Less than an hour from Manhattan, Stamford has been a favorite place for New York City professionals looking for more space, more trees and less noise. As a result, the city's average home price of $575,200 is far above the national average, but a bargain compared to Manhattan's average home price of $1.325 million. Still, high prices are the norm for housing, food, energy and services. A doctor's visit costs on average $132, slightly less than Manhattan's $163, but more than in other parts of the country. Connecticut has the fourth-highest health insurance premiums in the country, according to a 2010 study by The Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation focusing on health care policies.
"Health care is always a worry for seniors," says Ana Nelson, executive director of the Stamford Senior Center. "Seniors struggle in Stamford because it's so expensive, and costs keep rising."
Tax burdens can be particularly challenging for retirees in the state, since the state charges income tax on pensions and annuity benefits. While Connecticut's earned income tax credit helps lower the rates paid by lower-income residents, retirees still face higher-than-average costs for food, housing and electricity in Stamford. "It's not a cheap place to retire," Nelson says.
Nevertheless, many retirees call Connecticut home, as the state ranks among the most populous among the 65-plus crowd.