Best States for Disabled Veterans

Discussion in 'Veterans Affairs, SSDI, and other Benefits' started by usafaviator, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. usafaviator

    usafaviator PEB Forum Veteran

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    I've been researching a new place to live, as the state that I live in is one of the least tax friendly in the country. Additionally, we are looking for a bit of land to unwind on after almost 20 years of living right on top of neighbors on military bases and local city communities. Here are some of the sites I'm using to determine the best tax (pension, property, SSDI, etc.), state benefits (fishing, VA services, etc.), cost of living and proximity to bases and VA facilities. Add to the mix a good location for good employment:

    http://www.tax-rates.org/taxtables/property-tax-by-state
    http://myarmybenefits.us.army.mil/Home/Benefit_Library/State__Territory_Benefits.html
    http://www.kiplinger.com/tools/retiree_map/
    http://www.realtor.com/
    http://vjw2.vetjobs.com/jobQuery.jsp
    https://www.usajobs.gov/
    http://www.clearancejobs.com/

    There are many more resources, please add to this thread if you have other good resources. Additionally, please post if you have researched a state/city and give us an idea why it would be beneficial for a disabled vet to move there. Ultimately, a person will probably want to live in a state that they enjoy, but it is nice if that state has other benefits that help out a bit.
    onedaycloser, rham805 and Tim B like this.
  2. pittpan2005

    pittpan2005 PEB Forum Veteran

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    Aviator,
    We went with Florida because of no income tax, property tax exemptions, low cost of living, and a crippled housing market. If you are 100% P&T I believe it's a zero property tax state. Since I am 100%, but not P&T, we still receive about 55% in property tax exemptions.

    We have saved so much money living here and very happy with our choice. The job market isn't that great, but my wife is an RN so it's easy for her anywhere.
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  3. ranger2992

    ranger2992 Staff Member PEB Forum Veteran

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    Great links, as always thanks for providing great information.

    Joe
  4. PtDraco

    PtDraco PEB Forum Veteran

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  5. nwlivewire

    nwlivewire PEB Forum Veteran

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    I'm 100% P&T VA, and this factor is playing in my decision of which state to relocate to as well.
    I thought about Florida for awhile, but then did a cost-of-living comparison between Florida and Texas.

    Texas does not state tax your military retirement.
    Texas offers 100% NO property tax on all 100% VA rated Vets on their primary Texas residence. Florida offers the same thing, BUT ONLY 100%'ers who use a wheelchair as their full-time use get the 100% property tax relief.
    Texas also has a State VA website that speaks to using your Veteran status for buying land there, too. Check it out!.
    Texas offers many air bases, etc for Space A travel options to many places around the world.
    Texas has the main HQs for USAA.
    Texas has well known public universities for every single degree you can think of.
    Independent Business start-up costs are lower in Texas.
    Veteran hospitals and clinics are plentiful in Texas.
    Veteran groups/services are strong in Texas.
    Housing costs, fuel costs, etc., are lower in Texas by 13% average than in Oregon (where I live right now).

    I am targeting the Austin/San Antonio area of Texas for relocation from Oregon. Been to that area 3x in my life, and think I will adapt OK there. It's far enough inland, but stll close enough to the beach (3 hours or so) - less direct fall-out from hurricanes.

    There's more to my decision than just these features, but this is my broad picture of personal choice.

    V/r,
    nwlivewre
  6. TSgt Twitch

    TSgt Twitch PEB Forum Veteran

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    Oklahoma is a good mix between Texas and Florida-

    Texas start with property tax exemptions at 60% disabled all the way to 100% tax free
    Oklahoma only offers if 100% pt
    Texas does nto tax any mil retirement
    Oklahoma taxes DoD retirement, but not the first 1500 of it (does not seem like much but if your 100% your not getting any DoD)
    They both offer varying levels of free lifetime hunting/fishing licenses, Ok however gives automatic WMA stamp for 60% or greater disabled
    They both offer free state parks/camping/museums etc.

