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Old 03-12-2014, 02:46 PM
 
14 posts, read 16,333 times
Reputation: 20

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Hello To everyone
I am finally retiring from the Marines after 17 years. We are originally from Texas, Rockport and Crystal City area. I'm trying to get some information on the area as far as jobs, schools, and good areas to live in. I was stationed in San Antonio back in 2000 and havent been back there since. So i know alot has changed. Here are a few questions that I have and if you can answer them it would be appreciated.

1. Who is hiring in the S.A. area especially for veterans?? I have 17 years of military experience in several areas like recruiting, infantry, legal/administration, anti terrorism officer, etc...

2. I know Wilford Hall and Fort Sam have medical facilities for active duty but how is it with retirees as far as the care and wait time? Will we have to use doctors that accept TRICARE instead if they dont treat retirees?

3. What is normal cable rate, internet rate, electricity bill, water/sewage normal rate at?
Rent rate anywhere from 1000 to 1200 a month what kind of sqare footage am i looking at and what areas are good areas to live in for that amount? This would be for a family of 4 with my two kids both age 11.

4. What schools are good and which are the ones we want to stay away from? Back in the day i new John Jay HS was not that great along with North HS. I really didnt hear to much about the other schools in the area.

5. Are there any former Military members on here that have a business and are looking for fellow military members to hire? I keep on hearing USAA is always hiring veterans??

6. We usually spend about 200 every 2 weeks on groceries is that the normal for a family of 4?

We are currently in Virginia and have a few months left. Just trying to get a feel on what to expect from this area.

Last edited by 8TH&I; 03-12-2014 at 03:00 PM..
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:32 AM
 
2,721 posts, read 3,414,002 times
Reputation: 1536
Default Hello,

Congrats on Retirement- 8 TH.
I would have thought you would have received a response or two here by now as there is a lot of former and active military here some of which are members of this forum.
You are from S. Texas so you pretty much know the ropes around here. San Antonio is doing pretty
well right now compared to the rest of the country. With an education I would guess you would have no
great difficulty finding gainful employment as ex-military. Lots of retirees here.
San Antonio is renowned for having a low cost of living , landing here I believe you and your family might fare as well or better than in most locales, so welcome back and buena fortuna.
High schools? Far north side I would say. John Jay was good forty years ago. There are worse places. My kids are grown and gone but I would say $200.00 wkly. is more than enough so maybe you could spend less than that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8TH&I View Post
Hello To everyone
I am finally retiring from the Marines after 17 years. We are originally from Texas, Rockport and Crystal City area. I'm trying to get some information on the area as far as jobs, schools, and good areas to live in. I was stationed in San Antonio back in 2000 and havent been back there since. So i know alot has changed. Here are a few questions that I have and if you can answer them it would be appreciated.

1. Who is hiring in the S.A. area especially for veterans?? I have 17 years of military experience in several areas like recruiting, infantry, legal/administration, anti terrorism officer, etc...

2. I know Wilford Hall and Fort Sam have medical facilities for active duty but how is it with retirees as far as the care and wait time? Will we have to use doctors that accept TRICARE instead if they dont treat retirees?

3. What is normal cable rate, internet rate, electricity bill, water/sewage normal rate at?
Rent rate anywhere from 1000 to 1200 a month what kind of sqare footage am i looking at and what areas are good areas to live in for that amount? This would be for a family of 4 with my two kids both age 11.

4. What schools are good and which are the ones we want to stay away from? Back in the day i new John Jay HS was not that great along with North HS. I really didnt hear to much about the other schools in the area.

5. Are there any former Military members on here that have a business and are looking for fellow military members to hire? I keep on hearing USAA is always hiring veterans??

6. We usually spend about 200 every 2 weeks on groceries is that the normal for a family of 4?

We are currently in Virginia and have a few months left. Just trying to get a feel on what to expect from this area.
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:02 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
206 posts, read 389,220 times
Reputation: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8TH&I View Post
2. I know Wilford Hall and Fort Sam have medical facilities for active duty but how is it with retirees as far as the care and wait time? Will we have to use doctors that accept TRICARE instead if they don't treat retirees?

3. What is normal cable rate, internet rate, electricity bill, water/sewage normal rate at?
Rent rate anywhere from 1000 to 1200 a month what kind of sqare footage am i looking at and what areas are good areas to live in for that amount? This would be for a family of 4 with my two kids both age 11.

