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How to Decide Where To Live After The Military

When looking for a job, too many job seekers ignore the importance of location. Among transitioning service members especially, too many go back to where they grew up or hang around their last duty station. Unfortunately, this can be detrimental to your next career. With some exception, there aren’t a lot of great jobs near military bases. Depending on where you are from, the same could be true about moving back home. Here are a number of considerations to think about when choosing where to move.

1.  Taxes.

If you are planning on living off of your retirement or have some other taxable benefits from your service, states without income taxes should be high on your list. Wherever you are planning on going, do a search for that state’s income tax calculator and figure out just how much of that pension you are going to be able to keep.

2. Benefits.

Many states offer highly generous benefits to veterans. These extend to university scholarships, business grants, home loans, and even free hunting and fishing permits. See what your state has to offer, and more importantly, compare it to other options of places you might consider living. You can usually find this information on each state’s Department of Veterans Affairs (or similar organization) website.

3. Jobs.

The sad truth is that some places offer better opportunities than others, especially when you segment the country by industry. If you know what you want to do, make sure those opportunities exist where you plan to place your stakes. Finding manufacturing jobs in New York City is considerably harder than finding finance jobs. But also don’t overlook small growing markets. For example, in addition to the tech hub in Northern California, Colorado, Texas, and even Memphis have growing technology industries.

4. Work-life balance.

What you do to earn an income is only part of what you do to earn a living. Make sure your next community offer the activities, sports, and hobbies you and your family enjoy doing. Or at the very least, make sure it offers the opportunity to learn something new.

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