Did you know that as a military retiree you are eligible to live anywhere in the world? In fact, the government may even pay you to retire overseas!
There are generally no restrictions on where you may retire when you are ready to leave the military. Travel restrictions are generally the same as for all civilians, and are subject to State Department regulations.
If you decide to retire overseas the government may actually pay your travel expenses. In fact, retirees can travel anywhere in the world and receive travel pay for it, as long as the cost of travel doesn't exceed the cost to travel to either your home of record or the location where you entered the service from.
You should be aware that many countries have restrictions on who can set up residency. You may be required to have a job, be married to a local national, or have a lot of money in the bank and a stable income before you will be allowed to get a visa or foreign residency.
If you decide to apply for foreign residency it usually makes no difference in your retirement benefits. You will still be eligible for your military retirement, VA benefits and Tricare as a foreign national.
You can't get a VA home loan overseas, but if you are severely disabled you may be able to get a Specially Adaptive Housing grant overseas.
If you want to get VA medical care or use your GI Bill, you can do that too. Your retirement pay and VA benefits can be deposited into a foreign bank or a U.S. bank, although it is usually easier if you use a U.S. bank with a branch in the country you are living in. Your pay and benefits will be deposited in U.S. dollars and if you are using a foreign bank it will be converted to the local currency. You may be hit with a service fee for that, depending on your bank.
You can communicate the VA online through the eBenefits website just like if you were in the states, and you can use MyPay to do all your communicating with DFAS regarding your retired pay and Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) questions.
In some countries with a large U.S. military presence you can receive medical treatment as well as enjoy shopping privileges on base. Some countries have VA representatives in the U.S. Embassy or Social Security offices to assist you in receiving your medical care and retirement benefits.
Retirees in the Philippines can even visit their own VA Regional Office and medical clinic in Pasay City, a suburb of Manila.
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