Best States For Military Retirement
There are many ways to determine which states are actually the best, and only you can decide which are really the best for you. The ones on our overall 10 best states for military retirement list are on it because they appeared the most often in lists for four categories we thought were most important:
An additional 21 states dont tax military retirement pay but do have state personal income tax, which is why you might consider them the best tax-friendly states for military retirees.
More like this:Military Taxes: In-Depth Guide & Helpful Links to File
Does Va Disability Change From State To State
While your VA disability rating doesnt change from state to state, the benefits you may receive at the state level can change! Each state has its advantages and has set out parameters for receiving benefits. The department of veterans affairs website is a great place to look at different financial benefits by state.
Economy Total Points: 25
- Housing Affordability: Full Weight Note: This composite metric comprises the following calculations: Median Home Price / Median Annual Veterans Income and Median Annual Rent Price / Median Annual Veterans Income.
- Veteran Income Growth: Full Weight Note: This metric measures the average annual rate of veteran income growth between years 2014 and 2019.
- Educational Opportunities: Half Weight Note: This metric is based on U.S. News & World Reports Best Colleges for Veterans ranking.
- Median Veteran Income: Double Weight Note: This metric was adjusted for the local cost of living.
- Homeless Veterans per 1,000 Veterans: Double Weight
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Glen Burnie Maryland: Property Tax Benefits In The Suburbs
Glen Burnie is a coastal suburb located just 10 miles southeast of Baltimore in the county of Anne Arundel, with a population of less than 70,000. Glen Burnie is close to 26 VA health facilities and the state of Maryland gives vets who are 100% disabled a full property tax exemption. In addition, Anne Arundel County is disability friendly and provides curb-to-curb para-transit services for seniors and people with disabilities.
The median home value in Glen Burnie is $252,100. Glen Burnie home values have gone up 2.8% over the past year and they will rise another 0.4% within the next year. The median price of homes currently listed in Glen Burnie is $289,900 while the median price of homes that sold is $256,100.
For those who want the peace of the suburbs near a big city with good access to VA health facilities, Glen Burnie has a lot to offer.
The Best States For Veterans
The process of readjusting to civilian life can be difficult for many veterans. One survey from Pew Research Center found that 32% of veterans said they had a somewhat difficult time reacclimating to civilian life and 16% had a very difficult time doing that. It can be difficult for veterans to find work, rebuild support structures and start a new life, especially for those experiencing PTSD.
But veterans may find it easier to transition to civilian life in some states than in others. Some states may have more welcoming environments for veterans in terms of a robust local veteran presence, existing Veterans Affairs support structures and better economic prospects. SmartAsset took a look at which states are the best for veterans.
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Worst: District Of Columbia
The District of Columbia has the largest population of homeless veterans in the nation. As if that werent bad enough, the state is tied with Colorado for the least number of job and educational opportunities for military veterans. Located just down the road from the United States Capitol in Washington DC is the Washington VA Medical Center. Once again, it is rated the worst in the nation.
This facility has a one-star rating, which puts this VA facility at the bottom. A decorated military veteran representing a veteran service organization commented: Washington VA Medical Center should be a paragon, a place to take foreign heads of state to tour instead, its one of the worst in the nation. The District of Columbia ranks 38th in economic & environment, slips to 49th in quality of life, and remains at 41st in VA healthcare.
Percent Disabled Veteran And Surviving Spouse Frequently Asked Questions
Tax Code Section 11.131 provides an exemption of the total appraised value of the residence homestead of Texas veterans awarded 100 percent compensation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs due to a 100 percent disability rating or determination of individual unemployability by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
No. This exemption only applies to a disabled veteran’s residence homestead.
Disabled veterans owning property other than a residence homestead may qualify for a different exemption under Tax Code Section 11.22, which can be applied to any property the disabled veteran owns. Additional information on the qualification, application deadlines and how to apply for the disabled veteran exemption is available in the Disabled Veteran and Surviving Spouse FAQ. An eligible disabled veteran may receive both exemptions.
Yes. A disabled veteran with a service-connected disability awarded 100 percent disability compensation and a disability rating of 100 percent is eligible for this exemption.
No. A disabled veteran with a service-connected disability awarded 100 percent disability compensation is eligible for this exemption if he or she is either 100 percent disabled or is unemployable.
The deadline for filing an exemption is April 30. However, the Tax Code allows applications for certain exemptions to be filed after the deadline has passed.
The total appraised value of the disabled veteran’s residence homestead.
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How To File A Disability Claim In Any State
If you are a Veteran with a disability, you can file a claim at your regional VA office to apply for monthly tax-free benefits. You can also apply online at the VAs eBenefits website. The regulations for VA disability benefits are the same in every state, so there is no specific place where you can live in the US where it is easier to qualify for benefits. In addition, disability compensation rates are the same throughout the country. However, as you now know, some states offer specific discounts and other benefits to disabled Veterans that can make it more advantageous to choose a specific state as your home.
