Where Should Veterans Choose to Live After the Military

live after military

Which State Should Veterans Live In Upon Leaving the Military?

Deciding where to live and work after transitioning out of the military can be an overwhelming process especially if you haven’t decided which state to live in. We have put together some factors for you to consider. Setting yourself up to make sure your money goes further and living in a state that has veteran employment programs as well as companies willing to hire veterans will help the transition from military life to civilian life.

Things to Consider When Determining Where to Live After the Military

Cost of Living

Consists of all of your living expenses including groceries, utilities, insurance, and housing. The average cost of living is 100 nationally and can be used as a gage to determine affordability. We have used Insure.coms cost of living metrics.

Median Income

Median income is the middle point of a sample of household incomes, it is a good gage to determine what your income might be in each state starting out. According to Census.gov in 2019 Median household income was $68,703.

Top Benefit

The Top Benefit of a state gives you insight on how military friendly and a state might be as well as how popular and useful that benefit is to other military members.

Top Veteran Employer

Know who the top veteran employer may give you a leg up in searching for a job after you have left the military. Once companies hire veterans and discover their amazing work ethic they commit to hiring more.  This information came from the VA.

Individual State Benefits

Wherever you are planning to move check out the veteran benefits offered in each state  by Collegerecon.com. Knowing what is available to you could help determine where you might live or help you get access to benefits in your current state.

State Listings for Veterans to Determine Where to Live

Alabama

Average Cost of living:   85.76

Median household income: $48,486

Top Benefit: State Veterans Homes

Top Veteran Employer: Navigator Development Group, Inc.

Alaska

Average Cost of living:   122.88

Median household income: $76,715

Top Benefit: Alaska Property Tax Exemption

Top Veteran Employer: The State of Alaska

Programs and benefits offered to the military community

Arizona

Average Cost of living:   97.66

Median household income: $56,213

Top Benefit: Special License Plates

Top Veteran Employer: List of veteran friendly employers

Arkansas

Average Cost of living:   89.17

Median household income: $45,726

Top Benefit: State tax exemption on military retirement pay

Top Veteran Employer:  The State of Arkansas

California

Average Cost of living:   148.53

Median household income: $71,228

Top Benefit: Flexible financing for home purchases

Top Veteran Employer:  Employment Development Department (EDD) Workforce Services

Colorado

Average Cost of living:   107.01

Median household income: $68,811

Top Benefit: Tax exemption on homes

Top Veteran Employer: Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)

Connecticut

Average Cost of living:   121.59

Median household income: $76,106

Top Benefit: Veteran designation State Driver’s License and ID Cards

Top Veteran Employer: Lockheed Martin, United Technologies Corporation, Sikorsky, Electric Boat, Peoples United, Cigna and Aetna. Click Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. for more information.

Delaware

Average Cost of living:   107.51

Median household income: $65,627

Top Benefit: Veterans license plates

Top Veteran Employer: Dover Air Force Base and the state of Delaware.

Florida

Average Cost of living:   103.45

Median household income: $53,267

Top Benefit: Tax exemption benefits on homes

Top Veteran Employer: CSX and Florida Blue. Click here for more information.

Georgia

Average Cost of living:   90.73

Median household income: $55,679

Top Benefit: Free license plates for Veterans

Top Veteran Employer: The Southern Company.

Hawaii

Average Cost of living:   198.49

Median household income: $78,084

Top Benefit: Totally Disabled Veterans Real Property Tax Exemption

Top Veteran Employer: Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and the U.S. Government

Idaho

Average Cost of living:   95.52

Median household income: $53,089

Top Benefit: Reduced hunting & fishing license and tag fees

Top Veteran Employer: Idaho National Laboratory (INL).

Illinois

Average Cost of living:   97.68

Median household income: $63,575

Top Benefit: Veteran designation on driver’s licenses

Top Veteran Employer: The Illinois State Government.

Indiana

Average Cost of living:   90.19

Median household income: $54,325

Top Benefit: Cancelation of tuition and fees for children of disabled Veterans

Iowa

Average Cost of living:   91.12

Median household income: $58,580

Top Benefit:  Homeownership Assistance Programhttps://va.iowa.gov/benefits.

Top Veteran Employer: Home Base Iowa Initiative

Kansas

Average Cost of living:   89.17

Median household income: $57,422

Top Benefit: Hunting and fishing fee discount

Top Veteran Employer: The state of Kansas

Kentucky

Average Cost of living:   92.93

Median household income: $48,392

Top Benefit: Tuition waived at all state colleges and universities for dependents of qualifying Veterans

Top Veteran Employer: UPS, Humana, and Toyota. Click here for more information.

Louisiana

Average Cost of living:   100.71

Median household income: $47,942

Top Benefit: Retired military pay excluded from state income tax

Top Veteran Employer: Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.

Maine

Average Cost of living:   114.6

Median household income: $55,425

Top Benefit: Maine Resident Lifetime Veteran State Park and Museum Pass

Top Veteran Employer: Bath Iron Works.

