Colchester, Connecticut is a hidden gem nestled in the picturesque heart of New England, offering an idyllic setting for retirement in a 55+ active adult community. With its charming small-town ambience, scenic landscapes, and rich historical heritage, Colchester has much to offer retirees seeking a vibrant and fulfilling lifestyle.
Nature enthusiasts will be enthralled by the town's abundance of natural beauty, from serene lakes and tranquil rivers to lush forests and sprawling parks, providing endless opportunities for outdoor recreation and leisurely strolls amidst breathtaking scenery. Colchester's quaint downtown area is a delightful hub of local shops, boutiques, and eateries, where residents can indulge in leisurely shopping or savor a delicious meal with friends. History buffs will revel in the town's fascinating past, as Colchester is home to a number of well-preserved colonial-era buildings and historic sites, providing a glimpse into the area's storied heritage. In addition to its natural and cultural attractions, Colchester boasts a close-knit community spirit, where neighbors become friends and vibrant social gatherings are commonplace. Retiring in Colchester means embracing a lifestyle that celebrates the best of both worlds – the tranquility of a quaint New England town and the excitement of an active and engaging community.
For more information about visiting or moving to Colchester, please visit the following local websites:
Affordability and Cost of Living
Residents in Colchester, Connecticut face a higher cost of living than the national average and a slightly higher cost of living than the rest of the state. Living expenses in Colchester are 10.9 percent more costly than across the U.S. Housing is especially expensive, as well as utilities and transportation. Healthcare costs are 12.3 percent higher than the national average, but slightly lower than the state average.
Property taxes in Connecticut are high, compared to other states. The state average is 1.63 percent, and in Colchester, the median property tax rate is 1.32 percent of a property’s assessed value. Homeowners who are 65 years of age and older in Connecticut who meet income requirements can apply for property tax relief with a credit of $1,000 to $1,250.
The Constitution State has a state income tax that ranges between 3 percent and 6.99 percent, depending on income and other factors. For retirees, Social Security benefits are partially taxed by the state. Pensions and withdrawals from retirement accounts are fully taxed at the state level. Connecticut does not have an inheritance tax, but Colchester residents will have to pay a flat estate tax of 12 percent.
Connecticut has a state sales tax that’s 6.35 percent. That’s the total sales tax in Colchester; there is no additional county or city sales tax attached. The sales tax applies to goods, services, and prepared foods, but non-prepared food items and medications are exempt. Also exempt from sales taxes in the Nutmeg State are medications and prescriptions, many medical devices, and bicycle helmets.
Climate and Geography
Colchester experiences a delightful climate that showcases the beauty of all four seasons. Summers in Colchester are warm and pleasant, with average high temperatures in the low 80s. Winters in Colchester bring a picturesque charm, with average low temperatures occasionally dipping into the high teens. The town experiences moderate snowfall, creating a winter wonderland for residents to enjoy. The annual rainfall in Colchester averages around 51 inches, ensuring a lush and vibrant landscape throughout the year. Moreover, Colchester boasts an impressive number of sunny days, with an average of 190 days of sunshine per year, allowing ample opportunity to bask in the warmth and beauty of the outdoors.
The geography of Colchester features a captivating landscape that is sure to enthrall retirees seeking an active and enriching retirement experience. Situated in southern New England, Colchester benefits from its proximity to stunning natural features such as pristine lakes, meandering rivers, and expansive forests. This picturesque setting provides retirees with ample opportunities for outdoor recreation, including boating, fishing, hiking, and birdwatching. The region's rolling hills and scenic vistas create a breathtaking backdrop for exploration and relaxation. Furthermore, Colchester's location positions it within convenient reach of renowned coastal destinations, offering retirees the chance to enjoy sandy beaches, charming seaside towns, and the refreshing ocean breeze. Whether it's exploring the local nature preserves, embarking on scenic drives, or taking day trips to nearby coastal attractions, the geography of Colchester ensures that retirees have plenty of opportunities to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and outdoor adventures that the area has to offer.
