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OK City Tops List of Best Places for Military Retirees to Start New Careers

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  • November 9, 2011
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Recently retired service members about to embark on a civilian career should consider moving to Oklahoma City, Okla., according to a new ranking that accounts for a variety of factors important to military veterans, including the availability of jobs that take advantage of military experience and proximity to a military installation or Veterans Affairs facility.

The “Best Places for Military Retirement: Second Careers,” prepared by USAA and, pinpoints U.S. metro areas that are more likely to offer employment opportunities for military retirees, while still maximizing military benefits and providing a higher quality of life.

While two defense communities topped the list — OK City was followed by Norfolk, Va. — many of the places in the overall top 10 do not host a major defense facility. Other defense communities on the list included San Antonio (fifth) and Omaha, Neb. (ninth).

The ranking relied on a number of variables considered important to military retirees:

  • employment opportunities and sectors that align with military skill sets, including defense, engineering, medical services, aviation and emergency services;
  • number of small businesses and volume of defense contracts;
  • state taxation on military pensions;
  • overall job climate;
  • proximity to a military installation and a VA hospital or clinic; and
  • overall quality of life, including ¬†affordability, housing costs, crime rate and climate

Similar rankings separated by population also featured defense communities. The small metros list included: Rapid City, S.D.; Wichita Falls, Texas; Warner Robins, Ga.; and Lawton, Okla. The medium metros list included Anchorage, Alaska; Killeen, Texas; Huntsville, Ala.; and Lexington, Ky.

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