Top 10 Cities For Veterans, Ranked

If you’re after the military looking for the right place to live, you’re not alone. It is estimated that around 250,000 service members separate or retire each year, and finding the right city to settle in after a career full of PCS moves is a top concern.

The Navy Federal Credit Union released its 2020 edition of “Best Cities After Service” on November 2 to make the search a little easier.

More than 1,000 veterans and civilians were surveyed by the credit union to get their top picks. Questions quantified everything from cost of living and prices of immovable property to access to activities and transportation facility.

Results have shown that transitioning service members prioritize having a strong veteran community, low crime rates, low living costs and easy access to outdoor recreation. Using these priorities as a guide, more than 400 U.S. cities were ranked from best to worst by Navy Federal and its nonprofit partner Operation Homefront, which aims to support military families.

Top Cities for Veterans:

  1. Charleston, South Carolina
  2. Fort Myers, Florida
  3. Savannah, Georgia
  4. Daphne, Alabama
  5. Norwich, Connecticut
  6. San Diego, California
  7. Norfolk, Virginia
  8. Duluth, Minnesota
  9. Gulfport, Mississippi
  10. Fort Worth, Texas

The “Best Of” lists from Navy Federal began in 2018 as a way to assist transition veterans. The first list of the initiative also focused on the best veteran cities. Last year, the credit union identified the best after-service careers but decided to return to cities this year because of the way the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about change in priorities.

“It’s really perfect in my daily job to put these lists in and show them, because it gets to the service member’s individuality about ‘What do you like to do?,’ ‘What kinds of city would you enjoy?'” said Clay Stackhouse, a regional Navy Federal and former colonel of the Marine Corps.

Stackhouse stressed the list is designed for all types of veterans. Whether it’s Fort Myers’ sandy beaches and waterways, Duluth’s four seasons and outdoor activities or San Diego’s big-city vibe – the list provides something for everyone.

Stackhouse said Navy Federal representatives are available 24/7 to help service members and veterans with things like finding a good city to live in.

“We are incredibly grateful for the continued support of NFCU and all they do to help us help this very deserving group of our fellow citizens overcome their financial hardships and set them on a path to a stronger, more stable and more secure future.” Visit Navy Federal to see the full list of cities with descriptions.

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