As if retiring with the most powerful armed forces in the world isn’t enough. Military retirees also enjoy benefits in their civilian lives. It isn’t all caviar and cocktails, but these extra benefits are almost worth the sacrifices servicemen and women make leading up to their retirement.
Many people wait until retirement to enjoy vacations. Retired military employees receive special benefits to make those traveling dreams reality. Each branch of the military has Morale, Welfare, and Recreation programs that continue to benefit retirees. The military ticket/travel voucher (MTV) initiative provides information, tickets and reservation (ITR) offices as a resource for travelers. MTV provide access to discounted lodging and admission to vacation attractions like museums, tours and theaters. The office acts like a retiree’s free travel agent.
Other military travel perks include discounted air, rental car, and train travel. Ex-military members should never be afraid to ask if their travel plans include discounts for retired military. Most leisure companies acknowledge these VIPs.
Those lengthy college applications usually ask if you are serving or have served in the military. Most colleges have tuition and veterans assistance that lurk behind the accompanying check-box. Education benefits aren’t only for those on active duty and can help military retirees explore educational opportunities. There are also programs, like the Veteran’s Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) and the GI Bill, that provide some additional financial aid. Classes may highlight personal interests, or vets can earn an entire degree in their free time.
Military retirement can be carefree and tax-free. Under certain conditions, a few of the 50 states do not tax retired military pensions: Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Relocating or just buying a new home is also easy for retired military personnel. Veterans Affairs – VA home loans may help make a new mortgage possible. If a retiree purchases a home with a VA guarantee, they will have no down payment. This loan is backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, so they are a helpful source even after the keys are handed over. Loan eligibility is based on service during war and peace times. After the Department of Veterans Services issues a certificate of eligibility, a retiree can apply for the home loan through participating mortgage lenders.
A free cup of coffee at a local café or entrée every third Wednesday at Stan’s Steak Barn are retirement perks. Military retirees receive even more accolades.