top cities for retired militaryRoughly 250,000 service members are estimated to separate or retire each year from the armed forces. After a career full of PCS moves, choosing the right place in which to settle is a major issue for retired military.

To make this quest a little easier, Navy Federal Credit Union released its 2020 edition of “Best Cities After Service,” according to an article in Military Times’ entitled “Top 10 cities for veterans, ranked.”

The credit union surveyed more than 1,000 retired military and civilians to develop a list of their top picks. Questions quantified factors, such as the cost of living, real estate prices, access to activities and the ease of transportation.

The results from Navy Federal Credit Union research showed that transitioning service members prioritize having a strong community of veterans, low crime rates, low costs of living and easy access to outdoor recreation. With those priorities as a guide, Navy Federal and its partner nonprofit Operation Homefront, which seeks to support military families, ranked more than 400 U.S. cities from best to worst. Here’s the Top Ten List for retired military from Navy Federal:

  1. Charleston, South Carolina
  2. Fort Myers, Florida
  3. Savannah, Georgia
  4. Daphne, Alabama
  5. Norwich, Connecticut
  6. San Diego, California
  7. Norfolk, Virginia
  8. Duluth, Minnesota
  9. Gulfport, Mississippi
  10. Fort Worth, Texas

Last year, the credit union provided a list of the best careers after service. However, in 2020 they opted to return to cities because of the way the COVID-19 pandemic has caused priorities to change.

The full city list with descriptions is at Navy Federal’s website.

Reference: Military Times (Nov. 9, 2020) “Top 10 cities for veterans, ranked”