(Related: 10 Best States for Military Retirees: 2018)
Women and men who retire from the military face much different challenges than civilian retirees.
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 reenter the job market, in many cases while 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.
Those locales that rank lowest have the fewest VA health facilities per number of veterans, the fewest job opportunities, the least affordable housing and the largest percentage of homeless veterans. And veterans can pretty much forget about starting a business in those states.
WalletHub’s 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.
Take a look at how the 10 worst states scored overall and how each one ranked on the three key dimensions.
— Check out Honoring Advisors Who Serve(d): Memorial Day, 2018 on ThinkAdvisor.