After military veterans return home from service, fights for jobs and healthcare still endure. As part of Military Appreciation Month, personal finance website WalletHub wants to make that search a little easier. On Monday, researchers released a list of the best and worst states for military veterans to retire.
Florida is the best state for military retirees
Looking at economic environment, quality of life and healthcare, researchers scored all 50 states and the District of Columbia on data that included the state taxes on military pensions, the quality of VA hospitals, and the share of homeless veterans.
What they found was that Florida ranked as the best state for a comfortable military retirement. Montana and New Hampshire ranked second and third.
The Sunshine State had the fifth-highest number of Veterans Affairs health facilities per veteran, which was one of the most weighted factors. But what really helped Florida beat out the rest of the competition was its tax friendliness, which allows veterans to keep more of their incomes and pensions.
“Florida has no personal income tax and doesn’t tax military pension whatsoever, so that’s obviously a huge benefit to any type of retiree, but certainly a military retiree. I think that’s why Florida is known as a retirement state,” WalletHub’s Jill Gonzalez told Ladders. It makes sense then as to why Florida has the third-largest veteran population in the nation.
D.C. is the worst area for military retirees
D.C., meanwhile, ranked as the worst area for military veterans to retire. According to WalletHub’s data, D.C. “has a very high cost of living, as most places around the Northeast do, and is not as friendly towards taxpayers,” Gonzalez said. D.C. also had a lower quality of VA hospitals compared to other areas.
Out of all the regions, D.C. also had the fewest job opportunities for veterans. Since the average officer is 45 years old upon retirement from service, many are looking to start their next careers and are not ready to live on their pension. If finding a job is the most important factor to you as a military veteran, move to Indiana. Indiana had the highest availability of jobs for veterans.