NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Military veterans face a unique retirement situation -- regardless of challenges faced at VA hospitals. Many people look at retirement as something that will happen - at the earliest - when they are in their mid-50s, but usually in their late 60s, or never. Military personnel, by contrast, start much earlier.

The average officer retires at the ripe old age of 45.2 years, and enlisted personnel at 41.4 years of age, according to the Congressional Research Service.

This information was contained in a recent study published by WalletHub - a consumer finance website.

WalletHub compared the retirement environment in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia using 19 key metrics. These ranged from taxes on military benefits to veteran job opportunities. Such metrics, they believed, addressed the economic opportunities, human services and general lifestyle for each state.

Because of their young age, military retirees are still very much looking for work. But they also must assimilate from the closed world of the military into civilian society. This is often a problem with combat veterans. Making that shift from the horrors of combat to polite society is not an easy task.

This, according to WalletHub, has led to rising numbers of young vets encountering hardship and homelessness. This, no doubt, is exacerbated by the incompetence of the Veterans Administration which has been revealed in recent scandals.

VA facilities was one of WalletHubs metrics. Here are the results of their rankings:

  • 1. Wyoming
  • 2. New Hampshire
  • 3. Montana
  • 4. South Dakota
  • 5. Nebraska
  • 6. Alaska
  • 7. Delaware
  • 8. Kansas
  • 9. Oklahoma
  • 10. Maine
  • 11. North Dakota
  • 12. Hawaii
  • 13. Iowa
  • 14. Colorado
  • 15. Virginia
  • 16. New Mexico
  • 17. Idaho
  • 18. Maryland
  • 19. Mississippi
  • 20. South Carolina
  • 21. Vermont
  • 22. Alabama
  • 23. Wisconsin
  • 24. West Virginia
  • 25. Washington, D.C.
  • 26. Washington
  • 27. North Carolina
  • 28. Missouri
  • 29. Georgia
  • 30. New Jersey
  • 31. Massachusetts
  • 32. Florida
  • 33. Minnesota
  • 34. Tennessee
  • 35. Louisiana
  • 36. Ohio
  • T-37. Connecticut
  • T-37. Texas
  • 39. Kentucky
  • 40. Utah
  • 41. Nevada
  • 42. Arkansas
  • 43. Rhode Island
  • 44. Oregon
  • 45. Michigan
  • 46. Pennsylvania
  • 47. Illinois
  • 48. Arizona
  • 49. Indiana
  • 50. New York
  • California

California, ironically, because of its large number of military bases and defense industries, is the worst state for military retirees. As a point of reference, the state of New York is the second worst state for military retirees according to WalletHub. The site ranks it:

  • 51st for Veterans per 100 Inhabitants
  • 48th for Veteran-Owned Businesses per 1,000 Inhabitants
  • 37th for Veteran Job Opportunities
  • 43rd for Number of VA Benefits Facilities per Number of Veterans
  • 13th for Number of VA Health Facilities per Number of Veterans
  • 33rd for Number of Military Bases and Installations per 10,000 Veterans
  • 49th for Number of Homeless Veterans per Number of Veterans

The full report is available here.

--Written by Michael P. Tremoglie for MainStreet