Wednesday, November 9, 2011

San Antonio among best places for military retirees' second career.

San Antonio placed fifth on a list of the best places for retired military personnel to start a second career.

Oklahoma City; Norfolk, Va.; Richmond, Va.; and Austin ranked ahead of San Antonio in the survey, compiled by San Antonio-based financial institution USAA and Military.com, a news and membership organization for the military.

USAA and Military.com commissioned Sperling's BestPlaces to create a ranking to help military retirees decide where to begin anew.

“We wanted to take some of the guesswork out of where one should look to launch that second career,” said June Walbert, a USAA certified financial planner. Finding a place to start a second career “is an enormous financial undertaking that these veterans ... go through,” she added.

The survey evaluated 379 metro areas. While the San Antonio area has fewer federal jobs than Austin, the Alamo City scored well for the volume of defense contracts awarded and for “jobs that are a good fit for military skills.”

“Military skills include aviation, engineering, logistics management, emergency services, protective services and medical services,” Walbert said. “That was our No. 1 metric that we used as we conducted this study.”

Others factors included an area's unemployment rate, the number of small and veteran-owned businesses, and proximity to military installations and Veterans Affairs hospitals.

San Antonio registered “solid affordability scores,” with the survey noting there's no state tax on military retirement pay.

Last year, San Antonio ranked second on a list of the best military towns for military personnel to retire. That survey looked at cost of living, raising a family and maximizing the benefits offered to veterans, as well as starting a second career. Oklahoma City finished atop that list, also compiled by USAA and Military.com.

http://www.mysanantonio.com

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