Ten-Hut! Is a Military Retirement Community for You?

Ten-Hut! Is a Military Retirement Community for You?

May 24, 2014
3 min read

If you served in the United States military and don't want to miss the camaraderie of fellow service members in your retirement years, you're in luck: many retirement communities cater to members of the U.S. Uniformed Services.

Types of Communities

Military retirement communities come in two types: federal and private. There is one federal military retirement community agency, the Armed Forces Retirement Home, which has two campuses: one in Gulfport, Mississippi, and one in Washington, D.C.

Other retirement communities operate independently, offering different housing options and services. Some allow only former U.S. Unformed Service members in their independent living communities, while assisted living and continuing care services are open to the public. Others admit the public but have large military populations.


Eligibility varies for each private community. Those with requirements may include:

    • Career military officers of 20 years.

    • Military members who were honorably discharged.

    • Widows, spouses and immediate family of military members.

    • Upper-level federal employees of other federal agencies, like the FBI.

To be eligible for AFRH communities, you must meet one of the following criteria:

    • Be at least 60 years old, with at least 20 years of active service and honorably discharged or released.

    • Be unable to earn a livelihood because of injuries or disabilities incurred in the line of duty.

    • Have served in a women's component in the Armed Forces prior to June 12, 1984, and are seen to have reasons for admittance as declared under rules by the chief operating officer.

    • Are able to live independently at the time of admission (continuing care is available afterward).


Like other retirement communities, private military retirement communities vary in cost. The AFRH has a sliding pay scale based on income and level of care required.

Government programs like the Aid & Attendance Pension and the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program may be able to help with payment for continuing care, assisted living or memory care. Check with your local Veteran's Affairs office to see what programs you qualify for.

Examples of Retirement Communities

Many types of military retirement facilities are available. Here are a few examples:


Founded by the Army Distaff Foundation in Washington, DC, Knollwood was the nation's first military retirement community. Residents to the independent living community must be retired officers, although family members are also permitted, regardless of age.

    • Special care: Assisted living, nursing and memory care.

    • Type of independent living: Apartment.

    • Areas open to the public: Continuing care units, although priority is given to independent living residents.

Air Force Villages

Located in San Antonio, the Air Force Villages offer two communities within a few miles of one another. This community is open to anyone 62 years of age or older, but its close proximity to the Lackland Air Force Base makes it popular among retired service members.

    • Type of independent living: Apartments, cottages and ranch homes.

    • Special care: Assisted living, memory care, nursing, in-home health care.

Indian River Colony Club

This Florida-based, country-club-style retirement community used to be exclusive for military officers, but eligibility requirements have eased. Now, all honorably discharged military members are eligible, and a portion of the total membership is open to the public.

    • Type of independent living: Homes for sale

    • Special care: Not offered

Vinson Hall Retirement Community

Located in McLean, VA, Vinson Hall members include retired commissioned military officers and their immediate family members, as well as GS-14 status-and-above federal employees.

    • Type of independent living: Apartments.

    • Special care: Assisted living, nursing and memory care.

    • Open to the public: Continuing care units.

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