    The unemployment rate in Ok is 1/2 the national average and they are begging people to work here.
    Not a "va" benefit per sei, but if you live in rural Oklahoma you children get 2 free yrs of college, and with the VA they get 1yr and if they maintain a 3.5 or higher in high school they get 1K scholarship for their first yr books etc. and if your household taxable income is less than 50K they get another yr added.

    The cost of living in our experience is cheaper in Oklahoma than Texas and we just did not like the San Antonio area one bit (Austin was nice but its a college town and very left leaning government)


    We settled down in Oklahoma after our overseas tour and started our little farm before the disabilities starting coming in, so we are staying here unless something wild happens.
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  7. ranger2992

    ranger2992 Staff Member PEB Forum Veteran

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    usafaviator and PtDraco like this.
  8. nwlivewire

    nwlivewire PEB Forum Veteran

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    If you are planning on attending school and using your Post 9/11 GI Bill:

    I just found out that the US territiories (Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands - Carribean - Guam), etc:

    The VA has just made effective a new housing subsidy rate - it is based on the OVERSEAS HOUSING RATE (OHA) for E-5 with dependents.

    This is a SIGNIFICANT increase in housing subsidy dollars. In some of these US Territories, the monthly OHA is WELL over 2,000 p/month on the GI Bill.

    I do know Space A Travel is available to the US and it's territories if military retired and under the age of 60. After age 60, you get international Space A.

    EXAMPLE:
    Guam has a full-service PX and all the other bells and whistles, so costs to a retiree can be greatly reduced while living there for school. Plus, the University of Guam is a fully accredited US school (WASC), so no worries about degree transfer or validity issues in the Mainland.

    So if you're interested in reducing your travel costs, Guam is located about 5 hours by air to Australia, and a few hours to all of SE Asia, so summer excursions are cheaper using Guam as a jumping off point for your travels to these areas.

    Oh. And by coincidence, I just read where the DOD is expanding the Marine Corps there - a transfer of 5,000 additional Marines to permanent duty status in the next couple of years due to downsizing the Corps from Japan.

    I'm just putting this out there to the general readership. You can go to VA.gov and find some of this out, too.

    Choosing a place to relocate to all depends on what you want to do, and in what order.....
    V/r,
    nwlivewire
  9. ranger2992

    ranger2992 Staff Member PEB Forum Veteran

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    Great info and keep it coming. I am pretty set as I have a GS job and have settled in the worst of the states (CA), but I am sure others can use the info. I also know where to come if my situation changes. We just love living in California too much.
  10. nwlivewire

    nwlivewire PEB Forum Veteran

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    Remember, there are GS jobs in the Territories, too.......

    GS job plus BI BILL Overseas Housing allowance???? hmmmm.......
  11. ranger2992

    ranger2992 Staff Member PEB Forum Veteran

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    I hear you, but GS 12 + my retirement + my upcoming CRSC make me pretty comfy. My wife works as well. California is not for everybody, but we really love it here.
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  12. nwlivewire

    nwlivewire PEB Forum Veteran

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    Gotcha. Cali is a great place (some places anyway) - but not particularly affordable to retirees - taxed to death!

    Best of luck to you and your family.

    Keep us in the loop!

    V/r,
    nwlivewire
  13. kiefer82

    kiefer82 Guest

    I am stationed in LA and my family lives in TX. I am originally from NY and there is nothing better than TX. I bought some acreage and built a custom new house for 104K 2 years ago. I am only an hour from the city of Dallas, very peaceful living for my family. I have multiple degrees and unlimited companies begging me to work, cheap gas, food, and no state taxes to pay. There is nothing better than TX and thats coming from a guy that lived in multiple states across the us prior to settling in TX. God bless to everyone wherevere you decide to live, but you really should think about TX.
  14. lh830

    lh830 New Member

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    I'm searching for info on good places for disabled vets to live. I'm not rated at 100%, but am limited to very little walking with support.