Filing a disability claim at the VA works the same way, no matter which state you live in. You can file a claim by mail after filling out a form online or submit your claim in person at your local VA facility. Whichever method of submitting your claim is more convenient for you is the best way to get the process started.
Veterans In Any State Can Qualify For Disability Benefits
All 50 states have regional Department of Veterans Affairs offices where Veterans can file claims for disability benefits. These benefits are granted to Veterans with service-connected disabilities mental or physical problems that are directly connected to a Veterans military service. Service-related disabilities that qualify a Veteran for benefits can range from mild to extremely severe.
The VA rates disabled Veterans on a percentage-based scale. A Veteran whose claim is approved by the VA will receive a disability rating between 0% and 100%. A 100% disability rating typically indicates that a Veterans disability makes them completely ineligible for employment and significantly hinders their ability to function in everyday life. A 0% disability rating is the lowest possible score that a Veteran can receive and means that the VA recognizes a connection between their condition and their military service but it is not disabling enough for the VA to provide monthly compensation.
The Dakotas Welcome Veterans
Low housing costs and strongly rated VA hospitals help South Dakota and North Dakota rank as the No. 1 and No. 2 best states for veterans. South Dakota has grown increasingly popular for veterans, seeing the largest increase in veteran population between 2018 and 2019 the latest available data. The second-lowest unemployment rate among veterans in South Dakota also gives it an edge over its northern sibling.
North Dakota might make a more affordable option, however, with housing costs running at just 20% of average veteran income, compared with 24% in South Dakota. However, unemployment is way more common among veterans in North Dakota at 8.4%.
Two other Midwestern states No. 6 Nebraska and No. 7 Iowa join the Dakotas to give the region four of the 10 best states for veterans. Nebraska features the lowest unemployment rate 2.7% for veterans among all states.
|10 best states for veterans|
Reducing Barriers To Employment For Military Families
In addition to pension income tax exemptions, state legislators and governors have also taken action recently to remove the regulatory barriers to employment that occupational licensing requirements often serve as. With encouragement from the Department of Defense, recent years have seen more states pass legislation to provide some form of reciprocity for out-of-state occupational licenses of military family members, helping spouses earn income more quickly in their new state of residence.
Along with enacting his stateâs first tax exemption for military income, in April Governor Kemp also signed HB 884, a bill that expedites the granting of occupational licenses for military spouses. HB 884 ensures such licenses are issued within 90 days. The same day he enacted HB 884, Governor Kemp also signed SB 87, which allows Georgia taxpayers to donate some or all of their annual tax refund to scholarships for disabled veterans.
âIf we can cut through red tape to help our military families achieve financial security, we will do it every time,â said Governor McMaster. âThis is a great piece of legislation and Iâm proud to have had the opportunity to sign it.
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Quality Of Life Total Points: 25
- Veteran Population: Full Weight Note: Veteran Population refers to the number of veterans per 1,000 residents.
- Projected Veteran Population Growth: Full Weight Note: This metric measures the projected increase in the veteran population between the years 2020 and 2048.
- Family-Friendliness: Double Weight
- Note: This metric is based on WalletHubs Best & Worst Places to Retire ranking.
- Restaurants That Offer Military Discounts per Veteran Population*: Half Weight
- Arts & Entertainment Establishments That Offer Military Discounts per Veteran Population*: Half Weight
Worst States For Veterans
Then there are the 10 worst states for veterans, where this population has fewer advantages and factors working in their favor. Heres a look at the 10 worst states and the factors that pushed them to the bottom of the pack.
- New Jersey and New York have the smallest veterans communities, accounting for less than 6% of each states populations. New Jersey also had the fastest-declining veteran population, shrinking by 3.7% per year.
- Tennessee and Texas had the lowest VA services scores. Texas had the fewest VA facilities per capita among the worst states, at just 11.8 per 100,000 VA enrollees. Meanwhile, Tennessee had some of the lowest VA patient satisfaction ratings.
- New Jersey, Oregon and New York fared the worst among our measures of local veterans economic opportunities, but New Jersey was the standout. Of the worst states, New Jersey had the highest unemployment rate among veteran workers at 6.2%. Veterans in New Jersey also faced sky-high property taxes, with a median of $7,000 to $7,999 a full 16% of the states $43,994 annual median income among veterans.
See the table below for a full view of why each of these 10 worst states for veterans earned its unfortunate spot.
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Health Total Points: 25
- Percentage of Residents Who Are Fully Vaccinated: Double Weight
- VA Benefits Administration Facilities per Veteran Population**: Full Weight Note: The square root of the veteran population was used to calculate its size in order to avoid overcompensating for minor differences across states.
- VA Health Facilities per Veteran Population**: Full Weight Note: The square root of the veteran population was used to calculate its size in order to avoid overcompensating for minor differences across states.
