The Best States for Military Retirees

Retirement is typically viewed as the end of the line – a time for rest, relaxation and the pursuit of interests long ago put on the back burner. But the narrative is far different for military retirees.

For starters, the average officer is only 45.2 years old upon retirement from service and enlisted personnel are even younger – 41.4 years of age, according to the Congressional Research Service. Most are therefore still in the job market. Military retirees – veterans in particular – must also deal with the trials of assimilation, which has proven especially difficult in the wake of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – with rising numbers of young vets encountering hardship and homelessness.

Finally, military retirees are at the juncture of a few crucial public policy issues – namely our national security, aging population and prodigious national debt – which will be the subject of significant scrutiny, numerous reformatory efforts, and a great deal of turmoil in the months and years to come.

With that in mind, and in honor of Memorial Day, WalletHub sought to help ease the burden on our nation’s military community by identifying the Best & Worst States for Military Retirees.

This is a far more complicated issue than one might initially assume, given the extent to which state tax policies differ when it comes to military benefits, the relative friendliness of different job markets to veterans, and a variety of other important socio-economic factors. As a result, WalletHub took 19 key metrics into account in devising its rankings. You can check them out in the Methodology section below.

Overall Rank

State Name

Economic Environment Rank

Quality of Life Rank

Health Care Rank

1 Wyoming 4 3 5
2 New Hampshire 29 4 1
3 Montana 17 5 4
4 South Dakota 10 10 6
5 Nebraska 14 12 2
6 Alaska 6 15 11
7 Delaware 32 1 14
8 Kansas 4 22 6
9 Oklahoma 2 14 18
10 Maine 44 2 13

For the full list, visit