    I'm disabled due to a spinal service injury and the condition is worsening. My mobility is deteriorating quickly. I will be giving up driving soon, so public transportation and climate are important. I don't want to have to take a scooter on icy sidewalks to the store! I'm really interested in a condo-type of place....mine but no maintenance. Highrise is ok with elevator. A place where I can get to all of the necessities in 5-10 min on a scooter. Maybe a development designed for minimal transportation needs.

    Looks like most of the responses are from people with 100% or close to it, but still able to take care of acreage.

    Any help is appreciated.
  15. TJkick

    TJkick PEB Forum Veteran

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    This is a great thread! I have been researching where to move my primary residence for my retirement years. I plan to keep a house in Michigan but am looking at somewhere warm. The simple fact is that you cannot ignore the potential tax breaks by relocating your primary residence to a different state. Even though Michigan doesn't tax your military retirement, it beats you up with other taxes and the infrastructure sucks. I have been looking closely at both Florida and Texas and have used only the sites previously mentioned so nothing to add in that arena. One thing I am going to consider is pretty much what you get for your money in the $300,000 range on a house. Florida still is in a big housing slump and while Texas isn't suffering from as bad of a market slump, the prices there weren't as over inflated. Florida I am looking along the west coast and Texas I am looking at the Corpus Christi region. Both states have huge benefits to make the moves worthwhile. I wish I could have explored the possibility of moving along the coast of Georgia and South Carolina but they don't have the same tax advantages (please correct me if I am wrong).
  16. nwlivewire

    nwlivewire PEB Forum Veteran

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    UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

    I just received an email from the Financial Aid Office of the University of Guam.

    I expressed my interest in attending a maximum of 3/4 time - that is probably going to be all the work-load of credits I'll be able to manage physically/mentally etc.

    HERE ARE MY TWO QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS I POSTED TO THEM.


    SINCE I WILL BE USING THE POST 9/11 GI BILL TO FUND MY EDUCATION AND BE USING THEIR STIPEND, TOO, YOUR UNIVERSITY RESIDENCY TUITION REQUIREMENTS, OR LACK THEREOF, COULD BECOME A FINANCIAL ISSUE & BECOME A BARRIER TO MY ENTRANCE TO YOUR UNIVERSITY.

    WILL YOU ACCEPT THE POST 9/11 GI BILL FOR PAYMENT OF TUITION AND FEES WITHOUT CHARGING ME NON-RESIDENT TUITION & FEES – NON-RESIDENT TUITION & FEES THAT COULD LIMIT ME FINANCIALLY AND RESTRICT JUST HOW MUCH MY POST 9/11 GI BILL WILL COVER?

    The University of Guam Board of Regents had recently passed a resolution that would allow all Post 9/11 recipients who are non-resident to be considered resident for tuition purposes. In your case, you would qualify as a resident under this resolution.

    I WILL LIVE OFF-CAMPUS AS I HAVE A PET (CAT). I WILL NOT HAVE A CAR, AND WILL NEED A FURNISHED APARTMENT. ANY ESTIMATES ON RENTAL COSTS WITHIN WALKING/PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION DISTANCE TO YOUR LOCATION?
    When we conducted a housing survey early last year, we found that most 1 bedroom apartments close to the University were averaging $750 per month – not including utilities.

    ***********
    OVERSEAS HOUSING ALLOWANCE FOR POST 9/11 GILL AT 100% GI BILL ENTITLEMENT AT FULL-TIME ATTENDANCE RATE.

    ST. CROIX, US VIRGIN ISLANDS = 2,167
    (3/4 TIME ATTENDANCE = 80% OHA = 1,733)

    ST. THOMAS, US VIRGIN ISLANDS = 2,361
    (3/4 TIME ATTENDANCE = 80% OHA = 1,888)

    GUAM = 2,450
    (3/4 TIME ATTENDANCE = 80% OHA = 1,960)
  17. Warrior644

    Warrior644 PEB Forum Veteran

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    In reference to the information presented within this thread, it's simply stated:

    "Possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer!" :)

    Best Wishes!

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