3 of the most family-friendly communities in Indiana. Indiana has more than acres of cornfields on offer—especially for veterans with families.
With a low cost of living and economic incentives for eligible veterans, it’s no surprise that service members are relocating to Indiana after their military careers. Home to urban centers with small town charm and small towns with exciting economic opportunities, the Hoosier state accommodates a wide variety of lifestyles and interests.
What makes a community family-friendly?
When it comes time to relocate, different families prioritize different things. Although no community is perfect, there are certain attributes and amenities that make a given town or city more livable for veterans. For instance, many families would prefer a stellar community school system to a lackluster one, and many parents would prefer a short commute to work to a long one. In other words, every family’s preferences are unique, but there are factors that enjoy popular appeal, such as access to quality healthcare, cost of living, distance to work, entertainment options, high employment rates, low crime rates, and strong school systems. All of these factors contribute to a town or city’s livability for families.
Best places to live in Indiana
Planning a move? These three communities offer a variety of benefits to current and former members of the armed forces. Whether you’re looking for a mid-sized city or a popular suburb, this list has you covered.
- Columbus, Indiana
Ted Loos of The New York Times calls Columbus, Indiana, “a company town with a twist” because of the city’s rich design history. Home to engine maker Cummins as well as several landmarks for lovers of mid-century modern architecture, Columbus appeals to young families due to its economic potential and natural beauty. The city serves as a hub for Indiana’s southeast region, which boasts many career opportunities in its growing private business sector. Perfect for those who enjoy spending quality time outdoors, the rolling hills of Brown County State Park are just a 30-minute drive away, and the city has constructed over 27 miles of trails that wind through local parks.
- Fort Wayne, Indiana
There’s something of a renaissance happening in Fort Wayne, Indiana. With major manufacturers like General Motors and BAE Systems and healthcare providers like Parkview Health adding quality jobs to Indiana’s northeast region, Fort Wayne’s economy has been reinvigorated in recent years. Business Insider even included Fort Wayne on its list of the 50 best places to live in 2020. This acclaim is no accident. A mid-sized city with the attractions of a major city, Fort Wayne’s low cost of living, short average commute times, and desirable, quiet neighborhoods entice homebuyers with young families.
- Westfield, Indiana
Ranked among Money’s 50 best places to live in 2020, Westfield, Indiana, is quickly becoming one of the most popular Indianapolis suburbs for families. The city’s rise in popularity comes as no surprise to longtime residents. With great schools and a high median income, Westfield checks quite a few boxes for potential homebuyers. As the city’s population increases, the opportunities for entertainment and leisure are increasing too. Between the multimillion-dollar Grand Park Sports Campus—the official home of Indianapolis Colts Training Camp—and new restaurants that cater to all diets, residents should have no problem planning their weekend activities.
How to prepare for your move to Indiana
Determining where to live after life in the military is one of the toughest and most personal decisions transitioning service members have to make. But it can also be one of the most rewarding choices of their lives. Finding a safe community with exciting job opportunities and entertainment options for the entire family offers veterans a new sense of stability and belonging after life in the military. So what can veterans do to simplify the moving process?
Any major life change requires research and planning. Before moving, consider the many aspects of livability we detailed earlier in this blog post. Which attributes matter most to you? Some veterans may prioritize cost of living over local entertainment options. Some may value quality of education over proximity to work. Although veterans may not find a community that perfectly aligns with their preferences, forming a wish list of livability factors will provide valuable context during the housing search.
Before service members commit to relocating, they should also make sure that their salaries will allow them to live comfortably in their new communities. Online cost of living calculators (like this one) can help veterans identify and plan for future expenses. Economic experts recommend that around 30% of your monthly gross income should be spent on housing. If renting or buying property in a new community requires more than that, it may be best to look into other options for your family.
Helping veterans plan for civilian life
Transitioning to civilian life is hard, but searching for career opportunities shouldn’t be. INvets, a nonprofit organization founded by veterans, takes the guesswork out of job searching by connecting service members with businesses and organizations that want to hire veterans. When service members apply for one of the featured positions on our job board, they know they have a real chance to land it.
Ready to start a lasting civilian career in Indiana? Register for an INvets account today to see available jobs at veteran-focused businesses and start planning your next move.