With Veterans Day approaching and the COVID-19 pandemic leading to an increase in veteran unemployment, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2020’s Best & Worst Places for Veterans to Live (as well as accompanying videos and audio files). The report compares the 100 largest U.S. cities across 20 key metrics, ranging from the share of military skill-related jobs to housing affordability and the availability of VA health facilities.
WalletHub also released the results of its 2020 Military Money Survey, which revealed that 75% of Americans agree that military families experience more financial stress than the average family. To help with that, WalletHub’s editors selected 2020’s Best Military Credit Cards, which provide hundreds of dollars in annual savings potential. Below are highlights from the reports, along with a WalletHub Q&A.
|Best Cities for Veterans||Worst Cities for Veterans|
|1. Orlando, FL||91. New York, NY|
|2. Irvine, CA||92. Fresno, CA|
|3. Tampa, FL||93. Anaheim, CA|
|4. Raleigh, NC||94. Jersey City, NJ|
|5. Austin, TX||95. Long Beach, CA|
|6. Colorado Springs, CO||96. Baltimore, MD|
|7. Virginia Beach, VA||97. Memphis, TN|
|8. Scottsdale, AZ||98. Baton Rouge, LA|
|9. Gilbert, AZ||99. Newark, NJ|
|10. Minneapolis, MN||100. Detroit, MI|
To view the full report and your city’s rank, please visit:
Military Money Survey & Best Military Credit Card
- 75% of Americans agree that military families experience more financial stress than the average family.
- Nearly 1 in 2 people think that poor financial literacy among military personnel is a threat to national security, 40% more than in 2019.
- 74% of Americans don’t think that the military does enough to teach financial literacy.
- 78% of military members don’t think they should have to pay interest on debt when deployed to a war zone.
- 46% of people think frontline healthcare workers should be paid more than members of the military and police officers.
- PenFed Power Cash Rewards is the best military credit card of 2020. It gives 2% cash back on all purchases to current and former members of the military (1.5% otherwise) and has a $100 initial bonus. There is no annual fee.
To view the full survey, please visit:
Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a phone, Skype or in-studio interview with one of our experts. Feel free to embed this YouTube video summarizing the study on your website. You can also use or edit these raw files (audio and video) as you see fit. Full data sets for specific cities in our Best & Worst Places for Veterans to Live report are also available upon request.
WalletHub Communications Manager
Q&A with WalletHub Analyst Jill Gonzalez
What makes a city good or bad for veterans?
“How good or bad a city is for veterans depends on factors like the rates of homelessness, unemployment and poverty for veterans, as well as the city’s retirement-friendliness and the quality of its VA facilities. To be clear, all cities should be quick to take care of veterans’ needs, considering all of the sacrifices they have had to make in order to serve the country and keep it safe. But some cities spend sufficient money on veterans affairs while others do not, whether because they lack the funds to do so or because veterans receive a lower priority in the budget,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “While cities do have a responsibility to their veterans, we also need to look critically at the federal government. We spend a vast amount of money on military operations and national defense, yet comparatively little on helping veterans once their service is done. We have tens of thousands of homeless veterans, and that number should be reduced to zero.”
What can we do to reduce the financial stress on military families?
“We can reduce the financial stress on military families by making sure that anyone in a war zone does not have to even think about their family’s basic living expenses while they’re fighting for our country or in the event that something happens to them when doing so. We can also do a much better job of educating members of the military community on the best practices for financial planning,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Military families can undergo an incredible amount of financial stress, especially when one parent is on the front lines and cannot help with managing the family’s finances. Service members who are in active conflicts put their lives at risk, which could place even more of a financial burden on their family if they die or become disabled. The least we can do for our military families is make sure their basic needs are taken care of.”
Does the military do enough to teach financial literacy?
“The military does not do enough to promote financial literacy among service members. Not only do 74% of Americans agree that the military is lacking when it comes to financial literacy education, according to WalletHub’s 2020 Military Money Survey, but nearly 1 in 2 people think it’s a national security issue. Financially literate people who serve in the military can worry less about money problems and focus more on their duties, and are also less susceptible to coercion by foreign powers,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “But it’s important to remember that the military is not alone in its financial literacy deficiency. Most employers and big organizations in the U.S. fail to provide adequate information as well. Even schools don’t give students enough financial education.”
How are veterans impacted by COVID-19?
“The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a big spike in veteran unemployment, which was at 5.9% in October, compared to the nearly historic low of 3.2% seen in 2019,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “The pandemic is certain to increase homelessness among veterans, adding to the more than 37,000 veterans who were already homeless before it even started. There are millions of veterans who are over age 65, too, and 8 of 10 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have been among people in that age group.”