The military has a big presence in the state of Florida, with many bases being home to a number of troops from all the services. But it isn’t just the active duty troops flocking to the Sunshine State. Retirees and veterans are staying in Florida and for a number of reasons. The weather, the booming job market for veterans, health care availability and housing affordability.

According to WalletHub, Florida is ranked #1 of all 50 states and the District of Columbia for military veterans to reside.

WalletHub used three main categories: economic environment, quality of life and healthcare.

Florida is home to the third-largest veteran population in the nation and is the top state for a veteran getting hired and for state tax on military pensions. Military retired pay and survivor benefit plans are tax exempt in Florida.

This year, WalletHub included two more metrics: the share of population 40 and older and the presence of veteran-treatment courts for mental health and drug addiction. According to the findings, more than half of the state’s veteran population is over the age of 40.

Florida’s VA hospitals, and the number of them, also ranked high.

“For the quality of VA hospitals metric, Florida ranked 19th because patients were more willing to recommend the state’s VA hospitals,” analyst Jill Gonzalez said. A score of 25 is considered average, and lower scores like Florida’s are better, she said.

“Florida ranked high [fifth best] for the number of VA health facilities per number of veterans,” Gonzalez said.

When it comes to jobs, veterans also do well in Florida.

Analysts determined the number of job opportunities for veterans by looking at eligible jobs and subtracting the veteran unemployment rate, Gonzalez said. In hiring for federal government jobs, veterans in Florida may receive preference depending on their disability status and when they were active.

It might be time to start packing boxes and planning the move south. Both Florida and South Carolina are very veteran-friendly states to reside in and for veterans, the factors in their favor make them very attractive. But rooting for the Dolphins? Not so much.

To read the entire article from the Miami Herald, click here:

Photo courtesy DOD