Economy
8:37 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Pittsburgh Ranked Best City For Veterans

Pittsburgh continues its reign as the “Most Livable City” but this time for military veterans. The USAA, a company offering banking, investing and insurance to people and families that served or serve in the military, ranked Pittsburgh as the number one city for veterans based on affordability and job and education opportunities.

Scott Hollowell, a certified financial planner for the USAA, said Pittsburgh met all of the criteria to be the best.

“You pull them all together, Pittsburgh is obviously a very affordable place to live, as compared to other cities in the country,” Hollowell said. “Pittsburgh has a great educational system, there’s Duquesne University, there’s the University of Pittsburgh, there’s Carnegie Mellon. There are also a lot of military-related, or military skill-set related job opportunities in Pittsburgh,” he said.

In the past year, job growth in Pittsburgh was 2.1 percent and the unemployment rate was 7.1 percent,  well below the national average. The city also fared well compared to many other regions during the national economic downturn.

Hollowell said in the past, the top cities were determined with older veterans and their pensions in mind.

“This year, because we focused it on the younger crowd, we looked more at the 25-34 age range, we actually then skewed the criteria more towards cities that offered a combination of job opportunities as well as education opportunities for those who want to use their post-9/11 G.I. bill,” Hollowell said.

Hollowell added life after the military can come as a shock and those in the service should start planning as soon as they can.

“When someone leaves the military, pretty much everything about their daily living is going to change. They’re going to leave their employer, in many cases, they’re going to leave where they live, they’re going to move somewhere else in the country,” Hollowell said. “The way they get paid is gong to change, their benefits program is going to change, and virtually everything about their lives is going to be different,” he said.

For the complete list of the top 10 most livable cities for veterans, visit the USAA website at www.usaa.com.