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Old 06-07-2013, 09:45 AM
 
69 posts, read 121,333 times
Reputation: 118

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Full Disclosure - I am not, nor have I ever been, a resident of Connecticut.

I am in no position to judge, determine, or dictate anyone's feelings on the state of Connecticut financially, socially, or otherwise. I am genuinely just someone looking for information from people who actually reside in, work in, function, and thus, "live in" Connecticut. I am looking for insight for the following reasons;

I am a 34 year old professional with a formal background in business analytics and behavioral finance. My life, in essence, is data, analysis, numbers, statistics, and the curious relationship between human behavior and ones reactions to said statistics. Needless to say, it is a niche market.

My fiancé is a Connecticut native, and a Connecticut resident. She works in healthcare, and manages to do well enough to minimally provide for herself in Connecticut. Recently, she and I have explored the option of her relocating out of the state - I, in return, would obviously relocate with her. We would start our life together elsewhere.

I had suggested this route due to research I had done over the past three years for a private sector client of mine contemplating business expansion into the State of Connecticut. I was staggered by the data procured and presented. By my estimation, the fiscal health of Connecticut is terrible. It's future (statistically) appears to be on par with the near bankruptcy of the State of Illinois, and the next to insolvent futures of New York, Vermont, and New Jersey. Job markets, tax burdens, growth, public asset diversification, housing costs, and (at least on paper) wide spread government incompetence in Connecticut are staggeringly concerning.

It is, by some empirical measures, the wealthiest state in the country - but, the gap between the wealthiest residents and the poorest residents forges a divide which is fought out in rising property tax burdens, a plethora of estate, inheritance, death, and probate taxes, insulated communities, and housing price margins so extreme that populations in some cities are completely priced out of mobilization into neighboring communities. On paper, it is maddening. Statistically the state is a rabbit hole of fiscal issues, financial imprisonment, and stagnation. When the final data was validated and summarized, I was in shock.

I have spent the last decade working as an analytical economist everywhere from Miami, to London, to Mexico City, to Toronto. I have lived in various cities, numerous states, and traveled extensively. I had never in my life seen anything like Connecticut.

So, that leaves me with this question;

Is it really THAT bad?

I am asking because I know better than most that business analytics professionals are paid good money to make statistics tell a certain story. There are people in my business paid specifically for their ability to manipulate data to support one argument or another. They have worked in industrial, political, and sociological capacities. So, I don't want to just say "this must be true due to statistics".

So again I ask, is it really THAT bad? Is Connecticut as bad as the statistics would lead one to believe?

For me, this is a personal matter. My fiancé (due to a recent family court matter) may no longer be able to relocate outside the state, and as part of our agreement moving forward in our relationship - I am leaving my consulting business behind. She has no urge to settle down with someone who works absurd hours, travels all over the place, and has to put the fiscal needs of clients ahead of his own health. I can't blame her. However, if I do that, and if we have to reside in Connecticut, the statistics would indicate that I would be signing my fate over to a state on the verge of insolvency. Looking at the data, even the prospect of finding a job, which would pay a salary that would allow me to live in Connecticut comfortably, appears to be an exercise in futility.

So, any insight would be helpful. From those of you who live, work, and raise families in Connecticut I would love to know if it is as bad as it seems. I would like to hear from residents of the state in regards to if these statistics are accurate. I would like to know if relocating to Connecticut, finding a job, settling in, establishing a life, and raising a family there would be as monumental a task as empirical substance indicates it would be.

Is living in the State of Connecticut really THAT bad?

Thank You in advance for any insight that you can provide. It is deeply and sincerely appreciated.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Coastal Northeast
15,741 posts, read 21,991,150 times
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Living in CT day to day is a lot different than looking at numbers in a spreadsheet.

Yes, we have a huge wealth gap; enormously wealthy suburbs and a handful of cities that have minorities in poverty. That is generally how it is in most areas - poor neighborhoods, wealthy neighborhoods. It's just a bit more noticeable here.

We don't have the highest Human Development Index (or, quality of life) in the nation, and among the best in the world, because we're a terrible state.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Austin, Texas
538 posts, read 1,616,145 times
Reputation: 354
Just curious, have you analyzed California (specifically southern CA)?

We are relocating to the East Coast to be near family in CT and NJ. Although I knew we were not going to a state that is any less expensive than here in Orange County, I didn't realize how grim the future of CT is. It seems to me though that the state of California isn't doing much better, on all counts. These days it doesn't seem as if any state, other than maybe North Dakota, is doing well. Let me ask, where would you move to if you could choose?
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:36 AM
 
69 posts, read 121,333 times
Reputation: 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidyankee764 View Post
Living in CT day to day is a lot different than looking at numbers in a spreadsheet.

