Best Places To Retire In Connecticut For 2020


We analyzed over 34 places in Connecticut to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best places to retire in Connecticut.

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Looking to spend a quiet retirement in the Constitution State? Don't move just anywhere until you've consulted our list of the best places to retire in Connecticut.

First things first, why is Connecticut a great place to retire? Well, CT has been featured in the top ten of our lists of overall best, safest, and best family states in the country. On the flip side, it's a tad expensive living in Connecticut, so make sure that 401k is looking strong before making any big decisions.

But you get what you pay for, because Connecticut has one of the most enviable autumns in the country. You'll be complaining about the leaf-peepers from New York like a local in no time. Connecticut's proximity to New York means the pizza is world-class. We guarantee that even if you think white clam pizza sounds gross at first, you'll be a convert after your first bite. And with Yale right in your backyard, you'll be close enough to hand-deliver care packages to your super-smart grandkids once they matriculate.

The best places to retire in Connecticut are, by and large, located in or around Hartford. More than half the cities on the list are within a half hour of the state's capital city, including West and East Hartford themselves. If you want to be as close as possible to Connecticut's biggest cities (New Haven and Bridgeport), then places like Shelton and Ansonia are your best bets for retirement.

Pack up your hiking boots, push the kayak into the Connecticut River, and relax, because we're visiting the best places to retire in Connecticut.

Why did Windsor Locks take the top spot? And where are Bridgeport and New Haven?

Any one of the above cities is sure to provide you with a safe haven to enjoy the newfound freedom of retirement. As a matter of interest, both the overall best and the best family city in Connecticut are both also great places to retire.

Want to know what went on behind the scenes to come up with this list? We started by narrowing down the places we'd rank to only those with a population of or above 12,000 people, which gave us 35 cities to work with. Next, we used data from the Census, the FBI's Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights to see what each of the 35 cities were like in terms of crime, cost of living, weather, median age, and access to fun things to do. So what was the absolute best place to retire in Connecticut? According to the data, Windsor Locks is the #1 spot for folks looking to enjoy their retirement in 2020.

To see how each of the 35 cities of 12,000 people or more are for retirement, consult the full list below.

For more Connecticut state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Connecticut For 2020

Windsor Locks, CT

Source: Wikipedia
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 12,613
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,252
Distance to Closest Airport: 1 miles
More on Windsor Locks: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Windsor Locks is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. As of the 2010 census, its population was 12,498. It is the site of Bradley International Airport, which serves the Greater Hartford-Springfield region and occupies approximately 1/3 of the town. Windsor Locks is also the site of the New England Air Museum.

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 26,267
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,073
Distance to Closest Airport: 16 miles
More on Wethersfield: Real Estate | Data

Wethersfield is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. It is located immediately south of Hartford along the Connecticut River. Its population was 26,668 in the 2010 census.

Torrington, CT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 34,737
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Rent: $939
Distance to Closest Airport: 24 miles
More on Torrington: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Torrington is the largest city in Litchfield County, Connecticut and the Litchfield Hills region. It is also the core city of the largest micropolitan area in the United States. The city population was 36,383 according to the 2010 census.

Willimantic, CT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 17,184
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Rent: $879
Distance to Closest Airport: 28 miles
More on Willimantic: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Willimantic is a census-designated place, former city and borough, and special-services district. It is located in the town of Windham in Windham County, Connecticut. The population was 17,737 at the 2010 census. It is home to Eastern Connecticut State University and the Windham Textile and History Museum. Willimantic was incorporated as a city in 1893; the city was superseded in 1983 by the Willimantic Special Services District/Willimantic CDP. It is also the birthplace of former U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut.

Bristol, CT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 60,308
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Rent: $984
Distance to Closest Airport: 22 miles
More on Bristol: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Middletown, CT

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 46,473
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,132
Distance to Closest Airport: 26 miles
More on Middletown: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Middletown is a city located in Middlesex County, Connecticut, along the Connecticut River, in the central part of the state, 16 miles south of Hartford. In 1650, it was incorporated as a town under its original Indian name, Mattabeseck. It received its present name in 1653. Middletown was included within Hartford County upon its creation on May 10, 1666. In 1784, the central settlement was incorporated as a city distinct from the town. Both were included within newly formed Middlesex County in May 1785. In 1923, the City of Middletown was consolidated with the Town, making the city limits of the city quite extensive.

Review Of Middletown by HomeSnacks User

There is a lot to do in Middletown. There are fireworks over the river around the 4th of July, plenary of places to eat and shop, and plenary of school option.

The food on Main Street is awesome. There are a ton of choices for food. The toy store is also amazing.

Norwich, CT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 39,567
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 5)
Median Rent: $1,028
Distance to Closest Airport: 40 miles
More on Norwich: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Norwich, known as 'The Rose of New England', is a city in New London County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 40,493 at the 2010 United States Census. Three rivers, the Yantic, the Shetucket, and the Quinebaug, flow into the city and form its harbor, from which the Thames River flows south to Long Island Sound.

Newington, CT

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 30,323
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $1,235
Distance to Closest Airport: 17 miles
More on Newington: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Newington is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. Located 8 miles south of downtown Hartford, Newington is an older, mainly residential suburb located in Greater Hartford. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 30,562. The Connecticut Department of Transportation has its headquarters in Newington.

Hartford, CT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 123,628
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Rent: $959
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
More on Hartford: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hartford is the capital of the U.S. state of Connecticut. It was the seat of Hartford County until Connecticut disbanded county government in 1960. As of the 2010 Census, Hartford's population was 124,775, making it Connecticut's third-largest city after the coastal cities of Bridgeport and New Haven. Census Bureau estimates since then have indicated Hartford's fall to fourth place statewide, as a result of sustained population growth in the coastal city of Stamford.

West Hartford, CT

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 63,127
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $1,297
Distance to Closest Airport: 12 miles
More on West Hartford: Real Estate | Data | Photos

West Hartford is an affluent suburb located in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. Located 5 miles west of downtown Hartford, the population was 63,268 at the 2010 census.

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Constitution State for 2020

To create our list of the best places in Connecticut to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Constitution State -- 142 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 12,000 people that weren't townships. This left us with 35 places from across the state.

For these 35, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI's Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:

  • Low cost of living as measured by rent
  • Low crime
  • Things to do (Museums, Colleges, and Libraries in town)
  • Nice weather
  • Distance to the closest international airport
  • Other retirees (High median age)

We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 35, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Windsor Locks, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers. You can download the data here.

Maybe You're Not Ready To Retire In Connecticut Yet...

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Connecticut goes to Windsor Locks.

If you're not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:

  1. Bridgeport
  2. Trumbull
  3. New Haven

For more Connecticut reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Connecticut?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Windsor Locks 12,613 $1,252
2 Wethersfield 26,267 $1,073
3 Torrington 34,737 $939
4 Willimantic 17,184 $879
5 Bristol 60,308 $984
6 Middletown 46,473 $1,132
7 Norwich 39,567 $1,028
8 Newington 30,323 $1,235
9 Hartford 123,628 $959
10 West Hartford 63,127 $1,297

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.