Grand Forks Afb: Grand Forks North Dakota
You may be surprised to learn that Grand Forks public schools are some of the best in the nation. Families who settle here after retiring from the military can be confident that their children will have great educational opportunities. They can even attend the University of North Dakota in town.
The Grand Forks area has a healthy low unemployment rate of 3.1% and a cost of living nearly 6% below the national average. Military retirees and their families will have access to several VA medical clinics.
Grand Forks is located a stone’s throw away from the Minnesota border, with easy access to plenty of family-friendly outdoor activities.
Overall State For Disabled Veterans: Alaska
This one might raise some eyebrows: Alaska is the #3 overall best state for disabled veterans.
Alaska has some fantastic statewide benefits for disabled veterans, which well explore in this section.
Alaska disabled veterans with a VA disability rating of 50% or higher can receive a property tax exemption of up to the first $150,000 of the assessed value of his/her primary residence.
The exemption transfers to a surviving spouse if the veteran is deceased due to a service connected disability.
In addition, Alaska is one of 9 states with no state income tax, and therefore, veterans in Alaska do not pay any state income tax.
Military retirement pay, Survivor Benefit Plan payments, and VA disability pay are also tax free in Alaska.
Alaska veterans, their spouses, and dependents may qualify for a host of educational benefits while attending school at any Alaska state school.
These benefits include resident tuition rates or tuition waivers.
Finally, Alaska disabled veterans with a 50% VA disability rating or higher can get a complimentary hunting and fishing license card each year.
Alaska Disabled Veteran Benefits Quality Score: 82/100
Can You Retire Overseas And Still Collect Your Military Retirement And Va Disability
The answer to this frequently asked question is yes! Living overseas does not prevent you from receiving either of those entitlements. In fact, Defense Finance and Accounting Service offers international direct deposit in many countries, so you can have your military retirement pay deposited directly into a local bank. Visit the DFAS website for more details.
The VA website has information about using benefits and service for veterans living overseas.
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Senior Living Communities For Veterans
Florida is a well-known haven for snowbirds and sea lovers. But one of the groups the state serves best are the men and women who served their country: American veterans. As veterans wonder where to retire, they seek out skilled health services, social and financial support, and a beautiful environment. Topping the list of states that meet those criteria and provide some of the best senior living communities for veterans is the Sunshine State.
Quality Of Life Total Points: 3333
- Quality of Public University System: Full Weight Note: This metric is based on WalletHub College & University Rankings.
- Arts, Entertainment & Recreation Establishments per Capita: Half Weight
- Idealness of Weather: Double Weight Note: This metric is based on WalletHubs Cities with the Best & Worst Weather ranking.
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States With Other Special Tax Provisions For Military Retirement Pay
Tax codes vary from state to state, and tax laws are subject to change due to a variety of factors. Always consult with a tax professional to learn the most recent updates to state tax code, especially if there are changes to your tax bracket, income status, or benefits.
Best State For Disabled Veterans: Texas
No surprise here: Texas is the #1 overall best state for disabled veterans.
The benefits offered to disabled veterans in Texas are simply unmatched by any other state.
For example, Texas is one of just two states with full property tax exemptions for 100% scheduler or TDIU disabled veterans .
Texas also offers generous property tax reductions for disabled veterans with a VA rating between 10% and 90%.
In addition, Texas is one of 9 states with no state income tax, so you get more bang for your buck.
Texas also exempts military retirement pay, Survivor Benefit Plan payments, and VA disability compensation payments from any taxation.
The Hazelwood Act is one of the best veteran education benefits in the country it provides veterans, spouses, and dependent children with up to 150 hours of tuition free college at state schools.
Texas also offers disabled veterans with a 60% VA rating or higher a free drivers license and Disabled Veteran plates.
Finally, Texas disabled veterans with a 50% VA rating or higher get a free super combo hunting and fishing license each year.
Texas Disabled Veteran Benefits Quality Score: 95/100
New Hampshire Military And Veterans Parks And Recreation Benefits
Free New Hampshire Perpetual Hunting and Fishing Privileges for 100% Disabled Veterans: Free perpetual Fish and Game License. Q: Who is eligible for Free New Hampshire Perpetual Hunting and Fishing Privileges?
A: Honorably discharged Veterans who are residents of New Hampshire and who are permanently and totally disabled from service-connected disability may be issued a free perpetual Fish and Game License. A $10 administrative fee shall be charged once, upon application to the executive director for such permit.
New Hampshire Paraplegics may Hunt from Motor Vehicles or Boats: New Hampshire Disabled Veterans may hunt from motor vehicles or boats without motors under certain conditions with a proper permit. A $10 administrative fee shall be charged once, upon application to the executive director for such permit.
Free New Hampshire Fishing Permits for Patients at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital or Residents at the State Veterans Home: New Hampshire resident patients at the V.A. Medical Center in Manchester, NH, and residents of the NH Veterans’ Home may be issued free fishing permits under certain condition.
