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Vets Fare Well in NH, Mass., Maine, Not So Well in Vt.

Veterans in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine fare better than in many other states because of a good number of veteran-owned small businesses and no taxes on military retiree pensions. (Georgia Tech)
Veterans in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine fare better than in many other states because of a good number of veteran-owned small businesses and no taxes on military retiree pensions. (Georgia Tech)
May 29, 2018

CONCORD, N.H. – While Memorial Day was a day to honor military veterans, barbecue, shop for sales, or maybe take a motorcycle ride, some vets are having a hard time making ends meet while others in New England states are doing much better.

According to a new report by Wallethub, Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts rank more favorably for veteran retirees than most states across the U.S.

Analyst Jill Gonzalez says a major factor is not having a tax on military pensions. And those states also have a pretty high share of veteran-owned businesses and job opportunities.

"Both of those things are important because a lot of people don't realize this, but the average officer is only 45 years old when they retire from service, so oftentimes they are going to have to get back into the workforce and those jobs are really important," Gonzalez explains.

According to Gonzalez, Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts rank above average in the number of military contracts and installations, which contributes to more jobs for vets.

Nearby in Vermont, there's a very different picture for veterans. It ranks 49th, a couple of spots up from the bottom in the survey.

"It does have a state tax on military pensions, so that made a huge difference,” Gonzalez points out. “Not as tax-friendly really to begin with, and a low number of veteran-owned businesses and job opportunities for veterans as well."

This is in stark contrast to New Hampshire, which ranks fourth out of states with the most vet-owned businesses. However, the study shows that veterans throughout New England would do even better if housing were more affordable and there was better access to health care with more VA health facilities.

Linda Barr, Public News Service - NH