6. We usually spend about 200 every 2 weeks on groceries is that the normal for a family of 4?
Most regular visits are still done at Wilford Hall clinic. However, if you need to be hospitalized, say for a routine surgery or if you just get sick enough, you will be sent to SAMMC (BAMC) for hospital care. Both WHMC and SAMMC are awesome with retirees and their dependents. And you will have the option to go to an outside doctor or clinic if you choose, as lots of practices around accept TRICARE. For example my retired dad and my mom like to use Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio for their GI exams because my dad said the military doc was too rough, lol.

My parents live in an older house in an older neighborhood, Palm Heights. The house is from the 40's, and is about 2000 sq foot or there abouts. Their electricity bill is crazy in the summer. Like $300+ especially during our annual 2 months of +100 degree weather. I live in a newer house, circa 2001, about 1200 sq foot, and our bill is rarely over 100.00, even in the peak of summer. There are lots of beautiful older houses in San Antonio, but you would want to make sure the insulation is up to par, and it has updated windows and doors, and possibly a radiant barrier. I don't have cable, I've got a Roku and an antenna and have more TV than I can watch. High Speed internet (my fiance is a gamer) is about 70.00 a month w/ Time Warner. As for water/sewer, mine is normally less than 45 bucks combined. But again, family of two in a small newer house.

I spend about 150 - 180 once a month for a family of 2, and I cook at least 4 out of 7 days a week. When I was still at home, I think my mom almost spent 200 every 2-3 weeks, and she cooked a lot also. I think you'll come in under budget here, unless you eat a lot of rib eyes.

Last edited by mojosalsa; 03-13-2014 at 09:21 AM..
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:43 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
583 posts, read 1,006,218 times
Reputation: 412
My husband is retired AF and we go to the North Central Federal Health Clinic (1604/281 behind Kohls) for our medical appointments. Not sure if they take everyone. Prior to that opening I went to the clinic at Camp Bullis. For specialty appoints I have gone to Wilford Hall and/or SAMMC (formerly BAMC). I seem to be able to get appointments quickly which is great.

I work at USAA and they do have a huge push currently to hire more veterans. I actually just talked to a woman this morning that is in the new VetNet intern program. She just retired from the Navy. They are definitely reaching out to this market.

My house (Far northside - Stone Oak area) is about 3100 sf two floors and my utility bill is at the highest $280 range and low $100. I have directTV so don't know about cable rates. I think my phone/internet (uverse) is about $65 month. I do still have a very basic home phone in my house.

Schools I can't give a personal opinion since I don't have children but I always hear Reagan HS and feeders are good and Smithson Valley (Comal ISD) and feeders are good.
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:50 PM
 
14 posts, read 16,333 times
Reputation: 20
Thanks to everyone who has responded so far. This gives me a good feeling that we will be able to maintain our way of living without having to dip into savings unless its an emergency. I will definitely be submitting my resumes to USAA. I was looking at SAPD but i'm kind of not liking that idea. 2 deployments in the infantry away from my little ones made me lose to much time away from them. I think an office job will be good so that i can see them play sports and other things they get into. Thanks again for the responses keep them coming.
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:42 PM
 
175 posts, read 349,696 times
Reputation: 235
Huckster-they spend $200 biweekly, not weekly. If that includes laundry soap, toilet paper items etc, then $100/week is not enough, for 4 people/week. $25 per person per week?! Unless you do eat out a lot. If you want to eat fresh produce that is NOT from Mexico, South America, etc, you will need to up your food bill.
I would not consider foods that come from these countries, as the use of pesticides, manure as fertilizer(human too) is such a carrier of disease, lack of cleanliness in the fields (yes, they still P and P Here in the USA, if not watched carefully, but the responsible farms educate/watch/fire laborers who refuse to follow guidelines in areas more in the north. I think it is very difficult to get compliance from the local field workers here).
If you tend to buy cheap processed foods, bread, noodles, $25 might do.
I eat good, clean, basic foods. Drink water only. With soaps, top, vineagar for cleaning, I spend $100-125/week. I do not eat out.i also cannot buy anything processed due to celiac disease so that raises the cost just a little. Foods are less expensive than in Colorado/Wyoming/Montana where I buy my foods while at home in the north. Much less.
Hope you find everything you need...
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:05 AM
 
