Archive for May, 2011

Housing Prices Continue to Fall

Cities that were outside the reach of military retirees are now a real bargain. Popular choices such as Phoenix, Las Vegas, Orlando, and Tampa are now at bargain basement prices. In addition, mortgage rates have fallen again to the lowest levels of the year.

We recently purchased a short-sale home in Las Vegas. We were interested in this neighborhood in 2005, but the prices were far to high for our projected budget. Five years later the home was available for less than half the price in 2005.

Florida, which does not have a personal income tax, has truly become a bargain. How does a two bedroom, two bathroom condo with an ocean view in Destin for less than $190,000 sound? This one sold in 2004 for $499,900 and is now on the market for $189,900.  Using your VA mortgage, with no money down, your payment would be about $1,600 each month, including taxes, condo fees, and insurance.

If this is still too rich for you, try the greater Phoenix, AZ area. This four bedroom two bathroom home in Tolleson, AZ was built in 2006, selling at that time for about $250,000. You can buy it now for $86,000. Try a payment of $641!

The bottom line, again, is that military retirees have so many more options than they had five years ago, and mortgage rates will lower your monthly payment to the point that you can enjoy greater freedom and more security than you’ve ever been able to achieve. This is a great time to consider an early retirement!


States that do not tax military retirement pay

According to, the following states do not tax military retirement pay.

Retired Military Pay
Some states provide special tax benefits to military retirees. Others simply follow the federal tax rules. The states that do not tax retired military pay are: 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.
(*With conditions)

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