Alejandro Villanueva Professional Athletes With Military Service
Joe Sargent/Getty Images
Alejandro Villanueva played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens before his recent retirement from the NFL. He mainly played offensive tackle, becoming one of the Steelers starting players and ranking 24th out of all of the offensive tackles in the NFL. Before his football career, Villanueva served in the Army. The son of a Spanish Naval Officer, Villanueva enrolled and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army upon graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He was eventually assigned to the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y., where he served his first deployment, which earned him a Bronze Star Medal for rescuing wounded soldiers while under enemy fire. Villanueva served three tours in Afghanistan. During his five years of service, Villanueva received the National Defense Service Medal, NATO Medal and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, among other recognitions.
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Best States For Veterans This Year
I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.
If you want to learn how to implement these strategies to get the VA benefits you deserve, to speak with a VA claim expert for free.
Today, Im going to break down the 5 Best States for Veterans using a weighted average statistical analysis.
VA Claims Insider compared metrics across five key financial measures that matter most to veterans.
If youre a U.S. military veteran, deciding where to live after leaving the military is a very important decision for you and your family.
So, you might be wondering: What are the top states for veterans?
Well, heres the deal: Some states are more veteran friendly than others, and thus, selecting where to put down roots could save you thousands of dollars per year!
Texas and Florida are far-and-away the two best states for veterans to live, each offering an expansive array of fantastic benefits for veterans and their dependents.
Lets jump into VA Claims Insiders list of the Top 5 Best States to Live In for Veterans!
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Best States For Disabled Veterans
I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.
If you want to learn how to implement these strategies to get the VA benefits you deserve, to speak with a VA claim expert for free.
Hi Veterans, Brian Reese here! In this post Im going to break down the top 5 best states for disabled veterans using a weighted average statistical analysis. We have compared metrics across five key financial measures that matter most to disabled veterans.
If youre a disabled veteran, choosing where to live after leaving the military is an important decision for you and your family.
And you might be wondering: What are the best states for disabled veterans?
Well, heres the deal: Some states are more disabled veteran friendly than others, and thus, selecting where to live could save you thousands of dollars per year.
Okay, lets jump into VA Claims Insiders list of the best states for disabled veterans to live in 2023.
Are you STUCK, FRUSTRATED and UNDERRATED?
You are not alone! We are Veterans helping Veterans!Become an Elite Member and work with our Veteran Coaches to get the rating you deserve!
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What To Consider Before Retirement
After more than 20 years of service, retiring can be an overwhelming experience. Leaving behind the uniform and structure that comes with military life will be challenging, and there are a few things that you should do before taking that step:
- Plan ahead with your finances.
- Be as up-to-date on your medical checks as possible.
- Assess your benefit plans.
- Consider courses on transitioning to civilian life.
- Know your options in terms of education
Why Consider Military Retirement Overseas
There are many reasons why retirement abroad could make sense. You may have job connections from your previous assignments or a family connection if your spouse is originally from another country.
There are also lifestyle considerations for living outside the U.S. In many cities around the world and not only in developing countries the cost of living is far lower than in the United States.
In cities all over Europe, Asia, and South America, you can enjoy a very nice lifestyle for a fraction of the cost of a similar set-up in the United States. You may find that your military retirement is enough to live in those countries without getting another full-time job.
In other words, living abroad in retirement could be your ticket to financial independence.
Also and anyone who has been stationed overseas can probably attest to this life often seems simpler when youre living in another country.
Whether its because youre not as invested in the countrys problems and politics, youre not beholden to all of their social norms, or because you dont have as many obligations as you did in the U.S., expat life can feel very liberating.
Our interviewees can shed light on their experiences with expat retirement.
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Best State For Veterans To Live: Illinois
Illinois rounds out our top 5 best states for veterans in 2023, coming in at #5/5.
The state of Illinois offers a wide range of benefits for veterans, which well discuss in this section.
State of Illinois veterans or surviving spouses with a VA disability rating of 30% to 50% receive an annual property tax exemption of $2,500 on their primary residence.
veterans or surviving spouses with a VA disability rating of 50% to 70% receive an annual exemption of $5,000 per year.
And Illinois veterans or surviving spouses of veterans with a service connected VA disability rating of 70% or higher are completely exempt from paying property taxes on their primary residences.
Illinois does have a flat income tax system, which means that everyone, regardless of income level, is taxed at the same rate.
The current state income tax rate in Illinois is 4.95%.
However, military retirement pay, SBP payments, and VA disability pay are tax free in Illinois.
The Illinois Veterans Grant Program pays tuition and fees at all Illinois state-supported colleges, universities, and community colleges for eligible Illinois veterans.
Finally, Illinois veterans with a 10% VA rating or higher are exempt from purchasing a hunting and fishing license or a habitat stamp.
Illinois Veteran Benefits Quality Score: 72.5/100
Things To Do In San Antonio
Spend the day at famous attractions like The Alamo or The San Antonio River Walk. Explore the trails at Denman State Park. Immerse yourself in modern art at McNay Art Museum or nature at San Antonio Botanical Garden. Take advantage of the military discount at Six Flags for a fun day out with the family. Head over to Little Woodrows for a drink and turtle racing . Or head over to Los Barrios for an authentic Mexican mealand remember to ask for extra chimichurri!
