Headed towards retirement? Keep Waterbury in mind. A new ranking of the best bargains for retirees has the Brass City holding down the final slot on the top ten list. The list, developed by the website GO Banking Rates and running on the CBS Moneywatch website, ranks Waterbury as the 10th best town in the country for retirees. The site said of Waterbury: “Waterbury is in New Haven County on the Naugatuck River, close to Hartford and New York City. Waterbury has a colonial history with historic houses, and the downtown is clean and has many trees. You will find art and cultural events, and great health care facilities.”
A 2015 report by the Government Accountability Office found that about half of households led by people ages 55 and older have no retirement savings at all. Among households with retirement savings, the median amount of those savings is just $104,000 for households ages 55-64, and $148,000 for households ages 65-74. Such modest savings make it difficult to keep up with expenses during retirement. Americans 65 years of age or older average nearly $44,686 in annual expenses, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
And Waterbury, apparently, can make those dollars go further. The GOBankingRates website ranking considered several local factors, including:
- Housing — rental prices for a one-bedroom apartment, rounded to nearest dollar.
- Percentage of retirees — in the local population as of April 1, 2010.
- Walkability — scores ranging from 25 for Montgomery, Ala., to 65 for Allentown, Pa.
- Safety factors — scores ranging from 6 for Rochester, N.Y., and Louisville, Ky., to 30 for Boise, Idaho.
Each city was given a weighting for each of the criterion and was ranked based on the overall score. The top 20:
- Boise, Idaho
- El Paso, Texas
- Allentown, PA
- Grand Rapids, MI
- Champaign, IL
- Charlottesville, VA
- Lincoln, NE
- Bloomington, IN
- Cedar Rapids, IA
- Waterbury, CT
- Colorado Springs, CO
- Missoula, MT
- Rochester, NY
- Greensboro, NC
- Fort Worth, TX
- Billings, MT
- Phoenix, AZ
- Lexington, KY
- Omaha, NB
- Columbus, OH
The City of Waterbury’s website highlights “the sense of neighborhood identity and pride is so important that Waterbury has some of the most active neighborhood associations in the state.” The site explains that “their efforts focus on protecting the small-town character and livability of their communities as they plan neighborhood block parties, concerts and beautification projects. And with over twenty distinct and diverse neighborhoods-- many with their own commercial center, park, school, and sports associations-- there is truly a place for everyone in Waterbury. These well-preserved and diverse neighborhoods are often recognized as one of the city's greatest assets.”
The original settlement of Waterbury – the 9th largest city in New England - dates back to 1674 and the city's name is reference to its proximity to the Naugatuck River and its many tributaries which flow through the heart of the city.