Tags: Retirement | retirement | Montana | veterans

Veterans' Guide to Retiring in Montana

By    |   Tuesday, 09 Jun 2015 01:13 AM

With a military history going back to Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, Montana is a choice place for veterans to retire. In fact, WalletHub rated it as the second-best state in the nation in 2015 for retired vets, behind only Wyoming. Montana ranked second in its proportion of veterans to total population, and first in the proportion of veteran-owned businesses. Here is a guide for veterans looking to make Montana their retirement home.

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  1. Health Care - WalletHub ranked Montana first on health care for veterans. There are networks of state and federal veteran service facilities across the sparsely-populated state. The Montana Department of Military Affairs veteran's services page lists offices in 10 Montana cities, a veterans' crisis hotline, and links to family-member care, education, and three state veterans' cemeteries. There are also links to national resource directories, and federal Veterans Affairs services and benefits. Montana also maintains two state residential facilities, at Columbia Falls and Glendive, "to provide a home and subsistence for veterans," according to military.com. As for federal veterans' services, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs website lists VA Health Care System facilities at Fort Harrison, outpatient clinics in five cities, and community outpatient clinics in 11 cities. There are Vet Centers in Billings, Great Falls, Kalispell, and Missoula, as well as a benefit office at Fort Harrison, and the national cemetery at Laurel.
  2. Financial Breaks - Residences owned by veterans or their spouses are exempt from property taxes if the veteran died while on active duty or of a service-related cause, or if the veteran is living and disabled from a service-related cause, military.com notes. There are also exemptions, assistance, and waivers for education and vehicle registration.
  3. How Soon Can You Retire? Free Test Shows You When — Click Here

  4. Veteran City - The place in Montana where the military and veteran communities come together is in Great Falls, Montana's second-largest city and home to Malmstrom Air Force Base. The Great Falls Tribune noted in 2004 that the "Electric City" was home to the state's largest veteran community. More recently, Forbes magazine named Great Falls to its 2015 list of "25 Best Places to Retire," citing a strong local economy, a cost of living 2 percent below the national average, good air quality, good tax climate, and high number of doctors per capita. Some of Great Falls assets are due to Malmstrom, which as one of Montana's biggest employers pumps money into the local economy, as well as the Department of Veterans Affairs primary clinic in Great Falls. Additionally, there is a major VA medical facility at Fort William Henry Harrison, 90 minutes away by car. The Tribune cited numbers in 2004 that suggested most veterans don't take full advantage of the services available to them: 26,500 veterans used the VA health care service in 2003, out of about 668,000 veterans living in Montana at the time.
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With a military history going back to Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, Montana is a choice place for veterans to retire. In fact, WalletHub rated it as the second-best state in the nation in 2015 for retired vets, behind only Wyoming.
retirement, Montana, veterans
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2015-13-09
Tuesday, 09 Jun 2015 01:13 AM
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