Pittsburgh Earns Top 10 Ranking as Best Place for Military Retirement

Pittsburgh Earns Top 10 Ranking as Best Place for Military Retirement

First-of-its-kind ranking highlights Pittsburgh as one of the best places for military retirees to maximize benefits, raise families and launch second careers

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced today that the City of Pittsburgh has ranked no. 8 in the overall top 10 “Best Places for Military Retirement” in the first-of-its-kind list commissioned by the United Services Automobile Association(USAA) and Military.com to pinpoint places in the U.S. that offer a high quality of life and help maximize military retiree benefits. Pittsburgh also ranked no. 5 on the top 10 large metros.

“The Pittsburgh region has made it a priority to show our support and gratitude to the men and women who have risked their lives for our country,” said Ravenstahl. “Receiving this ranking is an honor, and it confirms that our quality of life efforts have been appreciated by both our local veterans and the Military community as a whole.”

USAA — a leading financial services provider focused on serving the military—and Military.com—the largestmilitary and veteran membership organization—worked with Sperling’s BestPlaces to develop the list. Researchers reviewed data on 20 different variables for 379 major U.S. metropolitan areas. Variables included:

Proximity to a military base and a VA hospital or clinic, base amenities and state taxation on military pensions.

Employment and education opportunities, including employment rates and presence of colleges and universities.

General quality of life issues, such as affordability, housing costs, economic stability, crime rate, climate, health indicators, airport access, arts and culture and recreational activities.

Each variable was weighted based on importance to military retirees, and each metro area was given a score based on its total points for each variable. The metro areas were ranked based on these scores.

“Most military members face two retirements—one from a military career and one from a civilian career,” said Kevin O’Fee, assistant vice president of retirement strategies at USAA. “The list gives veterans a head start on planning both the second and third acts of their lives, which likely involves a new community, a new home and a new financial plan.”

Last week, Mayor Ravenstahl introduced legislation that would charge the City with reaching out to qualified businesses operated by Veterans in order to help them increase their business opportunities with the City. In September, the nation’s third Army Strong Community Center opened in Coraopolis, PA. The center is designed to provide continuity of support to Army Reserve Soldiers and families.

“With 15 percent of southwestern Pennsylvania residents being veterans, including 33,000 residents in Pittsburgh, the much-needed Center has been a welcomed addition to the community,” Ravenstahl said, after attending the grand-opening ceremony.

Ward Carroll, editor of Military.com and also a military retiree, added, “Military.com supports our military personnel throughout their lifecycle of service, including retirement and secondary careers. Tools like our Skills Translator and helpful information like the list of best places to retire is our way of saying thank you to those who have served.”

To see the full top 10 list, visit usaa.com/bestplaces and military.com/usaa-best-places-to-retire/2010.

December 7th, 2010 | Posted in Front Page Stories | No Comments