Yes, we have a huge wealth gap; enormously wealthy suburbs and a handful of cities that have minorities in poverty. That is generally how it is in most areas - poor neighborhoods, wealthy neighborhoods. It's just a bit more noticeable here.

We don't have the highest Human Development Index (or, quality of life) in the nation, and among the best in the world, because we're a terrible state.

Again, statistics can be manipulated, as I stated. The UNDP, or Mercer for example, don't quantify data for the US alone by state, thus a comparable measure of HDI by state, based only on state data, for equitable comparison doesn't exist.

So I guess what I am getting at is "why"? I know all the data. I know all the statistics. I know every margin for error. What I am asking is, IF the statistics are in fact not accurate, then what sort of non-empirical things can be cited as relevant?

For example, if your experience in Connecticut is a positive one for yourself and your family, could you possibly elaborate why? If you are happy there (in spite of the statistics) then, if I may ask, what is it that makes you happy?

Is where you live nice? Safe? Affordable for you? Do your kids go to a good school? Are you satisfied with their education? Does your income allow for you to enjoy facets of the state others cannot access? Do you enjoy the whole state, or are you principally taking advantage of only your community? Is the traffic manageable? Is your boss a good guy? You know what I mean??? I am not asking you to provide a DNA sample (even though it may sound like that) but I am trying to get an idea of what living in Connecticut is like in comparison to the data provided.

I did similar studies everywhere from Quito, Ecuador to Tavistock, Devon in the UK. I would say in 9/10 instances, the data procured accurately reflected the area when surveyed against the local population. So, admittedly, I am a numbers guy - and perhaps even somewhat socially inept. But that is what I am trying to unwrap.......I want to know why happy people in Connecticut are happy? I want to understand what day to day living there is like for people of all socioeconomic and geographic statuses.

Thank you for your timely response, and if you or anyone else would care to provide further insight, it would be most appreciated.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:42 AM
 
4,787 posts, read 8,752,051 times
Reputation: 12592
You've defeated yourself before you even start. Statistics aren't doing that to you, nor is the state of CT. You're doing it to yourself.

Death tax, inheritance tax, estate tax, etc. only matter if you're really, really wealthy. Do you have that much money that it would matter to your estate if you died ? If you don't, then don't worry about it as it doesn't concern you. You'd be dead anyway.

Read through these boards. Read about the insane commuter traffic in Fairfield county, along the CT shore and up the 1-91 corridor. Obviously people are living here, have jobs and are going to work. Lots of people doing this- lol - we're all trying to figure out why it's getting worse by the month it seems.

Yes, housing costs are high compared to some places in the country, but not compared to the other areas of New England or the tri-state area.- supply and demand. Housing costs are high throughout the whole NJ, NY up to Boston region. Supply and demand - people want to live here and will pay for it. Jobs & wages support the home values. Actually, the only really expensive part of the state is south west Fairfield county- the rest of the state is affordable based upon local wages.

Yes, the cores of out inner cities tend to rot- marginal people do have a hard time here. But this happens everywhere. If you have no skills, no desire to get skills, etc., manage your life poorly, then you have a hard time being employed and breaking out the inner city. That has nothing to do with CT alone. However, there are many affordable homes in CT. Most of CT is suburban and with a range of perfectly decent homes of a variety of prices. Our " big" cities actually aren't very big in population. Go read those statistics. Most of CT is not urban.

What do we have going for us- why are we here, why aren't we moving away ? Three words- Quality of life. That's something your statistics won't tell you. The populace is highly educated compared to the rest of the country, our public schools are overall very good. No need to send kids to private schools. We're loaded with colleges and universities. We've got top notch hospitals. Museums, theaters are all over the place. Recreation abounds. Most anywhere in the state is an hour to Long island Sound, a couple of hours to mountains. Lots of state forest, wonderful rivers and lakes. It's similarly close to NYC & Boston. We're about the most tolerant people you'll ever find. No one cares about your race, religion, national origin, sexual preference. Its a peaceful, safe, no hassle life no matter who you are. We're willing to pay to have all of that.

