This Is the Best State for Military Retirees

If you've served your country, here's where to head for a new lease on life.

american veteran smiling with family after retirement.
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Many of us view retirement as a chance to finally live life at a slower pace after decades of hard work. But for people entering retirement following military service, the transition can often be a particularly difficult one. The average age of military retirees is 47, and many struggle with what to do next. To give our nation's heroes a better sense of where they can enjoy their post-military years the most, the financial website WalletHub released a study, comparing all 50 states along with the District of Columbia, to determine which is the best state overall for military retirees.

Many military retirees are dealing with mental health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder. And considering how unfriendly the job market can be to veterans—and the kind of benefits they can expect varies from state to state—not every state is a good one for life after the service. WalletHub assessed each state according to a variety of factors, including quality of life and health care, the number of job opportunities for veterans, and the presence of state help.

Virginia had one of the highest percentages of veteran-owned businesses, as well as one of the highest concentrations of veterans, making it the best state for military retirees. Additionally, the state's number of homeless veterans has been declining for years. In fact, Virginia's homeless veteran rate is one of the lowest in the countries.

After Virginia, some of the other states that provide the most comfortable life for military retirees, according to WalletHub's findings, were Florida, Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts (which was also recently named the best state for working mothers).

Overall, red states provided a better environment for veterans than blue ones, which is why it's perhaps no surprise that some of the worst states for military retirees were New York, Vermont, and Oregon. But the absolute worst place for vets was the nation's capital: Washington, D.C. had worst quality of life ranking and health care ranking for military retirees.

And for more advice on where to retire, check out The 50 Best Cities to Spend Your Golden Years.

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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