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Veterans Guide to Retiring in New York

By    |   Thursday, 05 November 2015 09:20 PM

There are a number of perks to consider for veterans thinking of retiring in New York State, which has picturesque cities that feature plenty of culture, outdoor activities, and chances to escape the fast life. However, New York State has a reputation that it makes life difficult on its retirees, particularly veterans.

WalletHub ranked all 50 states plus the District of Columbia in terms of their “economic environment,” “quality of life,” and “healthcare” for veterans. Among them, New York finished 51st, 45th, and 15th in those respective categories. The state also ranked 47th for “Least Veteran Owned Businesses” and 47th in the overall rankings.

Making matters worse is the high cost of living in the state. U.S. News and World Report pegged two New York cities in its 2014 list of “The Worst Places to Retire in the U.S.” As one might expect, New York City was one of the cities.

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However, the other, less obvious city was Poughkeepsie, which is situated in between New York City and Albany. What made Poughkeepsie a regrettable retirement destination was its housing, which was nearly as expensive as New York City. In addition, healthcare expenses were quite high. Long-term care median expenses were “$371 per day for a nursing home or $3900 monthly for an assisted living facility” according to U.S. News.

Taxes in the state were also among the steepest in the entire country, according to Kiplinger. While there were a number of tax exemptions for seniors and veterans, overcoming the tax rates on income was a challenge for retirees. The state income tax ranged anywhere from 4 percent to 8.82 percent.

So, with those mountains to climb, what was being done to help the state’s veterans?

The New York State Division of Veterans' Affairs had a number of advocacy and assistance programs and vet centers in New York. There were also employment aids, financial aids, and healthcare aids available.

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New York State vets were entitled to housing benefits, financial assistance, employment benefits, and education benefits. There were also a number of tax exemptions such as the “Alternative Veterans Exemption” which was “available…on residential property of a veteran who has served during a designated time of war or received an expeditionary medal.”

According to Military.com, veteran tuition awards were also offered “for full-time and part-time study for eligible veterans matriculated at an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting institution or in an approved vocational training program in New York State.”

SUNY’s Cortland Campus participated in the Yellow Ribbon Program which ensured “that tuition would be paid for, regardless of where the former soldier or eligible family member lived.”

New York did offer a great deal by way of culture, amenities, and setting, but remained a challenging place for veteran retirees to live. There was assistance, but the question remained whether the pros of that assistance outweighed the cons in providing a happy retirement destination for veterans.

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There are perks for veterans retiring in New York State, which has picturesque cities that feature plenty of culture, outdoor activities, and chances to escape the fast life. But, New York State has been earning a reputation that it's difficult on retirees, particularly veterans.
new york, veterans, retiring, guide
Thursday, 05 November 2015 09:20 PM
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