By Yahoo! Finance, April 25, 2023
As the cost of living continues to increase, maintaining retirement savings has become more challenging. According to a survey conducted by U.S. News, 41% of Americans who were saving for retirement had to temporarily stop contributing to their retirement funds in 2022 because of inflationary pressures. Furthermore, around 32% of them were forced to withdraw from their retirement savings to cope with the increasing costs and adjust their financial strategies. Relocating during retirement can help save a significant amount of money to support one’s post-work years. A recent study by Vanguard Group revealed that in 2019, the average homeowner aged 60 or older who sold their house and moved to a more affordable housing area unlocked nearly $100,000 in home equity. According to Vanguard, using the “retire and relocate” strategy, the typical person in the top 10th percentile made an even higher amount of money, up to $347,000.
Relocating during retirement can be a smart financial decision to stretch retirement savings, and Connecticut is an attractive option for retirees. Connecticut has been ranked as the ninth-best state to retire in the US by the recent Global Residence Index. This ranking was based on several factors, including social support and life expectancy. Connecticut scored high in both of these areas, which helped it secure a spot in the top ten positions. Retiring to Connecticut may be a good choice for individuals for various reasons. The state is known for its natural beauty, with a long coastline, forests, and mountains. It is a great place for those who enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and boating. The Nutmeg State has a highly ranked healthcare system, with top hospitals and medical centers throughout the state. Connecticut has a rich history and cultural scene, with many museums, art galleries, and theatres. The Constitution state is located close to major metropolitan areas like New York City and Boston, providing access to world-class amenities and entertainment options. While Connecticut is known for having a relatively high cost of living, it offers some tax advantages for retirees. Social Security benefits are not taxed in Connecticut, and there is a generous exemption for pensions.
Furthermore, various reputable companies such as The Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG), Cigna Group (NYSE:CI), and Webster Financial Corporation (NYSE:WBS) are also headquartered in Connecticut. The Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG) provides a range of insurance products, including life, property and casualty insurance. Meanwhile, Cigna Group (NYSE:CI) also specializes in providing individuals with a wide range of healthcare insurance solutions. These include medical and dental insurance, as well as Medicare plans. Webster Financial Corporation (NYSE:WBS) provides a range of financial solutions, including retirement accounts. The presence of these companies in Connecticut not only offers beneficial services and products for retirees but also plays a significant role in the state’s economy by providing employment opportunities and supporting other local businesses.
Using a consensus opinion-based approach, we have shortlisted the 18 best places to retire in Connecticut. Our rankings were based on seven key factors: cost of living, climate, healthcare, safety, transportation, recreational activities, and quality of life. To ensure the reliability of our rankings, we consulted reputable sources like Forbes, NBC Connecticut, and CT Insider. Each location was given an average score out of 10 across the aforementioned factors, with the maximum total score being 70. The list is arranged in ascending order of the total attainable score.
Total Score: 16
Bristol is a small city with a population of around 60,661 as of July 2021. It has a low crime rate and a strong sense of community. For retirees looking for a quiet and safe place to live, Bristol could be a good option. The cost of living in Bristol is lower in comparison to many other parts of Connecticut. This can be attractive to retirees who are looking to stretch their retirement income. Additionally, Bristol’s location, with its easy driving distance to major cities like Hartford, New Haven, and Providence, makes it an attractive choice for retirees who desire access to urban amenities without the hustle and bustle of city living.
Total Score: 17
Norwich has a rich history and a vibrant arts and culture scene. The city is home to several museums and historic sites, including the Slater Memorial Museum and the Leffingwell House Museum. The town is located in a scenic part of Connecticut, with access to several parks, hiking trails, and lakes. The nearby Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos offer entertainment and gaming options as well. Additionally, Norwich has a range of healthcare facilities, including the Backus Hospital, which can be an essential consideration for retirees who require access to medical services. All of these factors make Norwich a desirable location for retirees looking for a place that offers both leisure and healthcare services.
Total Score: 18
Southport is a small coastal village located in Fairfield County, Connecticut. It has a population of around 1,600 and is known for its picturesque New England charm, historic homes, and scenic views of Long Island Sound. The town is located on the coast of Connecticut, which means residents have easy access to the beach and all the recreational opportunities associated with it. Southport has a small-town feel, with a tight-knit community and plenty of local events and activities. In addition to the beach, Southport is surrounded by parks and nature preserves, providing plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities.
Total Score: 19
Darien is located just 37 miles from New York City, making it a convenient option for retirees who want to take advantage of the city’s cultural attractions, restaurants, and shopping. Darien is known for its excellent schools, low crime rate, and beautiful parks and beaches. Furthermore, it is home to several high-quality medical facilities, including Stamford Hospital and Greenwich Hospital.
Total Score: 20
Riverside, a small and affluent community in Fairfield County, is a desirable location for retirees seeking a tranquil and secure environment. The town is well-known for its breathtaking natural scenery, top-rated schools, and proximity to New York City. It also boasts a low crime rate and decent healthcare facilities. Riverside is situated along the Long Island Sound, providing access to beautiful beaches, parks, and hiking trails. This can be particularly attractive to retirees who enjoy spending time outdoors and engaging in nature-based activities.
13. Cos Cob
Total Score: 21
Cos Cob is located in the southwest corner of Connecticut and is known for its beautiful parks and natural scenery, including the Mianus River State Park and Greenwich Point Park. The crime rate is low, and the town offers excellent healthcare facilities and senior services, such as the Greenwich Senior Center. The town is well-connected to major cities like New York City and Stamford, making it convenient for retirees who want to enjoy these cities’ cultural and entertainment offerings.
