For years, veterans proudly served their country and when it’s time to retire, choosing the right location is a completely different battle. Military retirees are often faced with different challenges than other Baby Boomers heading for retirement.
Military retirees are usually younger in age when retiring from service, which is between the ages of 43 and 47, while other active adults are typically heading for retirement between the ages 55 and 65.
Not only are some of these veterans retiring early, they also have to get used to being a part of a civilian lifestyle and environment again. It may be difficult for some vets to get reacquainted with their new lifestyle due to post-traumatic stress disorders, injuries, and other side effects of war.
That’s why it’s important for veterans to retire in states where they will have the best opportunities for a comfortable retirement. Retired vets should look into states that have a strong and supportive veteran community, accessible VA health facilities, a healthy economic environment, affordable housing, and great tax exemptions. With all of this to consider, here is the list of the top ten states for military retirement.
Although it’s not the first state you think of when searching for your retirement destination, Alaska has some great benefits aimed at retired military personnel that stretch their dollar. Alaska earned the top spot on the list due to its high-ranking economic environment and quality of life. It has the largest population of veterans, which means more services, programs, and support. Alaska also offers tax exemptions on military retired pay and survivor benefits and also has no estate or inheritance taxes.
2. South Dakota
The Mount Rushmore State ranked high because of its quality healthcare. South Dakota is ranked as one of the highest in number of VA health facilities per 10,000 veterans and also has the most veteran job opportunities. It’s also exempt from state taxation in military retired pay, survivor benefits, as well as estate and inheritance taxes.
Earning high ranks for quality of life and health care facilities, Montana comes in at third place on the list. Beautiful parks and vast natural spaces as well as wilderness preserves and hiking trails make it a great place to retire for those who enjoy the outdoors.
Montana has partial state tax exemptions for military retired pay and survivor benefits. It also has no estate or inheritance taxes. This state provides plenty of treatment programs and mentoring to veterans such as substance addiction, mental health, and other services that help vets live a happy and healthy retirement. Many private employers within the state also give employment preference to veterans.
Famous for Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming is also a great place for military retirees. It offers tax exemptions, has no estate or inheritance taxes, and provides plenty of treatment programs and services for veterans. It also has more VA medical centers per resident than other states. With top ranking scores for an economic environment, quality of life, and health care, it’s no wonder Wyoming made it to the fourth spot.
Retirees often flock to this popular retirement destination because of its tropical climate and tranquil environment, but Florida also provides great tax breaks for veterans. Florida has no estate or inheritance taxes, military retired pay and survivor benefits are tax exempt, and the state offers treatment and services to help veterans with their mental health or substance abuse problems. Florida also has many private companies giving job preferences to veterans.
Maine is one of the few states that have the most veterans per capita. It’s also a great place for retired military personnel to live because of its high quality-of-life ranking as well as having no inheritance tax and partial tax exemption for survivor benefits and military retirement income.
Another New England area state making it on the list is New Hampshire. It has the highest percentage of veteran-owned businesses, making it a great place to live and work. New Hampshire may also be an ideal retirement destination thanks to its military retired pay and survivor benefits tax exemptions, no inheritance or estate taxes, and treatment programs and job preferences.
8. North Dakota
North Dakota has the most affordable housing that benefits veterans living off of a reduced income. The state scored a high ranking for having accessible health care services and medical centers as well. Military retirees can also take advantage of not having to pay estate or inheritance taxes and they receive preference for job opportunities.
This beautiful, tropical paradise might be the perfect retirement destination thanks to its warm climate, sandy beaches, ocean views, and laid-back island lifestyle. But Hawaii is more than just natural beauty, the state also has the most veteran job opportunities. It also ranked high in economic environment for having tax exemptions on retired military incomes and survivor benefits. Although Hawaii does collect estate taxes, it doesn’t collect inheritance taxes.
10. South Carolina
Coming in at the number ten spot is the southeastern state of South Carolina. The Palmetto State has the highest percentage of veteran-owned businesses and doesn’t collect taxes on estate or inheritance. It also offers partial tax exemptions on military retired pay and survivor benefits, as well as providing plenty of treatment programs and job preferences for veterans.