. But others are more personal, such as wanting to remain close to family and friends or wanting a place with bike paths and hiking trails.

One thing to note is that many military retirees are younger than their civilian counterparts, possibly not even 55+ yet. With some as young as 45, these are people looking to stay active physically and mentally. And many of them are ready put their skills to good use in a second career.

So where should you go? Here are some places that rank high among veterans as the best places for military retirees.

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Colorado Springs, Colorado

With several Air Force and Army bases in the area, almost half of Colorado Springs’ economy comes from its military presence. Retired vets will feel right at home here. The military support is exceptionally strong, there’s a robust job market, and the great outdoors offers plenty to keep you active all year round.

55+ Housing in Colorado Springs


Kirkland, Washington 

More than 5,000 of Kirkland’s 87,000 residents are military retirees. And these vets love their city on the Puget Sound for its proximity to lakes, mountains, and rainforests. The climate, while a bit wet, is relatively temperate. There’s no state income tax, and Washington is highly regarded for the many programs and services it provides to vets.

55+ Housing in Kirkland, WA



Madison, Wisconsin

As the state capital, Madison offers a wide range of jobs for veterans, especially in government, engineering, and healthcare fields. The VA medical center serves veterans and provides them jobs. Unemployment is low. So is the sales tax, and there’s no tax on military retirement pay. And don’t forget the five lakes, many miles of bike paths, and a strong tradition of tailgating before Badger football games.

55+ Housing in Madison, WI


Manchester, New Hampshire

This medium-sized city offers low unemployment rates, a low sales tax, and no state tax on retirement pay for vets. Known for its high number of defense contracts, Manchester offers plenty of jobs in defense, engineering, and government positions. New Hampshire also was named No. 1 among best retirement states in a recent study.

55+ Housing in Manchester, NH



Norfolk, Virginia 

An abundance of government and federal contract jobs, as well as private industries looking for workers with military skills, is only one of the reasons vets are attracted to Norfolk. A good climate, affordable housing, and its proximity to nearby military bases, beaches, and shopping seal the deal.

55+ Housing in Norfolk, VA | Retiring in Norfolk and Virginia Beach


Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 

Home to Tinker Air Force Base (the area’s largest employer), Oklahoma City offers a multitude of jobs and a low cost of living. Homes are affordable,  and the University of Oklahoma in nearby Norman offers a lot to do in the way of sports and the arts.

55+ Housing in Oklahoma City


Pensacola, Florida

This coastal city in the western panhandle of Florida is home to the Navy’s Blue Angels. The base, the climate (with its average temperature of 77 degrees), and numerous recreational activities here make this a popular spot for military retirees. Pensacola has been ranked among the cheapest places to retire, and the lack of an income tax in Florida is another popular perk!

55+ Housing in Pensacola, FL 



San Diego, California 

With a large Marine base and naval air station, San Diego has a significant military presence, which is appealing to veterans. The cost of living may run a bit higher than for some other areas, but there are a lot of jobs available for retired military personnel. San Diego is America’s craft beer capital, and it can’t be beaten if you’re looking for a place to retire with great weather!

55+ Housing in San Diego


Texas – especially Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas

With a large number of military bases here, military retirees are never far from excellent healthcare. These installations also offer affordable pharmacies and even on-base shopping. Jobs are plentiful, especially in government, defense, engineering, and aviation. And on top of all that, Texas doesn’t tax military pensions.

55+ Housing in Austin

55+ Housing in San Antonio

55+ Housing in Dallas


Your own hometown!

Who says you can’t go home again? After living around the country – and possibly around the world – no matter where you were assigned, your original home may be where your heart (still) is. There you’ll find friends, family, and familiarity; the perfect place to call home!


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  • Sue Sveum

    About :

    After helping her own parents as they aged, Sue began working with other seniors, and now shares what she learned in her blogs for seniors and their families. She currently writes about seniors and healthcare for several websites but her past includes diverse topics ranging from dogs to weddings to ghosts. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband and Golden retriever, Wrigley.

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