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Things To Do In Minneapolis
Catch a show at Theater Latté Da. Head over to Northern Brewer to learn how to brew your own beer. Try a brunch spin on Minnesotas classic wild rice with the Mahnomin Wild Rice Porridge at Hells Kitchen. Tailgate with family and friends at Vikings, Twins, and Timberwolves games throughout the year.
Melissa Stockwell Professional Athletes With Military Service
Harry How/Getty Images
Melissa Stockwell is no stranger to athletic successes. A paralympic triathlete swimmer, Stockwell has competed in the Paralympics twice, one of which earned her a bronze medal. She is a three-time gold medalist in the ICU Triathlon World Championships. Before her athletic successes, Stockwell served as an Army Officer in the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas. She served from 2002 to 2005 and spent the latter part of her military career deployed in Iraq. While leading a convoy in Baghdad, Stockwell was struck by a roadside bomb, resulting in the loss of her left leg. She retired from the military after the accident, earning a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for her service. Along with taking an interest in swimming, Stockwell worked as a prosthetist and served on the board of directors of the Wounded Warrior Project. Besides her numerous achievements in triathlons, Stockwell holds the title of the first Iraq veteran to be chosen for the Paralympics.
In 2018, the VA issued a report, The Military to Civilian Transition: A Review of Historical, Current, and Future Trends. More than 8,500 veterans, active-duty, National Guard and Reserve members and dependents identified their transition challenges:
- Navigating VA programs, benefits and services 60%
- Finding a job 55%
- Adjusting to civilian culture 41%
- Addressing financial challenges 40%
- Applying military-learned skills to civilian life 39%
Maintaining a laser-like focus on a goal is critical.
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Best States For Veterans To Retire
After retiring, many veterans are left with the question of where to live next without the need to adhere to station change. When choosing, veterans should consider benefits available in state, healthcare options, tax exemptions and many other factors when looking for their next home.
Here is a list of the 5 best states for veterans to retire, according to WalletHub.
WalletHub ranked Virginia the number one ranked state for military retirees. The Virginia Department of Veterans Services offers many advantages for retired veterans through 26 benefit service offices. The services are provided free of charge and help connect veterans with information on current federal, state and local programs throughout Virginia.
When it comes to looking for a post-service career, veterans can join the Virginia Transition Assistance Program. VTAP helps transitioning service members and their spouses seeking employment, education and entrepreneurship opportunities. In addition, veterans eyeing state employment can receive a five percent addition to their test scores, and disabled veterans can receive a 10 percent addition.
2. South Carolina
Additionally, disabled veterans are eligible to receive a free hunting and fishing license. Any South Carolina resident who is 100% disabled may enter any state park at a reduced rate.
4. South Dakota
Abi Pepin is a summer intern for the Military Times covering evergreen stories and working on social media platforms.
How We Developed Our Best States For Disabled Veterans Quality Scores
VA Claims Insider used five key qualitative and quantitative measures to calculate the Best Overall States for Disabled Veterans, including Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemptions, Disabled Veteran Income Tax Waivers, Education Benefits for Disabled Veterans, Free Drivers Licenses for Disabled Veterans, and Free Hunting/Fishing Licenses for Disabled Veterans.
Property tax exemptions are the crème-de-la-crème state benefit for disabled veterans, so we assigned it a 50% weighting with a 100 point maximum score.
Income tax waivers are also critically important to disabled veterans, and thus, we assigned it a 30% weighting with a 100 point maximum score.
Education benefits for disabled veterans was assigned a 10% weighting while free drivers licenses and reduced rates for hunting and fishing licenses were assigned a 5% weighting each. All weighted averages were also based on a 100 point maximum score.
The final step was to sum the weighted average scores across each of the five metrics to get a total Disabled Veteran Benefits Quality Score.
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Top State For Military Veterans: Nevada
This pick even surprised us a bit: Nevada is the #4 overall best state for veterans.
Nevada has some great benefits for veterans, which well explore more in this section.
veterans in Nevada with a 100% VA disability rating can receive a property tax exemption up to $20,000 of the assessed value of his/her primary residence.
veterans with a VA rating between 60% to 70% are eligible for a $10,000 deduction, and veterans with a disability rating of 80% to 90% percent are eligible for a $15,000 reduction.
In addition, Nevada is one of 9 states with no state income tax, and therefore, veterans in Nevada do not pay any state income tax.
Military retirement pay, Survivor Benefit Plan payments, and VA disability pay are also tax free in Nevada.
Honorably discharged veterans and on active duty stationed in Nevada at the time of discharge are charged tuition as in-state residents.
In addition, honorably discharged veterans within the two years immediately preceding the date of matriculation may also receive in-state tuition rates at any Nevada state school.
Nevada veterans with a 100% VA disability rating are eligible for Veteran license plates at a reduced initial fee of just $6, with no annual fee.
Finally, Nevada resident veterans with a VA rating of 50% or higher can get a Specialty Combination Hunting and Fishing License for just $15.00 per year.
Nevada Veteran Benefits Quality Score: 81.25/100