Virginia ranks high on list of best states for military retirees

Photo: AP

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia isn’t just for lovers. It’s also a prime place to settle into civilian life after retiring from military service.

Wallethub analysts conducted an analysis to seek out the best and worst states for military retirees. Virginia ranks number 10 overall among the 50 states and comes in first place for the lowest percentage of homeless veterans. It also ranks fourth in most veterans per capita as well as third for the highest percentage of veteran-owned businesses.

Virginian veterans who once rose in military ranks can find comfort in the fact that their state benefits them very well. Often, retirees struggle to acclimate to civilian life. Many who reenter the job force face tough challenges while others cope with more serious issues such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, homelessness, and disabilities.

While Virginia ranks eighth in the quality of life, it ranks 43 in health care.

Red states have traditionally been more friendly towards military personnel and retirees but in the last three presidential elections, Virginia has turned a bit blue. Nationwide, there will be more changes as well. According to Military Times, by 2018 retirees will be offered a blended benefits package.

The new package offers a similar pension check (down 10 percent of basic pay after 20 years of service), but it also includes monthly government contributions to an individual retirement account that service members can own after just two years of service.

The package. which will resemble 401(k) contributions for private sector employees, will be the first time the military offers limited retirement benefits to troops who leave before 20 years of service. In the past, non-career service members, which makes up more than 80 percent of the military, have not received retirement benefits.

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