10 Best States for Military Retirees

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A view of the Austin, Texas skyline. (Getty Images)
A view of the Austin, Texas skyline. (Getty Images)

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A career in the military hones certain skill sets and talents, but where are the best places to take those talents once you're out of the military? To coin a phrase from real estate, it's all about location, location, location.

In that spirit, wallethub.com compiled a list of the best places for veterans and military retirees to settle down to after leaving the military.

Their study rated each state on three different criteria that are important to veterans:

  1. Economic environment - Factors such as state tax on military pension, projected job growth, housing affordability, cost-of-living, quality of public university system
  2. Quality of life - Factors such as number of military installations, arts, entertainment & recreation opportunities, average population age, number of homeless veterans, weather and climate
  3. Health care - Including number of VA health facilities, number of hospitals, physicians and mental health counselors per capita, availability of veterans treatment courts.

Based on a combination of ratings for those criteria, here are the best states to move to after leaving the military:

  • 10: New Hampshire
  • 9: Missouri
  • 8: Wyoming
  • 7: Maryland
  • 6: Alabama
  • 5: Alaska
  • 4: South Dakota
  • 3: Florida
  • 2: South Carolina
  • 1: Virginia

For more details, as well as rankings of the worst states to move to after leaving the military, see the article 2021 Best and Worst States for Military Retirees.

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