Recreation, Shopping, and Entertainment
Colchester offers a wealth of recreational activities, cultural events, shopping opportunities, and entertainment options. Whether you're a sports enthusiast, nature lover, history buff, or arts aficionado, Colchester has something to captivate and inspire you.
Golf and Racquet Sports:
- Chanticlair Public Golf Course
- Black Birch Golf Course
- Blackledge Country Club
- Pinebrook Pool & Tennis Club
Hiking, Biking, and Boating:
- Mooween State Park
- Devil’s Hopyard State Park
- Gardner Lake State Park
- River Highlands State Park
Museums and Historical Sites:
- Colchester History Museum
- Zagray Farm Museum
- Ashbel Woodward Museum
- Bean Hill Historic District
- Colchester Community Theatre
- Center for the Arts Theater
- Spirit of Broadway Theater
- Strange Brew Pub
- Tradewinds Shopping Center
- Newington Commons
- Town Line Plaza
- Salem Plaza
Parks and Gardens:
- Grayville Falls Town Park
- Hopemead State Park
- Day Pond State Park
- Machimoodus State Park
Festivals and Fairs:
- Concerts in The Park
- Colchester Food Festival
- Trivia Nights in The Park
- Celebrate Colchester
Health and Wellness
Colchester is conveniently located within close proximity to several major medical centers, ensuring that 55+ homebuyers have access to comprehensive healthcare services. The town's favorable location grants easy access to larger medical facilities such as Hartford Hospital, located approximately 25 miles away, and Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, situated about 20 miles away. These esteemed medical centers provide specialized care, state-of-the-art facilities, and a wide range of medical services to address various health needs.
Within Colchester itself, residents can also find local options for self-care and maintaining physical and mental well-being. The town offers a variety of wellness centers, fitness studios, and gyms that cater to different exercise preferences and abilities. These establishments provide opportunities for staying fit, participating in group classes, and engaging in activities that promote overall well-being. Additionally, Colchester boasts numerous parks and outdoor spaces, allowing individuals to engage in activities such as walking, jogging, or practicing mindfulness in tranquil natural surroundings. Taking advantage of the town's scenic beauty and recreational facilities can contribute to both physical fitness and mental wellness.
Recommended Itinerary for Visiting Area 55+ Communities
- Start your day with a hearty breakfast at Herman’s Drive-In, which serves up omelets, pancakes, and more.
- Explore the natural beauty of the area with a visit to Day Pond State Park, where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll along scenic trails and soak in the serene atmosphere.
- For lunch, visit Lucky House for some Chinese food favorites like chow mein and fried rice.
- Head to Priam Vineyards for a delightful afternoon of wine tasting and vineyard exploration. Enjoy the picturesque surroundings and sample their award-winning wines.
- Indulge in a delicious dinner at The Plum Tomato, where locals enjoy brick oven pizzas, pasta dishes, sandwiches, and more.
- For dessert, head over to Mel’s Downtown Creamery to indulge your sweet tooth.
- Start your day with a delightful breakfast at Tim’s Bistro, where locals enjoy breakfast sandwiches, bagels, and more.
- Explore the town's rich history with a visit to the Colchester Historical Society Museum, which offers fascinating exhibits and insights into the area's heritage.
- Enjoy a leisurely lunch at Colchester Pizza, a local favorite serving sandwiches, grinders, and of course, delicious pizza.
- Meet with a local 55places real estate expert to gather valuable information and insights about the 55+ communities in Colchester and explore the available housing options that align with your retirement goals.
- Indulge in a delightful dinner at Oz’n’Bones Barbecue, known for its pulled pork and chicken, ribs, brisket, and burnt ends.
Getting to Colchester, CT
Getting to Colchester is convenient and easily accessible, whether you're traveling by car or air. If you're driving, major highways that lead to Colchester include Connecticut Route 2 and Interstate 395. These highways connect Colchester to surrounding areas and provide easy access to the town. For visitors arriving by air, the closest major airport to Colchester is Bradley International Airport (BDL), located in Windsor Locks, CT, approximately 38 miles northwest of Colchester. Bradley International is served by various airlines, including American, Delta, Southwest, and United.