Total Score: 22
Hartford is within driving distance of Boston, New York City, and other major cities in the region. The town has four distinct seasons, which can be appealing to those who enjoy experiencing all types of weather. Hartford is home to several museums, theatres, and other cultural institutions. The city also has a rich history, which can be explored through sites like the Mark Twain House & Museum.
Total Score: 23
Torrington, with its population of over 35,300 as of July 2021, offers a small-town ambience that many retirees find comforting. Compared to other parts of Connecticut, Torrington has a relatively affordable cost of living, which can be appealing for retirees on a fixed income. Torrington is located in the scenic Litchfield Hills region of Connecticut, which offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, including hiking, fishing, and skiing. The town has a vibrant arts scene, with several galleries, theatres, and museums in the area.
Total Score: 24
Weatogue is a small, picturesque village with a tranquil and peaceful environment, making it a perfect place for retirees who want to enjoy a slower-paced lifestyle. Weatogue is surrounded by mountains, parks, and nature reserves. This makes it an excellent location for retirees who enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and fishing. Connecticut has some of the best healthcare facilities in the country, and Weatogue is no exception. The town has several medical centres and hospitals that offer top-notch medical care.
Total Score: 26
Middletown is a small city that offers a high quality of life. It has a vibrant downtown area with shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions, as well as parks and outdoor recreation opportunities. The town has several hospitals and healthcare facilities, including the Middlesex Hospital, which is highly ranked for the quality of its services. Middletown is located in the heart of Connecticut, making it easy to travel to other parts of the state or nearby cities like Hartford or New Haven. Middletown is home to Wesleyan University, a highly-ranked liberal arts college, as well as several other colleges and universities in the surrounding area.
Total Score: 27
Greenwich is located 30 miles from Manhattan, making it an attractive option for retirees who want to stay close to the city but prefer a more suburban and relaxed lifestyle. Greenwich has a strong economy, with many major corporations and financial institutions headquartered in the area, which can be an important consideration for retirees who want to stay active and engaged in the workforce. Greenwich is home to several world-class golf courses and offers numerous recreational activities, such as hiking, boating, and fishing.
Total Score: 28
Westport is an ideal location for retirees who want to be close to the cultural amenities of New York City without living in the bustling metropolis itself. Just 50 miles away from the city, Westport is conveniently located for those who want to take advantage of the many attractions the city has to offer. The town also has a commuter rail station, providing easy access to and from the city. The town is home to several cultural attractions, including the Westport Country Playhouse, which hosts plays and musicals throughout the year, and the Westport Arts Center, which showcases the work of local artists.
6. Old Greenwich
Total Score: 29
Old Greenwich is located just 30 miles from New York City. The area is known for its natural beauty, with plenty of parks, beaches, and nature preserves to explore. Old Greenwich has a strong sense of community, with many activities and events geared towards seniors, including senior centres and social clubs.
Several reputable companies, such as The Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG), Cigna Group (NYSE:CI), and Webster Financial Corporation (NYSE:WBS), also provide useful services for retirees in Connecticut.
Total Score: 30
Avon is known for its scenic beauty. The town also offers a high quality of life, with excellent schools, a low crime rate, and easy access to healthcare facilities. Avon is located just a short drive from Hartford, which offers a wide range of cultural and entertainment options. The town is also within easy reach of several major airports, making it convenient for travel.
Total Score: 37
Simsbury is a picturesque and charming town with a high standard of living. It offers a peaceful and safe environment with a strong sense of community. Despite its small-town feel, Simsbury is located within easy reach of major metropolitan areas, including Hartford, New York City, and Boston. Simsbury is surrounded by natural beauty, including the Farmington River and several parks and forests. It is an ideal location for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and golfing. The town is home to several top-ranked medical facilities, including the Hartford Hospital and the University Of Connecticut Health Center.
Total Score: 38
Ridgefield has a low crime rate, making it a safe and secure place to retire. The town is home to several top-ranked medical facilities, including Danbury Hospital and Stamford Hospital. Despite its small-town feel, Ridgefield is located within easy reach of major metropolitan areas, including New York City, Hartford, and Boston. Ridgefield is surrounded by natural beauty, including parks, forests, and lakes. The town has a variety of hiking and biking trails, as well as opportunities for fishing, boating, and golfing.
Total Score: 42
Glastonbury is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in Connecticut. It has a low crime rate, good schools, and offers access to various amenities. Glastonbury is located just 10 miles southeast of Hartford, the capital of Connecticut, which provides easy access to the city’s cultural and entertainment offerings. Additionally, it is less than a two-hour drive to both New York City and Boston. Glastonbury is home to several historic sites and museums, including the Welles-Shipman-Ward House and the Connecticut Audubon Society Center at Glastonbury.
1. West Hartford
Total Score: 50
West Hartford is known for its high quality of life. It offers a unique combination of small-town charm and urban amenities, including excellent shopping, dining, and cultural attractions. The town is located just a few miles from Hartford, the capital of Connecticut, and is within driving distance of other major East Coast cities like Boston and New York City. West Hartford offers a range of housing options for retirees, including apartments, condos, and single-family homes. Furthermore, the cost of living in West Hartford is generally affordable compared to other East Coast cities.