These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Connecticut For 2018


We analyzed over 21 places in Connecticut to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

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When most people think of calling it quits on a career, they immediately think of a move to Florida.

But not everyone wants to spend their golden years in Florida; some of us want to stay close to friends and family and within the great state of Connecticut.

But where exactly in Connecticut? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.

To that end, we have tried to identify the places in Connecticut that are safe, affordable, and have plenty of things to keep you busy well into retirement.

What did we find after pouring through all the data? Let’s just say we hope folks in Windsor Locks don’t mind us spreading the word.

Here are our top ten places in the Constitution State to retire for 2018:

  1. Windsor Locks (Homes For Sale)
  2. Bristol (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Torrington (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Willimantic (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Middletown (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. West Hartford (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Newington (Homes For Sale)
  8. East Hartford (Homes For Sale)
  9. Shelton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Ansonia (Photos | Homes For Sale)

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

Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details. Or check out the purely worst and best places to live in Connecticut.

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

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 with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’t townships.

This left us with 34 places from across the state.

For these 34, 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 34, 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.

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1. Windsor Locks

Windsor Locks, Connecticut

Source: Google Maps

Population: 12,537
Median Rent: $1,144
Distance to Closest Airport: 1 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,627
More on Windsor Locks: Homes For Sale | Data
Originally part of Windsor, Windsor Locks broke off into its own settlement in 1854 after the thriving Enfield Locks going around Enfield Falls which opened in 1829. The Bradley International Airport opened as a military base in 1940, and opened to civilian use in 1947. In 1967 the town boundary was somewhat altered due to the opening of the Bradley Connector. The town boundary between Windsor Locks and Windsor changed several times and was altered with Windsor Locks being on the westbound side and the Windsor side on the eastbound side with the border on the median.

2. Bristol

Bristol, Connecticut

Source: Public domain’

Population: 60,437
Median Rent: $895
Distance to Closest Airport: 22 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,667
More on Bristol: Homes For Sale | Data

3. Torrington

Torrington, Connecticut

Source: Public domain’

Population: 35,227
Median Rent: $885
Distance to Closest Airport: 24 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,811
More on Torrington: Homes For Sale | Data
Torrington was first settled in 1735 by Ebenezer Lyman, Jr., of Durham, Connecticut. Its early settlers resided on the hills west of the Naugatuck River where the first school, church, store, and tavern were constructed. Later, the eastern hill known as Torringford was settled, as it provided the best farmland. Torrington was given permission to organize a government and incorporate as a town in October 1740.

4. Willimantic

Willimantic, Connecticut

Population: 17,339
Median Rent: $777
Distance to Closest Airport: 28 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,476
More on Willimantic: Homes For Sale | Data
Willimantic is an Algonquian term for ‘land of the swift running water’.

5. Middletown

Middletown, Connecticut

Population: 46,933
Median Rent: $1,062
Distance to Closest Airport: 26 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,124
More on Middletown: Homes For Sale | Data
The land on the western bank of the Connecticut River where Middletown now lies was home to the Mattabesett Native Americans (also spelled Mattabesec, Mattabeseck, and Mattabesek); the area they inhabited?now Middletown and the surrounding area?was named after them. At the time the first European settlers arrtived in the region, the Mattabesetts were a part of the group of tribes in the Connecticut Valley, under a single chief named Sowheag.

6. West Hartford

West Hartford, Connecticut

Population: 63,187
Median Rent: $1,236
Distance to Closest Airport: 12 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,578
More on West Hartford: Homes For Sale | Data
According to new archaeological evidence, the Wampanoag people used West Hartford as one of their winter camps. Fishing and hunting along the Connecticut River, the area of West Hartford offered the Wampanoag people a refuge from the cold winter wind and the river’s severe spring flooding. In 1636 Reverend Thomas Hooker led a group of followers from what is now Cambridge, Massachusetts to the ‘Great River’ and eventually established the Hartford Colony. As the colony grew, additional land was needed. In 1672 the Proprietors of Hartford ordered that a Division be created to the West. A total of ’72 Long Lots’ were laid out between today’s Quaker Lane in the East and Mountain Road in the West. The northern boundary was Bloomfield, and the Southern, present day New Britain Avenue. (The western boundary was extended in 1830 to include part of Farmington). In the 1670s the area was referred to as the ‘West Division’ of Hartford. This remained the official name until 1806 when Connecticut General Assembly started referring to it as ‘the Society of West Hartford.’

