Check Out This Ranking of the Best (and Worst) States for Military Retirees

Check Out This Ranking of the Best (and Worst) States for Military Retirees
A view of the Richmond, Va., skyline (Photo by ferrantraite/Getty Images)

Military retirees may find happiness retiring near the nation’s capital, according to a recent ranking put out by financial advice website WalletHub … but might not have as much luck in the capital itself.


Virginia ranks first overall on the list, published May 23, with Florida, Minnesota, Maryland, and New Hampshire rounding out the top five. Washington, D.C., ranks 49th, ahead of Nevada and last-place Vermont. The Pacific Northwest completes the bottom five, with Oregon in 48th and Washington state placing 47th.


[RELATED: MOAA’s Military State Report Card and Tax Guide]


The list, first reported by on May 23, equally weighs three factors, according to WalletHub:

  • “Economic Environment,” which includes state taxes on military pension, job opportunities for veterans, and state-level veterans assistance programs, among other criteria.
  • “Quality of Life,” which looks at a wide range of items including population age, weather, rankings of the public university system, and VA facilities weighted by veteran population.
  • “Health Care,” which includes VA and private-sector care rankings, the presence of veterans treatment courts, veteran suicide rate, and mental health support.


Utah took first in the economic category despite a 15th-place finish overall. Maryland led the quality-of-life rankings, and Connecticut ranked best in health care to go along with a 10th-place spot overall.


On the other side of the scale, last-place Vermont also ranked worst in the economic sector, with Oregon last in quality of life and Wyoming last in health care (33rd overall).


[RELATED FROM 2021: New Survey Ranks Best, Worst Cities for Veterans to Live]


Alaska, South Carolina, Maine, South Dakota, and Connecticut round out the top 10, while New Mexico (46th), Mississippi, California, Rhode Island, and Iowa complete the bottom 10.


WalletHub used data from MOAA in its calculations, alongside materials from the U.S. Census Bureau, DoD and VA sources, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other providers.


Support MOAA Charities 

Your generosity will benefit the work of The MOAA Foundation and MOAA Scholarship Fund. Click for details.

Learn More

About the Author

Kevin Lilley
Kevin Lilley

Lilley serves as MOAA's digital content manager. His duties include producing, editing, and managing content for a variety of platforms, with a concentration on The MOAA Newsletter and Follow him on X: @KRLilley