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Maryland Is 2024’s 4th Best State for Military Retirees according to a study from WalletHub

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With May being Military Appreciation Month and Memorial Day approaching, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on the Best & Worst States for Military Retirees in 2024, along with its Memorial Day Facts infographic and expert commentary.

To help our troops plan their years after service, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 28 key indicators of retirement-friendliness for veterans. The data set ranges from job opportunities for veterans to housing affordability to the quality of VA hospitals.

Military Retirement in Maryland (1=Best; 25=Avg.):
Overall Rank: 4th

  • 6th – % of Homeless Veterans
  • 14th – Veteran Job Opportunities
  • 16th – % of Veteran-Owned Businesses
  • 1st – Number of VA Benefits-Administration Facilities per Number of Veterans
  • 19th – Quality of VA Hospitals

Top 5 states include:

  1. South Carolina
  2. Florida
  3. Virginia
  4. Maryland
  5. North Dakota

Memorial Day Facts

3.5M – Number of people expected to travel by plane over Memorial Day weekend (up 5% over 2023).

818 – Number of hot dogs consumed every second from Memorial Day to Labor Day (seven billion total).

15 to 80 Percent Off – Discount shoppers can expect during Memorial Day weekend sales.

100M+ – Number of households worldwide that will watch the National Memorial Day parade broadcast on TV.

For the full report, please visit:
https://wallethub.com/edu/best-states-for-military-retirees/3915

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“Transitioning from military to civilian life isn’t easy, but the best states for military retirees make that adjustment as smooth as possible. In addition to providing the conditions necessary for our veterans to thrive financially, they also have ample resources for taking care of military retirees’ physical and mental health.”

“South Carolina is the best state for military retirees, in part because it has many policies in place to help veterans. The state allows businesses to give preferential hiring to veterans, offers academic credit for military service, and has veteran treatment courts, which give services like treatment and mentoring to veterans in the criminal justice system. South Carolina doesn’t tax military pensions, either. In addition, the Palmetto State has the fourth-best VA hospitals in the country, and the fourth-most veteran-owned businesses per capita.”

– Cassandra Happe, WalletHub Analyst

Expert Commentary provided by WalletHub

Should veterans have to pay taxes on retirement pay?

“It may seem both unnecessary and unfair to have veterans pay taxes from money already generated from taxes to fund national security. Veteran retirement pay may be considered a return on the taxpayers’ investment for the defense of our nation and our planet. Taxes on this pay can create a longer-run disincentive for military service.”
Ahmed S. Rahman – Associate Professor, Lehigh University

“Of course, they should not! Most states recognize this; Virginia recently repealed the tax on military retired pay. States are competing for veteran talent, and military retirees have several decades of productive working life remaining. Attracting them to your state requires a deliberate effort, and not taxing military retired pay is a small price to pay.”
Daniel Gade – Adjunct Professorial Lecturer, American University

What are the best economic opportunities for retired military personnel looking for a new career?

“Seven percent of the civilian noninstitutional population aged 18 and over are veterans. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2023, the largest share of veterans worked for the government at 22 percent, followed by work in manufacturing, professional and business services, and education and health services. Along with these general sectors, those with military experience often find employment opportunities in defense contracting, security and risk management, logistics and supply-chain management, emergency management and disaster response, information technology, and cybersecurity. Veterans need to appreciate that the military forms its own sub-economy, with various sectors employing personnel in industrial production, transportation, health and education services, and technology, to name but a few areas.”
Ahmed S. Rahman – Associate Professor, Lehigh University

“Veterans make great entrepreneurs! Start your own business and you will never have to work for anyone else. It is a great feeling. There are so many resources – Boots to Business and other entrepreneurship training programs.”
Daniel Gade – Adjunct Professorial Lecturer, American University

How should the government help the military community?

“The government needs to continue to make the military and veterans a priority. They should continue to have unwavering support for our community, especially much-needed services like housing, employment, and mental health.”
Daryl Griffin – Veterans Academic Advisor / Veteran Resource Center Co-Manager, LaGuardia Community College/CUNY

“Veterans generally have lower labor force participation rates than non-veterans. This is true even when conditioning for education and disability status. Despite having access to the benefits of the G.I. Bill, veterans are also less likely than comparable non-veterans to pursue further education after high school. Much of this stems from the difficulty of matching the skills of veterans with the needs of civilian employers. Veterans may lack the civilian connections critical for job placements, especially when the skills gained from military service are difficult to translate into civilian use. The government would do well to not only provide skills and training but also help companies understand how the skills and training of erstwhile soldiers and officers can be employed in civilian work. Public resources devoted to building information forums and job fairs for veterans would go some way to narrowing the civilian-military information gap.”
Ahmed S. Rahman – Associate Professor, Lehigh University


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