When you transition out of the military, there's one very important element to success that's often overlooked: where you live. Many service members will return to their home cities and look for work. Although this might work out for some, it's by far not an ideal way to secure your future. While it may be tempting to return to what you know, the better option is to go where you will have the greatest potential. MoneyRates.com compiled a list of the top 10 states to work in for 2014. Check out the list and think about availability of jobs, income levels, and tax rates.
1. Washington – Washington state held the top position last year, and was number two for two years before that. Consistently high-performing, the state boasts one of the highest average incomes in the nation, foregoes state income tax, and features high-ranking workplace conditions. Although unemployment and cost of living are above average, the margin is very slight.
2. Texas – Texas has shifted up from the number four position of last year, and for good reason. Both its unemployment rate and cost of living are below average, and like Washington features no state income tax. Income levels are about average, but workplace conditions are in the national top 10.
3. Minnesota – Steady improvements have paid off, and Minnesota currently has a low unemployment rate and top-notch workplace conditions. Although the income tax is higher high, the average income level surpasses the difference.
4. Colorado – Colorado's average income level is higher than the average of the nation, and its cost of living is typical. So, Colorado residents usually enjoy higher adjusted incomes each year. Unemployment is about average, as well as the conditions of most workplaces.
5. Utah – Moving up from the eighth position from last year, Utah enjoys low cost of living and unemployment levels. Workplace conditions are about average, but income levels are a little below average and taxes are a bit above.
6. North Dakota – Considering national unemployment rates, North Dakota is an excellent place to go since it enjoys the lowest in the nation. Although average income is lower than average, taxes are low and workplace conditions are excellent.
7. Virginia – Virginia has maintained a spot in the top ten for multiple years. It has a high average income, a fair cost of living, and a low unemployment level. The two dings on its record are heavy taxes and below average working conditions.
8. Nevada – Although hit hard initially in the recession, Nevada has turned itself around. While unemployment rate is an ongoing issue, working conditions are very high. Although income is lower than average, low cost of living and low taxes provide a comfortable quality of life.
9. Oklahoma – Although Oklahoma has a low average income, it does feature low unemployment and a low cost of living.
10. Nebraska – With one of the lowest unemployment rates in the U.S. and a moderate cost of living, Nebraska has secured its place in the top ten for 2014.