Transitioning into civilian life can be difficult for many veterans. Finding a city to live in that features a low cost of living, low unemployment rate and ample educational opportunities can be challenging for former members of the armed forces.
There are cities that have all of these qualities in spades, but you may have to move out of state to get there. Below are some of the best areas for veterans to find jobs, homes and schools.
1. Pittsburgh, PA
The Steel City is often overshadowed by Philadelphia in terms of being considered Pennsylvania's premier relocation destination. Pittsburgh takes the title for veterans thanks to its low cost of residency. Forbes recently reported that the the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is only $685 per month. The news source also points out that the median home price is only $107,000.
Pittsburgh's unemployment rate is also below the national average at 7.1 percent. There is a high demand for skilled laborers, so veterans should be able to find work. Additionally, Forbes points out that the city is home to three universities that former service personnel looking to continue their education can take advantage of.
2. Phoenix, AZ
Veterans who prefer a warmer climate should consider Phoenix. The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) notes that there are many unfilled defense and managerial positions throughout the city, which many former military members are well-suited for.
In 2011, Arizona lawmakers passed a bill to make education more affordable. According to the East Valley Tribune, veterans are eligible for in-state tuition, regardless of how long they've lived in the state. Phoenix is home to many of Arizona's colleges and is only a short drive away from Arizona State University's campus in Tempe.
3. Norfolk, VA
There's a high demand for engineers and defense contractors in Norfolk, VA and the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the metro area has an unemployment rate of 6.1 percent. Norfolk is home to many defense companies so that rate is likely to hold steady, even as the national average fluctuates. The city is popular among veterans as it's home to Naval Station Norfolk and some of the country's best veterans' services.
Regardless of where you choose to move, Stevens Worldwide Van Lines can help you through the relocation process. Military moving services can help you quickly settle into your new home so you can transition into civilian life.