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12 Best States for Military Retirees: 2021

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Related: 12 Worst States for Military Retirees: 2021

Retiring from the U.S. military is often difficult, as many veterans reentering civilian life face significant challenges, disability and homelessness.

The pandemic has made the going even rougher for former military personnel looking for a civilian job, with the unemployment rate caused by the lockdown and business closings posing a major obstacle.

This year’s leavers will include the last U.S. forces withdrawn from Afghanistan. In deciding where to settle down, they must consider how state tax policies on military benefits vary, how friendly different job markets are, and other socioeconomic factors. 

To find the best states for military retirement, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across the key dimensions of economic environment, quality of life and health care, evaluating them using 30 relevant metrics, such as veterans per capita, number of VA health centers and job opportunities for veterans. 

Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for military retirees. Researchers then determined each state and the district’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank the sample.

See the gallery for the 12 best choices for military retirees.

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