Active Adult Living Retirement

Veterans Benefits

Veterans Benefits are not taken by many US veterans who need and who qualify for them.

We have a large Veterans group here at Village at Deaton Creek, a Del Webb community in North Georgia.  I attended the Veterans Day Ceremony last year and have learned we have hundreds of fellow veterans living in our community. I suspect most Active Adult Communities also have many veterans, as those of us now in retirement are of the age to be Korea and Vietnam era veterans.

Georgia Department of Veterans Service
Georgia Department of Veterans Service

I was informed recently by Captain Ron and Neil from our Veterans Group about veterans benefits.  I went to the Gainesville office of the Georgia Department of Veterans Service and found them helpful. The stipulation was that I inform other veterans of these benefits.



I now have a Veterans drivers license and a Veterans tag. I made a claim for Tinnitus, a ringing in the ears condition that has been bothering me for some time. A few months ago, I wrote about how sensitive my ears have been and getting acoustic ear plugs to help.

Veterans Drivers License
Veterans Drivers License
Georgia Vet Plate
Georgia Vet Plate

Veterans Benefits

There are too many veterans benefits for me to cover in this post, but I have a recommendation below of how to find out which benefits are available to you. It’s worth your time.  You and your spouse may qualify for long term care benefits through the VA. That’s a big one.

Why Veterans Do Not Apply for Veterans Benefits

Many Veterans are reluctant to apply for available benefits for many reasons including:
1) They do not know about the benefits they have earned. I would highly recommend to any veterans to visit their state’s Department of Veterans Services.  They are not the VA but are there to assist you in finding out about your benefits. I found them to be extremely helpful. Just take your form DD214 and get to their office early.  It is not bad and you will be glad you went.

The Georgia Department of Veterans Service is an agency of state government created for the purpose of advising, counseling, and assisting Georgia’s veterans and their families in receiving their rightful benefits under the vast and complex framework of veterans’ laws.

You can search google for your state’s Department of Veterans Services. They are easy to find.  Here are some popular states: California department of veterans affairs, Florida department of veterans affairs, Arizona department of veterans’ services. Each state has one.

2) They do not want the hassle of filling out all of the paperwork and chances of getting turned down. I would again refer you to your state’s Department of Veterans Service. They pretty much fill the applications out for you. They are in your corner, advocating for you.

3) They do not want a handout or government assistance. Veterans if you were active duty, then you qualify. If you were drafted for two years like I was, you qualify. This is not a handout. Many veterans are suffering ailments that are now just showing up that were service related, now that we are in our 60’s and beyond. Many veteran benefits are not service related but are there because you did your service to the country.

Captain Ron in his email to me said it best:

Now finally there is one condition for this information, OK?
You must share this information with another deserving veteran that is hesitant to put in a VA claim. We all deserve it and were willing to give up our life for our country, some did, only we are the lucky ones that didn’t. Deal?? So many have done it here at VDC through word of mouth. My friend Neil Eisenberg may be the champion for getting the most to VA. I’m a close runner up. ?

Best Regards,
CapnRon ??⚓️?

In Summary

From what I know, the best and simplest advice for anyone who severed on active duty with an honorable discharge would be:
1. Get your DD214 and go down in person to your state’s Department of Veterans Services.  Just tell them about your service and ask what benefits are available.

2. Just do it.  Don’t wait. Don’t get bogged down in research, it will overwhelm you. See step one above. Benefits accrue from the time of application.

Also Read my post about Veterans Cruise Discount

Robert Fowler

Del Webb Communities Retirement

University & Colleges Provide Benefits To Retirees

The idea that College Towns May Be the Best Places To Retire has been around for a while, but the  benefits of having a University or college nearby just dawned on me.

Our Del Webb Active Adult Community is not technically in a college town, but for all practical purposes it is.  Gainesville is home to Brenau University, North Georgia College and Lanier Technical School.  Brenau University is only about 20-25 minutes away and North Georgia College and Lanier Tech even closer at 15 minute drive away from our community.  The University of Georgia, the state’s largest University, is only 45 minutes away.  I have gotten benefits from each one of these institution since moving here over two years ago.

Benefits I Received From Area Colleges and Universities

  1. Gainesville Theater Alliance is a nationally acclaimed collaboration between the University of North Georgia, Brenau University, Theater Professionals and the Northeast Georgia Community.  Mary Ann and I went to see their production of “Crazy For You” and it was one of the most enjoyable plays we have ever seen.  We have been back and have tickets to future plays as well. 97% of their season sold out. We have run into many Deaton Creekers and noticed retirees make up the large part of the audiences. Their tickets are reasonably price and there is plenty of close by parking.

    Crazy for You
  2. Entertainment – We just went to Pearce Auditorium on the beautiful campus of Brenau University to see the Young Irelanders perform song and dance. The Gainesville Arts Council has entertainment events there often.

    The Young Irelanders
  3. Community Events – Last weekend I participated in the Dempsey Dash 5K to raise scholarship funds in the name of a beloved dean.  There were people of all ages  and the community spirit was in full view. I plan on doing this one again next year.

    Robert Fowler at Dempsey Dash
  4. Fairs and Events I attended a fair at Brenau University recently and got a free massage. Their students studying massage therapy were giving them free to the public.
  5. Sporting Events – I signed up on for discount tickets for University of Georgia sport team tickets.  I got one in Feb for the Lady Bulldogs championship basketball team tickets… for $1. Yes $1 to see a game.  I have driven over for a UGA football game. They are so close by and if you are flexible on the dates, you can get some really cheap tickets as well.

    University of Georgia
  6. Museums – We went to the Northeast Georgia History Center at Brenau University. In Athens there is the The Georgia Museum of Natural History and The Georgia Museum of Art, both open to the public. More than one person has told me I should go to the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, a part of the University of Georgia. The Garden is 313 acres of Displays, Natural areas, and Conservation.

    NE Georgia History Center
  7. Classes -Brenau University has The Center for Lifetime Study that provides opportunities for lifelong learning, leadership and cultural exploration to mature adults throughout northeast Georgia.  This includes BULLI which offers a wide range of courses from each of four categories – academics, the arts, self-improvement and health and wellness. Several in our community take these classes in Gainesville and Braselton.
  8. I have been taking free on-line university courses that I found out about in my writing class here at VDC from I would highly recommend the Mindfullness course. These are fun and no home work!
  9. Mentorships and Interns – I spoke with an official of Lanier Technical School about using one of their students to help me with my web sites and they put me in touch with their head of computer science department.  There is also volunteer and charitable opportunities for retirees I found out.
  10. Lively Downtown – is probably due to the number of colleges and the university in Gainesville. College towns are fun.
When I moved to our Active Adult Community, I didn’t know about or consider how receiving the above benefits would help me enjoy my retirement that much more.  If you are looking for a place to retire, you may want to consider proximity to colleges and universities a benefit.  If you are already in your retirement home, visit the web sites of area colleges and universities to see what they offer.
Robert Fowler