Amid the pageantry and tributes that mark Memorial Day and honor the country's fallen military members, one report has found many states throughout the U.S. need to do more for veterans. Indeed, Texas is more like a first lieutenant than a five-star general when it comes to its ranking among the best states for military retirees.
Personal finance website WalletHub puts Texas at No. 21 on its new list of the best states for military retirees. Virginia ranks first, while Oregon sits in last place.
"Even without a pandemic, retirement from the military is always difficult, with many retirees facing major struggles, including post-traumatic stress disorder, disability, and homelessness," writes WalletHub managing editor John S. Kiernan in the report. "These veterans must also consider how state tax policies on military benefits vary, along with the relative friendliness of different job markets and other socioeconomic factors, when choosing a state in which to settle down."
To develop its rankings, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on their ability to provide a comfortable military retirement. The analysis looked at 30 key metrics, ranging from veterans per capita to number of VA health-care facilities to job opportunities for veterans.
Here’s how Texas fared in seven of the categories:
- No. 5 for VA health-care facilities per number of veterans
- No. 13 for VA benefits administration facilities per number of veterans
- No. 16 for veteran job opportunities
- No. 22 for housing affordability
- No. 29 for percentage of veteran-owned businesses
- No. 30 for percentage of homeless veterans
- No. 43 for veterans per capita
Ralph Harrison, a veteran success counselor at the University of Houston, tells WalletHub that military retirees should consider whether a state is veteran- and tax-friendly when deciding where to live.
While Texas lands in the middle among the best states for military retirees, five places in the Lone Star State deserve to be saluted for their high rankings among the best cities for military veterans. Last year, WalletHub placed Austin at No. 5 on that list, with Fort Worth at No. 23, San Antonio at No. 24, Laredo at No. 28, and Plano at No. 32.