Skip to content

April 18, 2024

These Are The 2 BEST States for Military Retirement (And It’s Not Even Close!)

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want to learn how to implement these strategies to get the VA benefits you deserve, click here to speak with a VA claim expert for free.

If you’re a retired military member who served your country for 20 years or more, choosing where to live after leaving active duty is a mission critical decision for you and your family.

So, what are the best states to live in for military retirement?

The bottom line is this: Texas and Florida are by far the top two states for military retirees (and it’s not even close…)


Because the benefits to retired military in Texas and Florida are simply unmatched by the other 48 states.

Key Findings of Our Research

  • Texas is the #1 best state for military retirees followed by Florida at #2. Alaska, Nevada, and Illinois round out our top 5 list.

#1. Texas (The Lone Star State)

Texas is the Best State for Military Retirement

The Lone Star state is the best state for military retirement.

The benefits offered to retired military members in Texas are simply unmatched by other states.

  • No State Income Tax: Texas does not have a state income tax, which can be financially beneficial for retirees who receive military pensions or choose to have a civilian career post-military service.
  • Veteran Benefits: Texas is the top overall state for veteran benefits because of its generous property tax exemptions for disabled veterans rated at 10% or more along with free in-state college tuition for veterans and their dependents via the Hazelwood Act.
  • Average Home Values: Texas has an average home value of $304,027, which is $50,152 lower than the national average of $354,179. This means you can get more house for less in Texas compared to the rest of the country.
  • Cost of Living: Generally, Texas has a lower cost of living compared to many other states in the U.S. This can make it easier for retirees to stretch their savings and military retirement pensions further.
  • Quality Healthcare Options: Texas is home to multiple VA hospitals and clinics, providing accessible healthcare to veterans. Additionally, there are numerous military bases with medical facilities that retirees can potentially access.
  • Military Base Access: Texas is home to 15 active duty military bases, which offer various services that retirees can access, including shopping at commissaries and exchanges, as well as using fitness and recreational facilities.
  • Job Opportunities: For those looking to transition into civilian careers post-retirement, Texas offers numerous opportunities, particularly in defense-related industries, technology, and energy sectors.
  • Warm Climate: The warm weather in Texas is attractive to many retirees, especially those looking to escape colder climates. The state’s diverse geography also offers a variety of outdoor recreational activities.
  • Strong Educational Opportunities: There are numerous colleges and universities in Texas that offer educational benefits for veterans, which can be appealing for those looking to further their education or for their dependents.
  • Diverse Communities: Texas is a large state with a diverse population, offering a variety of cultural, recreational, and social activities. This diversity can be appealing for retirees looking for a vibrant community life.

#2. Florida (The Sunshine State)

Florida is the second best state for military retirees

Florida is the second best state for military veterans and retirees.

Florida offers a host of fantastic benefits to military members and their families.

  • No State Income Tax: Like Texas, Florida does not impose a state income tax, which means military pensions and other retirement income go further.
  • Cost of Living: In many parts of Florida, the cost of living is relatively low compared to other coastal states, allowing retirees to enjoy a higher quality of life.
  • Pleasant Climate: Florida’s warm, sunny climate is a major draw, especially for those looking to escape colder regions. The state offers year-round opportunities for outdoor activities like golfing, fishing, and boating.
  • Second Largest Veteran Population: Florida has the second largest veteran population of the 50 U.S. states with 1,322,675 veterans calling the Sunshine state their home of residence.
  • Healthcare Access: The state is home to several VA healthcare facilities, including hospitals and outpatient clinics, providing accessible medical care to veterans.
  • Military Base Access: Florida is host to 21 active duty military bases, which offer various services that retirees can access, including shopping at commissaries and exchanges, as well as using fitness and recreational facilities.
  • Recreational Opportunities: The state’s beaches, parks, and other natural attractions offer ample recreational opportunities, which are beneficial for the physical and mental well-being of retirees.
  • Strong Economy: Florida’s economy is diverse, with growth in industries such as tourism, healthcare, aerospace, and defense. This diversity provides job opportunities for those retirees who wish to continue working.
  • Cultural Diversity: Florida’s cultural diversity is reflected in its food, music, art, and community events, providing a rich and varied lifestyle for residents.
  • Retiree-Friendly Communities: There are numerous communities throughout Florida designed specifically for retirees, offering planned activities, amenities, and services tailored to older adults.

    Source Data

    Data used to create these state rankings was collected and analyzed from the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Zillow Home Values Index, Statista Veteran Population, and the VA National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics.

    About the Author

    Brian Reese
    Brian Reese

    Brian Reese

    Brian Reese is one of the top VA disability benefits experts in the world and bestselling author of You Deserve It: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Veteran Benefits You’ve Earned (Second Edition).

    Brian’s frustration with the VA claim process led him to create VA Claims Insider, which provides disabled veterans with tips, strategies, and lessons learned to win their VA disability compensation claim, faster, even if they’ve already filed, been denied, gave up, or don’t know where to start. 

    As the founder of VA Claims Insider and CEO of Military Disability Made Easy, he has helped serve more than 10 million military members and veterans since 2013 through free online educational resources.

    He is a former active duty Air Force officer with extensive experience leading hundreds of individuals and multi-functional teams in challenging international environments, including a combat tour to Afghanistan in 2011 supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

    Brian is a Distinguished Graduate of Management from the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO, and he holds an MBA from Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, Stillwater, OK, where he was a National Honor Scholar (Top 1% of Graduate School class).

    Related Articles

    Featured Resources

    Elite Membership

    Dear Veteran,
    Here’s the brutal truth about VA disability claims:

    According to our data, 8/10 (80%) of veterans reading this message right now are underrated by the VA…

    This means you do NOT currently have the VA disability rating and compensation YOU deserve, and you could be missing out on thousands of dollars of tax-free compensation and benefits each month.

    As a fellow disabled Veteran this is shameful and I’m on a mission to change it.

    Brian Reese here, Air Force service-disabled Veteran and Founder @ VA Claims Insider.

    Since 2016, VA Claims Insider has helped thousands of Veterans just like you get the VA rating and compensation they deserve in less time.

    If accepted into our ELITE membership program, you’ll get free up-front access and permission to use $13,119 worth of proprietary VA claim resources, including access to our network of independent medical professionals for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible Medical Nexus Letters, which could help you get a HIGHER VA rating in LESS time.

    It’s FREE to get started, so click “Go Elite Now” below to complete our 3-step intake process.

    1. Complete Basic Information
    2. Sign Members Agreement
    3. Join the Mastermind Group

    If you’re stuck, frustrated, underrated, and currently rated between 0%-90%, VA Claims Insider Elite is for you!

    Click “Go Elite Now” below to get started today and a member of our team will be in touch within minutes.

    Go Elite Now!

    Why Choose VA Claims Insider

    You’ve exhausted your free resources

    You're not alone. Thousands of other Veterans in our Community are here for you.

    Veteran Community

    You’re ready to get the rating you deserve

    We know the pain of feeling stuck, frustrated, and alone, and we want to make this process as easy and painless as possible for you.

    Explore Elite Membership

    We win ONLY when YOU win

    Hear from fellow Veterans just like you, with many of our Veteran Ambassadors having gone through our programs.

    Schedule a Call

    Fellow Veterans:

    For a limited time, you can book a free, no-obligation VA Claim Discovery Call with one of our experts.

    Book A Call

    Fellow Veterans:

    For a limited time, you can book a free, no-obligation VA Claim Discovery Call with one of our experts.

    Book A Call