7. Newington

Newington, Connecticut

Population: 30,590
Median Rent: $1,163
Distance to Closest Airport: 17 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,654
More on Newington: Homes For Sale | Data
Newington has a history of nearly 375 years. While not established officially as a separate town until 1871, settlers from nearby Wethersfield took up residence on the western frontier of their riverside town in 1636. ?West Society,? as some called it, was an area rich in timber that was used for pipe staves, barrel-sized containers used for colonial trade. Grand pastures also made the land ideal for herding and grazing cattle. Its inhabitants received land grants from Wethersfield leaders. Known as ?West Farms,? the area west of the central portion of Wethersfield became settled by those who were almost exclusively the descendants of the earliest Wethersfield settlers. In 1721, the ?western? farmers requested that the General Assembly of the Connecticut Colony give their land the name ?Newington? to denote ?the new town in the meadow.? The Assembly granted the request, even though it took another 150 years before Newington officially became an incorporated town. The town?s name predates its official existence.

8. East Hartford

East Hartford, Connecticut

Source: Public domain’

Population: 50,834
Median Rent: $960
Distance to Closest Airport: 12 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,870
More on East Hartford: Homes For Sale | Data
When the Connecticut Valley became known to Europeans around 1631, it was inhabited by what were known as the River Tribes ? a number of small clans of Native Americans living along the Great River and its tributaries. Of these tribes the Podunks occupied territory now lying in the towns of East Hartford and South Windsor, and numbered, by differing estimates, from sixty to two hundred bowmen. They were governed by two sachems, Waginacut and Arramamet, and were connected in some way with the Native Americans who lived across the Great River, in what is now Windsor. The region north of the Hockanum River was generally called Podunk; that south of the river, Hockanum; but these were no certain designations, and by some all the meadow along the Great River was called Hockanum.

9. Shelton

Shelton, Connecticut

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 40,979
Median Rent: $1,195
Distance to Closest Airport: 49 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,129
More on Shelton: Homes For Sale | Data
Shelton was settled by the English as part of the town of Stratford, Connecticut, in 1639. On May 15, 1656, the Court of the Colony of Connecticut in Hartford affirmed that the town of Stratford included all of the territory 12 miles (19 km) inland from Long Island Sound, between the Housatonic River and the Fairfield town line. In 1662, Stratford selectmen Lt. Joseph Judson, Captain Joseph Hawley and John Minor had secured all the written deeds of transfer from the Golden Hill Paugussett Indian Nation for this vast territory that comprises the present-day towns of Trumbull, Shelton and Monroe. Shelton was split off from Stratford in 1789, as Huntington (named for Samuel Huntington). The current name originated in a manufacturing village started in the 1860s named for the Shelton Company founded by Edward N. Shelton?also founder of Ousatonic Water Power Company. The rapidly growing borough of Shelton incorporated as a city in 1915 and was consolidated with the town of Huntington in 1919 establishing the present city of Shelton.

10. Ansonia

Ansonia, Connecticut

Population: 18,950
Median Rent: $1,031
Distance to Closest Airport: 45 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,873
More on Ansonia: Homes For Sale | Data
The area along the Naugatuck River, comprising the present Elm Street section of Ansonia and Derby Avenue section of Derby, was first settled by English colonists in 1652; it was originally a part of the township of Derby. Early settlers developed subsistence farming, and used the river for sawmills and gristmills.

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire 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:

  • Bridgeport
  • Trumbull
  • Milford

For more Connecticut reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Connecticut

City Rank Population Median Rent Distane To Airport Crimes per 100k
Windsor Locks 1 12,537 $1144 1 1,627
Bristol 2 60,437 $895 22 1,667
Torrington 3 35,227 $885 24 1,811
Willimantic 4 17,339 $777 28 1,476
Middletown 5 46,933 $1062 26 2,124
West Hartford 6 63,187 $1236 12 2,578
Newington 7 30,590 $1163 17 2,654
East Hartford 8 50,834 $960 12 2,870
Shelton 9 40,979 $1195 49 1,129
Ansonia 10 18,950 $1031 45 1,873
Norwich 11 40,057 $965 40 1,852
Hartford 12 124,320 $914 11 5,268
Westport 13 27,511 $1815 40 926
Greenwich 14 13,429 $1651 27 3,105
Naugatuck 15 31,625 $954 36 1,840
New Britain 16 72,876 $925 18 3,206
Orange 17 13,941 $1686 48 2,517
Manchester 18 30,364 $1087 13 5,486
North Haven 19 23,888 $1258 39 2,528
East Haven 20 29,015 $1139 45 2,374
Meriden 21 60,203 $963 28 2,647
Stratford 22 52,300 $1229 51 2,346
Derby 23 12,755 $1069 47 2,642
Norwalk 24 87,930 $1477 36 1,958
Darien 25 21,519 $2803 32 1,129
Danbury 26 83,890 $1325 33 1,816
New London 27 27,218 $914 51 3,438
West Haven 28 54,972 $1085 48 2,141
Stamford 29 127,410 $1656 32 1,902
Waterbury 30 109,211 $912 31 4,348
New Haven 31 130,405 $1121 45 5,146
Milford 32 52,005 $1462 53 2,401
Trumbull 33 36,477 $1813 48 2,571
Bridgeport 34 147,022 $1111 48 2,974

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