12. Oklahoma | 53.58 | Economic environment: 19 | Quality of life: 6 | Health care: 37 (Photo: Shutterstock)
11. Connecticut | Total score: 54.46 | Economic environment: 25 | Quality of life: 23 | Health care: 6 (Photo: Shutterstock)
10. South Carolina | Total score: 55.11 | Economic environment: 21 | Quality of life: 1 | Health care: 35 (Photo: Shutterstock)
9. Idaho | Total score: 55.74 | Economic environment: 10 | Quality of life: 21 | Health care: 9 (Photo: Shutterstock)
8. South Dakota | Total score: 56.23 | Economic environment: 14 | Quality of life: 34 | Health care: 3 (Photo: Shutterstock)

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7. Minnesota | Total score: 56.30 | Economic environment: 8 | Quality of life: 32 | Health care: 7 (Photo: Shutterstock)
6. Alaska | Total score: 56.35| Economic environment: 12 | Quality of life: 10 | Health care: 13 (Photo: Shutterstock)
5. Massachusetts | Total score: 56.47 | Economic environment: 1 | Quality of life: 49 | Health care: 2 (Photo: Shutterstock)
4. New Hampshire | Total score: 57.23 | Economic environment: 6 | Quality of life: 11 | Health care: 20 (Photo: Shutterstock)
3. Maine | Total score: 59.26 | Economic environment: 7 | Quality of life: 27 | Health care: 1 (Photo: Shutterstock)

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2. Florida | Total score: 59.55 | Economic environment: 9 | Quality of life: 2 | Health care: 16 (Photo: Shutterstock)
1. Virginia | Total score: 60.24 | Economic environment: 3 | Quality of life: 5 | Health care: 15 (Photo: Shutterstock)

“Retirement” takes on a whole new meaning when the job leaver is a member of the U.S. military. The average officer is only 45 years old upon retirement from the service, and non-disability enlisted personnel are 42. Many retirees struggle to establish new careers in the civilian job market. Others have to deal with such issues as disability, post-traumatic stress disorder and homelessness.

Where the military retiree chooses to settle down can make a huge difference in how hard or easy re-entering civilian life will be. State tax policies on military benefits vary, job markets differ in how welcoming they are to veterans, and other socioeconomic factors come into play.

Also, the military’s retirement system for new recruits and current personnel who opted in changed last year, going from a defined benefit to a “blended retirement system” that not only awards funds based on years served but also matches contributions to a so-called thrift savings plan.

WalletHub has taken these various factors into consideration in a study that compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on their ability to provide a comfortable military retirement.

Researchers focused on economic environment, quality of life and health care, using 29 relevant metrics and grading each on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for military retirees.

Have a look at the gallery above for the 12 states WalletHub found to be the best places for military retirees.

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