Is San Antonio the Best Place Financially for Veterans to Retire?
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that nearly 200,000 service members leave the military every year. For many of them, the transition back to civilian life can be difficult.1 For the more than 19 million veterans currently living in the United States, where you live can be essential to your access to healthcare, good employment, and a strong quality of life.
Even without a pandemic, retirement from the military is always difficult, with many retirees are facing major struggles including Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, disability, and homelessness.
Veterans must also consider how state tax policies on military benefits vary, along with the relative friendliness of different job markets and other socioeconomic factors, when choosing a city in which to settle down.
San Antonio is a major city (population near 1.5 million) in south-central Texas that is rich in history, culture, and attractions. San Antonio has consistently topped the lists for the best place for veterans to live.
WalletHub conducted a report of the best U.S. cities for veterans to retire, analyzing 20 key indicators of livability, affordability, and veteran-friendliness. The study then provided rankings out of 100 for each category. San Antonio ranked in the top tier at 21 out of 100 in the most recent survey.2
Some key statistics show the importance placed on veterans in San Antonio.3 With a large veteran population of almost 110,000, there are many VA health (14) and VA benefits facilities (5). San Antonio's cost of living is lower than the national average at 89.7 (100 average). Median home prices are more affordable at $175,000 than in many other major metropolitan cities.
We will focus in on three factors of the financial affordability that San Antonio offers buying a home, overall cost of living, and taxes.
Buying A Home
A separate study by House Method on the best cities for veterans to buy a home put San Antonio at the top of a list of 50 cities and Los Angeles at the bottom. As mentioned, the median home price is $175,000, which is much lower than other comparable cities. This makes San Antonio a great location for veterans with an affordable stock of housing.3
Cost of Living
In terms of the cost of living, San Antonio is cheaper than the U.S. average. As mentioned, San Antonio's cost of living is 89.7, which is well below the national average.4 Housing is the biggest factor in the cost of living difference. The following statistics show the low monthly averages of major household expenses.
Monthly groceries: $246.61
Monthly utilities: $133.73
Monthly transportation: $37
Median rent: $1,277
San Antonio ranks 28 for expensiveness of taxes compared to other comparable cities.5 There is no state income tax, but the annual property tax estimate by county is $3,784.20 with a property tax rate of 2.12% and sales tax of 8.25%. Overall, taxes are in the middle of the pack compared to other cities. The benefit of no state income tax is great. But the sales tax and property taxes are higher than in many other comparable cities.
Overall, San Antonio is a great city for veterans to retire! The most recent WalletHub survey ranks San Antonio is the top tier for veterans. Buying a home is ranked Number 1 in the country for affordability, and taxes are in the middle of the pack compared to other major cities. Especially important, the cost of living is much less than many comparable cities mostly because of the affordability of housing. Talk to a financial planner to learn more about living a comfortable retirement in San Antonio.
*This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. Individuals involved in the estate planning process should work with an estate planning team, including their own personal legal or tax counsel. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a representation by us of a specific investment or the purchase or sale of any securities. Asset allocation and diversification do not ensure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets.