2016’s Best and Worst States for Military Retirees


When you are preparing to retire from the military, you may not feel any one state is your home. You've been moving around for 20-plus years, and now it's time to finally settle down. While some retirees have familial or other considerations, if you care primarily about living conditions, a recent WalletHub article titled 2016's Best & Worst States for Military Retirees might have the answer for you.

WalletHub's study took into account state tax policies related to military benefits, the job market's relative veteran friendliness, the number of veterans per capita, the number of VA health facilities per 10,000 veterans and more.

Related: To create a personalized transition plan for yourself, and for transition guides and checklists, visit the Military.com Transition Center.

The Top 10 States for Military Retirees

The top 10 states were:

  1. Alaska
  2. South Dakota
  3. Montana
  4. Wyoming
  5. Florida
  6. Maine
  7. New Hampshire
  8. North Dakota
  9. Hawaii
  10. South Carolina

Out of that list, Alaska came in first for economic environment, and Montana came in first for quality of life and health care. If you're looking for the most affordable housing among these top 10, you would look to North Dakota. Want to support veteran-owned businesses? South Carolina made the top 10 and was No. 1 for percentage of veteran-owned businesses.

The Worst 5 States for Military Retirees

The lowest five were (worst rated at the top):

  1. Rhode Island
  2. New Jersey
  3. Oregon
  4. Indiana
  5. District of Columbia (D.C.)

Out of this list, Washington, D.C., and New Jersey were also listed in the five states with the fewest veterans per capita, and D.C. and Oregon were among the highest five for percentage of homeless veterans per number of veterans.

More Interesting Facts

The study showed that the states with the most veterans per capita are Alaska, Montana, Maine, Virginia and West Virginia, while the most veteran job opportunities were in Iowa, Indiana, Hawaii, South Dakota and Utah. If your primary interest is access to health care, consider New York, Wyoming, California, Texas and South Dakota.

To read more stats such as these and see the study's full methodology, read the rest of the article on WalletHub.com.

Related: There are hurdles to moving from a lifetime of military service into the civilian world, and you have decisions to make. The first step is to look at your options.

Master Your Military Transition

Looking for more transition tips? Military.com has you covered. Sign up for a free Military.com membership to have military news, updates, and job resources delivered directly to your inbox.

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