Check out the following slides for the 5 best and 5 worst states for military retirees. Read the article below to learn what data sets and metrics WalletHub used to rank the best and worst states for military retirees.

5. Massachusetts.

Total score: 56.47 │ Economic Environment Rank: 1 │ Quality of Life Rank: 49 │ Health Care Rank: 2

Despite its importance in the country’s history of independence, Massachusetts ranks 47th in the nation for the least affordable housing for veterans.

4. New Hampshire.

Total score: 57.23 │ Economic Environment Rank: 6 │ Quality of Life Rank: 11 │ Health Care Rank: 20

New Hampshire has the fifth most veterans per capita, as well as the fourth highest percentage of veteran-owned businesses.

3. Maine.

Total score: 59.26 │ Economic Environment Rank: 7 │ Quality of Life Rank: 27 │ Health Care Rank: 1

Maine has the third most veterans per capita, as well as the fourth most job opportunities for veterans.

2. Florida.

Total score: 59.55 │ Economic Environment Rank: 9 │ Quality of Life Rank: 2 │ Health Care Rank: 16


1. Virginia.

Total score: 60.24 │ Economic Environment Rank: 3 │ Quality of Life Rank: 5 │ Health Care Rank: 15

Virginia has the third lowest percentage of homeless veterans, as well as the third highest percentage of veteran-owned businesses.

Here are the 5 worst states for military retirement, ranked by WalletHub using 29 metrics. Read below to find out more about data and sources.

5. Mississippi.

Total score: 44.28 │ Economic Environment Rank: 30 │ Quality of Life Rank: 37 │ Health Care Rank: 43

Even though Mississippi ranks so low overall, it has the second lowest percentage of homeless veterans.

4. New York.

Total score: 41.69 │ Economic Environment Rank: 51 │ Quality of Life Rank: 47 │ Health Care Rank: 5

New York ranks dead last—51st—in having the fewest veterans per capita, and perhaps one reason is its ranking at 48th for the fewest job opportunities for veterans and its ranking of 49th for least affordable housing and another dead last for lowest percentage of veteran-owned businesses. However, it ranks at the top for the most VA health facilities per number of veterans (maybe because there are so few there?).

h2>3. Vermont.

Total score: 40.04 │ Economic Environment Rank: 50 │ Quality of Life Rank: 36 │ Health Care Rank: 40


2. Oregon.

Total score: 38.49 │ Economic Environment Rank: 43 │ Quality of Life Rank: 51 │ Health Care Rank: 18

Sadly, Oregon is in a four-way tie with Hawaii, California and Washington, D.C. for the highest percentage of homeless veterans.

1. District of Columbia.

Total score: 34.05 │ Economic Environment Rank: 49 │ Quality of Life Rank: 50 │ Health Care Rank: 50

Our nation’s capital is ranked at the very bottom for military retirees who have served their country. Not only is it in that four-way tie for the highest percentage of homeless vets, it’s second from the bottom for the fewest veterans per capita (a sad commentary), in 49th place for the fewest VA health facilities per number of veterans, tied for last place with Colorado for the fewest job opportunities for veterans, placed 48th for least affordable housing and 47th for lowest percentage of veteran-owned businesses.

The civilian view of retirement  includes travel, playing with grandkids, indulging in sports or hobbies.  But it’s a different story for military retirees, who are going back to civilian life and a likely second act.

Not only are they younger than the average civilian retiree—the average officer is only 45 years old, while nondisability enlisted personnel are even younger, at 42—but they can be bringing a host of different issues, both emotional and physical, with them into “retirement”—which is often an embarkation into a second career.

Starting over in a new, or even related field can be tough enough. But when you add in the need for good mental and physical health care, retired military personnel perhaps need to be even more discriminating about where they retire than the average civilian does.

And it’s not just about their mental and physical health – the military’s switch to the new “blended” retirement system has ramifications for taxes and benefits that the old system (with which they’re likely more familiar) did not.

To that end, WalletHub took a look at how well or poorly the 50 states and the District of Columbia treat military servicemembers in retirement.

It evaluated 29 key metrics, ranging from veterans per capita to number of VA health facilities to job opportunities for veterans, to see which locales make things more comfortable for military retirees.

Data came from sources ranging from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Military Officers Association of America,, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, MilitaryINSTALLATIONS—U.S. Department of Defense, RecruitMilitary, National Conference of State Legislatures and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities to the Council for Community and Economic Research, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Indeed and WalletHub research.

Those 29 metrics fit into one of three classifications: economic environment, quality of life and health care.

Any military personnel anticipating retirement any time soon might want to have a look before making any final decisions. The slides above show the top 5 and bottom 5 places for military retirement.


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