2,721 posts, read 3,414,002 times
Reputation: 1536
Default Right Sasha,

Sometimes I do not take enough time to read longer posts here and overlook some important detail.
My apologies
$200, Bi-weekly sounds reasonable enough, doesn't it? Sounds about right, really, to me.
I have read some bad things about imported fish from Viet Nam . Swahi fish and one other
fish I cannot remember the name of.
The cleanliness of the conditions under which these fish are raised has been brought into question.
Remember the manure covered,contaminated spinach spread illness from a couple of years ago ? The harvestedspinach was only rinsed with water in the field where it was harvested not in chlorinated water inside the farm's processing warehouse in order to save cost's on processing. Manure remained on the spinach salads and many became ill.
I never,ever ate spinach salads.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasha's View Post
Huckster-they spend $200 biweekly, not weekly. If that includes laundry soap, toilet paper items etc, then $100/week is not enough, for 4 people/week. $25 per person per week?! Unless you do eat out a lot. If you want to eat fresh produce that is NOT from Mexico, South America, etc, you will need to up your food bill.
I would not consider foods that come from these countries, as the use of pesticides, manure as fertilizer(human too) is such a carrier of disease, lack of cleanliness in the fields (yes, they still P and P Here in the USA, if not watched carefully, but the responsible farms educate/watch/fire laborers who refuse to follow guidelines in areas more in the north. I think it is very difficult to get compliance from the local field workers here).
If you tend to buy cheap processed foods, bread, noodles, $25 might do.
I eat good, clean, basic foods. Drink water only. With soaps, top, vineagar for cleaning, I spend $100-125/week. I do not eat out.i also cannot buy anything processed due to celiac disease so that raises the cost just a little. Foods are less expensive than in Colorado/Wyoming/Montana where I buy my foods while at home in the north. Much less.
Hope you find everything you need...
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:47 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
8,400 posts, read 20,119,473 times
Reputation: 4435
Are you being medically retired or is this an early retirement (not sure if the USMC is offering the latter)? The difference is that the former might give you an edge as a disabled vet.

As for jobs for vets, remember that SA has a huge military community so there are a lot of job-seekers with uniform experience. I hope you took advantage of the educational opportunities while in the Corps and not just "job experience." You have to be able to translate those skills to something applicable in the civilian section. "recruiting, infantry, legal/administration, anti terrorism officer, etc." aren't really jobs you'll find in the outside world. Don't write your resume like you're trying to join the military, learn how to speak "civilian" again!

I can tell you that the TAP program I went through was some help but don't rely on it to answer all your questions. Your best bet for finding a job is networking, make an effort to connect with as many people as you can in the fields you are interested in. Try to find someone who will help mentor you. LinkedIn is a good starting point, it is an online social networking site for professionals. Contact people in the career areas you are looking at and see if they can provide any help and/or advice. Most will try to help if they can.

That said, don't let any of that depress you. It's a tough and competitive environment, and you have to work hard to make yourself stand out above the masses; but it's possible. I retired eight years ago and have been constantly employed the entire time. It's not always been easy, but I've done things like gotten a second graduate degree and other certifications to stay valuable to my company.

Always keep your options open, remember that any job is a good job, that most people understand wanting a better job but most also question why someone remains unemployed for extended periods (in other words, don't hold out for that "perfect" job too long as such holes in your work history are very obvious and hard to explain), and be respectful and friendly to everyone you meet as one day you may need their help (or they yours, so assist others the best you can as well).

Best of luck to you, and I hope you enjoy San Antonio as much as we do!

Cheers! M2
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Old 03-14-2014, 01:36 PM
 
Location: SAN ANTONIO AREA
179 posts, read 195,975 times
Reputation: 85
xcellent po
st........
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Old 03-14-2014, 11:00 PM
 
14 posts, read 16,333 times
Reputation: 20
Again thanks to everyone's input.

Retiring early before they start forcing people out and changing benefits.

Work I'm not worried about finding there are plenty of jobs out there and I will do what I have to do to take care of my family. I am prepared to take on this new challenge and recruiting gave me the proper background on how to talk to people getting to know them and the biggest thing is networking like you said. LinkedIn I'm already on there along with other websites as well.

I can't wait to see what I'll get in disability as well so thY will help some since I'm looking at 50% as of right now.
Been through a lot so we shall see. Thanks again for all the information.
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