(Related: 10 Worst States for Military Retirees: 2018)
Think retirement, and baby boomers come to mind. They’re reaching the end of their work lives — or taking early retirement — and now are indulging in R&R and newfound interests; some unfortunately are trying to make ends meet because of inadequate savings.
For women and men who retire from the military, life can be much more complicated. For one thing, they’re 20 years younger on average than their 65-year-old counterparts in the general population. And many are trying to re-enter the job market — at a time of life that is the peak earning period for civilians.
Moreover, these veterans may be struggling with such problems as disabilities or homelessness that can complicate job searches.
Where military veterans live following their retirement will have a big influence on how easy or difficult their transition to civilian life is. State tax policies on military benefits vary, different job markets are sometimes more and sometimes less friendly toward veterans, and availability of health care for veterans is more abundant in some places than others.
Add to that changes effective this year to the military retirement system for new recruits and current personnel. Those who opt in will go from a defined benefit to a blended retirement system, which both awards funds based on years of service and matches contributions to a thrift savings plan.
WalletHub has evaluated conditions across the U.S. to determine the best and worst states for military retirement.
Its researchers compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three key dimensions — economic environment, quality of life and health care — and evaluated those dimensions with 27 relevant metrics. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, a score of 100 representing the most favorable condition for military retirees. A state’s overall score was a weighted average across all metrics.
Check out how the 10 best states scored overall and how each one ranked on the three key dimensions.
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