- Quality of VA Health Facilities: Triple Weight Note: This composite metric includes:
- Patients Willingness to Recommend the Veteran Hospitals score from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital Report Card
- VA hospital performance star rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning performance improvement tool
- VA hospital and nursing-home beds data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs database of inpatient beds by facility
State For Disabled Veterans: Illinois
Illinois rounds out our top 5 best states for disabled veterans in 2023, coming in at #5/5.
The state of Illinois offers a wide range of benefits for disabled veterans, which well discuss in this section.
State of Illinois disabled veterans or surviving spouses with a VA disability rating of 30% to 50% receive an annual property tax exemption of $2,500 on their primary residence.
Disabled veterans or surviving spouses with a VA disability rating of 50% to 70% receive an annual exemption of $5,000 per year.
And Illinois veterans or surviving spouses of veterans with a service connected VA disability rating of 70% or higher are completely exempt from paying property taxes on their primary residences.
Illinois does have a flat income tax system, which means that everyone, regardless of income level, is taxed at the same rate.
The current state income tax rate in Illinois is 4.95%.
However, military retirement pay, SBP payments, and VA disability pay are tax free in Illinois.
The Illinois Veterans Grant Program pays tuition and fees at all Illinois state-supported colleges, universities, and community colleges for eligible Illinois veterans.
Finally, Illinois disabled veterans with a 10% VA rating or higher are exempt from purchasing a hunting and fishing license or a habitat stamp.
Illinois Disabled Veteran Benefits Quality Score: 72.5/100
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How To Use These Rankings
In addition to a states overall ranking, looking at the data within each category allows you to focus on the factors that matter more to you personally. To explain how you can use this index, its useful to look at an example. Lets consider California.
California ranks 43rd on our index, which means it has a low overall score but not necessarily that it scored poorly in every category. California scored seventh-highest in the livability category because many of its cities are walkable with above-average public transportation, much of which is ADA-accessible. Average commute times are longer than in other states, but someone who drives may not be as worried about commute time if they rely on Medicare and want to make sure theyre in a state with many Medicare providers, which California has.
In the economic category, even though the Golden State scored in the bottom half overall, it has the 12th-highest annual earnings for residents with disabilities. The states average benefit amount for the SSI, SSDI, and OASDI programs all rank in the top 10. On the other hand, California has some of the countrys highest housing costs in addition to high unemployment and low labor force participation for residents with disabilities.
Additional Things To Consider When Retiring
Some considerations such as climate, proximity to relatives, etc. are subjective choices unique to each veteran. However, there are plenty of tangible distinctions when deciding on the right state for you. These might include:
Researching these while considering your personal preferences will help you find the right state for you, as well as the best cities within that state.
Economic Environment Total Points: 3333
- State Tax on Military Pension: Quadruple Weight
- Tax-Friendliness: Double Weight Note: This metric is based on WalletHubs Tax Rates by State report.
- Dollars in Defense Department Contracts per Capita: Full Weight
- Job Opportunities for Veterans: Triple Weight
- State Authorization for Veterans Preference in Private Hiring: Full Weight Note: This binary metric considers the presence or absence of a state statute authorizing private employers to implement a veteran-employment preference without vulnerability to claims of discrimination.
- Job Growth : Double Weight
- Military Bases & Installations per 100,000 Veterans: Full Weight
- Total VA Expenditure per Number of Veterans: Full Weight
- Presence of State Help for Returning Veterans: Full Weight Note: This binary metric considers the presence or absence of veteran transition programs & commissions in a state.
- Presence of Academic Credit for Military Service: Full Weight Note: This binary metric considers the presence or absence of state legislation recognizing the varied skills and knowledge veterans acquire by counting it toward college credit.
- Housing Affordability: Double Weight
- Cost-of-Living Index: Full Weight
Veterans Compensation Benefits Rate Tables
Rates : 10% – 20%
Basic Rates – 10%-100% Combined Degree Only Effective 12/1/19
|Veteran with Spouse & One Parent||$527.69|
|Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents||$568.69|
|Additional for A/A spouse||$48.00|
|Veteran with Spouse and One Parent||$1,644.17|
|Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents||$1,741.17|
|Additional for A/A spouse||$111.00|
|Veteran with Spouse and Child||$525.69|
|Veteran with Spouse, One Parent and Child||$566.69|
|Veteran with Spouse, Two Parents and Child||$607.69|
|Veteran with One Parent and Child||$510.69|
|Veteran with Two Parents and Child||$551.69|
|Add for Each Additional Child Under Age 18||$25.00|
|Each Additional Schoolchild Over Age 18||$83.00|
|Additional for A/A spouse||$48.00|
|Veteran with Spouse and Child||$1,636.17|
|Veteran with Spouse, One Parent and Child||$1,733.17|
|Veteran with Spouse, Two Parents and Child||$1,830.17|
|Veteran with One Parent and Child||$1,604.17|
|Veteran with Two Parents and Child||$1,701.17|
|Add for Each Additional Child Under Age 18||$60.00|
|Each Additional Schoolchild Over Age 18||$194.00|
|Additional for A/A spouse||$111.00|