Maryland

Average Cost of living:   121.32

Median household income: $81,868

Top Benefit: Property tax exemption

Top Veteran Employer: Department of Defense agencies and private sector defense contractors

Massachusetts

Average Cost of living:   128.44

Median household income: $77,378

Top Benefit: Retired military pay income tax benefit

Top Veteran Employer: For information visit here

Michigan

Average Cost of living:   97.22

Median household income: $54,938

Top Benefit: Michigan Veterans Trust Fund (MVTF)

Top Veteran Employer: DTE and Consumers

Minnesota

Average Cost of living:   103.56

Median household income: $68,411

Top Benefit: VA Claims representation or State Soldiers Assistance Program

Top Veteran Employer: The state of Minnesota, Target, Best Buy, and Cargill. Click here for more information.

Mississippi

Average Cost of living:   85.76

Median household income: $43,567

Top Benefit: Homestead exemption

Top Veteran Employer: Huntington-Ingalls.

Missouri

Average Cost of living:   90.78

Median household income: $53,560

Top Benefit: State Veterans Services Program

Top Veteran Employer: Boeing

Montana

Average Cost of living:   106.35

Median household income: $52,559

Top Benefit: Veteran Designation on the drivers’ licenses

Top Veteran Employer: Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.

Nebraska

Average Cost of living:   91.73

Median household income: $59,116

Top Benefit: Nebraska Veterans Registry

Top Veteran Employer:  Werner Enterprises

Nevada

Average Cost of living:   103.49

Median household income: $57,598

Top Benefit: Nevada veterans property tax exemption

Top Veteran Employer: Cosmopolitan

New Hampshire

Average Cost of living:   105.25

Median household income: $74,057

Top Benefit: Property tax credits

Top Veteran Employer: Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and BAE Systems

New Jersey

Average Cost of living:   124.28

Median household income: $79,363

Top Benefit: $6,000 exemption on income tax return

Top Veteran Employer: The New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

New Mexico

Average Cost of living:   88.41

Median household income: $48,059

Top Benefit: Veterans State property tax exemption

Top Veteran Employer: Veterans Business Development Division

New York

Average Cost of living:   145.04

Median household income: $65,323

Top Benefit: Fresh Connect Checks Program

Top Veteran Employer: New York State Police

North Carolina

Average Cost of living:   93.89

Median household income: $52,413

Top Benefit: Veteran license plates and the tax exclusion for 100% disabled

Top Veteran Employer: Lowe’s and Bank of America

North Dakota

Average Cost of living:   96.97

Median household income: $63,473

Top Benefit: Grant program

Top Veteran Employer: Midwest AgEnergy and Sysco North Dakota

Ohio

Average Cost of living:   91.56

Median household income: $54,533

Top Benefit: Veterans Service Commission.

Top Veteran Employer: The State of Ohio, Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, and the Department of Job and Family Services. Click here for more information.

Oklahoma

Average Cost of living:   89.29

Median household income: $51,424

Top Benefit: 100% Veteran Disability tax exemption

Top Veteran Employer: For more information click here

Oregon

Average Cost of living:   134.67

Median household income: $59,393

Top Benefit: Veteran recognition license plates

Top Veteran Employer: Public Employers Grant Preference

Pennsylvania

Average Cost of living:   104.05

Median household income: $59,445

Top Benefit: Real Estate Tax Exemption

Top Veteran Employer: The state of Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

Average Cost of living:   117.86

Median household income: $63,296

Top Benefit: Rhode Island National Guard members receive free tuition

Top Veteran Employer: For more information click Error! Hyperlink reference not valid..

South Carolina

Average Cost of living:   93.71

Median household income: $51,015

Top Benefit: Homestead exemption

Top Veteran Employer: Boeing

South Dakota

Average Cost of living:   92.84

Median household income: $56,499

Top Benefit: bonus program

Top Veteran Employer: The state of South Dakota

Tennessee

Average Cost of living:   88.3

Median household income: $50,972

Top Benefit: the property tax relief for certain 100% disabled Veterans

Top Veteran Employer: Fedex Express World Hub

Texas

Average Cost of living:   95.02

Median household income: $59,570

Top Benefit: Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) Claims Department

Top Veteran Employer: Click here for more information

Utah

Average Cost of living:   95.84

Median household income: $68,374

Top Benefit: Veterans property tax abatement

Top Veteran Employer: Zions Bank

Vermont

Average Cost of living:   113.27

Median household income: $60,076

Top Benefit: Property tax reduction program

Top Veteran Employer: The State of Vermont and Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Virginia

Average Cost of living:   109.54

Median household income: $71,564

Top Benefit: VA claims assistance program

Top Veteran Employer: CACI International, Inc.

Washington

Average Cost of living:   122.18

Median household income: $70,116

Top Benefit: Free license plates for disabled Veterans

Top Veteran Employer: Boeing

West Virginia

Average Cost of living:   90.59

Median household income: $44,921

Top Benefit: Receive yearly funds to pay for education and training opportunities

Top Veteran Employer: Agencies of the state government.

Wisconsin

Average Cost of living:   97.09

Median household income: $59,209

Top Benefit: WDVA’s online

Top Veteran Employer: Click here for more information

Wyoming

Average Cost of living:   101.23

Median household income: $62,268

Top Benefit: Property tax exemption

Top Veteran Employer: Walmart

 

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About the author

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Lori Waddell serves as Co-director of an emergency response COAD in Montana, a freelance writer, and an Air Force Key Spouse. She is passionate about empowering communities and individuals through knowledge and resources. She currently lives in Montana with her husband and two children.