NJ Ranks As One of the Worst States for Military Retirees, Report Says
As we get set to celebrate Memorial Day, a new report shows New Jersey is one of the worst states in the U.S. for military retirees.
WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of all 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine a state's overall attractiveness to military retirees. New Jersey ranked among the worst, coming in at 46th.
"Military retirees are different from other retirees in that the average officer is only 47 years old and that's pretty young to have the rest of your life to live, especially if you're just living off of a pension," said Jill Gonzalez, spokesperson for WalletHub.
The report looked at 20 different metrics ranging from job opportunities for veterans to the number of VA health facilities with a focus on economic environment, health care services and overall quality of life in each area.
Many states in the Northeast came in at the bottom, according to Gonzalez.
"Many military retirees are looking for opportunities that their skill set matches. They don't want to go through a retraining process. Many states on the top of the list have jobs that are more conducive to veterans, including manufacturing and information technology opportunities," Gonzalez said. "The Garden State ranked very low when it came to the number of veteran owned businesses and second to last for job opportunities for veterans."
When it came to the number of VA health care facilities, New Jersey ranked 34th in the country.
"When it comes to the quality of the VA hospitals, New Jersey could use some help. It came in very close to the bottom because the patients' willingness to recommend these hospitals was very low," Gonzalez said.
New Jersey did score well though when it came to the state tax on military pension. It also ranked in the top 20 for quality of life issues for military retirees.
"The number of homeless vets is pretty low in New Jersey. The percentage of the population age 40 and over ranks 11th in the country. About 49 percent of the population is 40 and over, so retirees will have plenty of like-minded people to spend time with," Gonzalez said.
Among the key findings:
- The number of veterans per 100 inhabitants is two times higher in Alaska than in New York.
- The number of homeless veterans per 10,000 veterans is 17 times higher in the District of Columbia than in Virginia.
- The number of VA health facilities per number of veterans is eight times higher in New York than in Rhode Island.
- The number of VA benefits administration facilities per number of veterans is 24 times higher in Alaska than in Michigan.
- The percentage of the population aged 40 and older is two times higher in Maine than in Utah.
- The number of veteran-owned businesses per 1,000 inhabitants is two times higher in Montana than in Utah.
The top states for military retirees included: Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, Maine and Florida. New Jersey, New York, Utah, Washington D.C., Rhode Island and Indiana were the worst.
For the complete report, visit here.