Like I said, you've defeated yourself before you even start. If you look at this state with the attitude , of " I can't buy a house, I can't get a job, the sky is falling, I can't do this or that " - guess what- you won't. Best thing to do is to come to visit a few times. Look around the state, look at home prices, look to see where you could find a job. Check out salaries. See if you need to upgrade your skills or education. Two educated adults working ( you & girlfriend)- why wouldn't you & she be able to live here, buy a modest home and have a decent life?

Get away from the computer and the spreadsheets and come physically explore the state- you might be pleasantly surprised.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Coastal Northeast
15,741 posts, read 21,991,150 times
Reputation: 5277
Why?

The public school systems here are very high performing. Small student/teacher ratio. High per pupil spending. Excellent resources. High percentage of students who go off to college.

The suburbs are well kept. Many have beautiful downtowns. The land here, while we're a dense state, is protected. Some call it NIMBY; I call it pride. We don't let developers ruin our communities. We have beaches. We have mountains. Lakes and rivers. Amazing restaurants. A well-educated populace. The residents here are health conscious, as we're among the fittest states. I've lived in California, Connecticut, and North Carolina. Connecticut is the best, by far, in most of the categories I consider important to a high quality of life.

A few things we need to work on: traffic, attracting more jobs, and somehow convincing mother nature that we need more San Diego-type weather.

Is it just me or does anyone else sense the OP has an agenda here?
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:50 AM
 
69 posts, read 121,333 times
Reputation: 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by oc2nyc View Post
Just curious, have you analyzed California (specifically southern CA)?

We are relocating to the East Coast to be near family in CT and NJ. Although I knew we were not going to a state that is any less expensive than here in Orange County, I didn't realize how grim the future of CT is. It seems to me though that the state of California isn't doing much better, on all counts. These days it doesn't seem as if any state, other than maybe North Dakota, is doing well. Let me ask, where would you move to if you could choose?
Please understand - I am very much a person dictated by logic, empiricism, and data. I struggle with less qualitative measures. So from a standpoint of social and emotional factors in decision making, I am not very effective.

For me, I love certain international destinations. I enjoy Belize, Panama, and Uruguay. I would go there if there were no restrictions. But for me, every state in the U.S. has it's strengths and weaknesses. In that respect, they are all very similar. Yes, I have worked in California. I used to have an office actually next to the Santa Ana airport in Orange County, and I dealt with their annoying "silent take off" measures in order to please the demands of their community demands.

In the United States, the simplest rule is this - taxes pay public debts, thus, the states with the least amount of debt can be forecasted to be the least likely to raise taxes. It is obviously far more detailed and complicated than that, but that is a general "rule of thumb". So for me, I would take that one premise, and then weigh it with your own needs. For example, if you are a working man, then income taxes and property taxes play a major role. If you are a retiree, then state taxes against pensions, social security, and the burden of inheritance, probate, death, and estate taxes play a more prominent role.

Overall, taking into consideration all those things, as opposed to them individually or specifically, I like Utah, South Dakota, Idaho, Wyoming, Georgia, and Florida. Florida is unique though because the influx of foreign investment and foreign banking allow for a more volatile free market condition than just about anywhere in the United States.

But again, depending on your individual objectives, financial position, and work status - your list could be completely different. But just as a general perspective, for the general population, those states in the U.S. would be comparable and worth consideration.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Coastal Northeast
15,741 posts, read 21,991,150 times
Reputation: 5277
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angeluzzo View Post
Overall, taking into consideration all those things, as opposed to them individually or specifically, I like Utah, South Dakota, Idaho, Wyoming, Georgia, and Florida.
Then you will not like Connecticut. Period.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:52 AM
 
2,890 posts, read 2,962,298 times
Reputation: 1419
I'm a bit surprised you feel this way or at least have concluded based on a small sampling of random tax burdens yet have considered moving to upstate NY. Outside of a handful of Albany suburbs, a giant vacuum sound is all that you should hear in terms of both jobs and population being sucked away. Property taxes are often 4% of home prices in proper upstate NY. Private industry is limited, and only the shrinking public sector provides a comfortable living and benefits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angeluzzo View Post
Full Disclosure - I am not, nor have I ever been, a resident of Connecticut.

I am in no position to judge, determine, or dictate anyone's feelings on the state of Connecticut financially, socially, or otherwise. I am genuinely just someone looking for information from people who actually reside in, work in, function, and thus, "live in" Connecticut. I am looking for insight for the following reasons;

I am a 34 year old professional with a formal background in business analytics and behavioral finance. My life, in essence, is data, analysis, numbers, statistics, and the curious relationship between human behavior and ones reactions to said statistics. Needless to say, it is a niche market.

My fiancé is a Connecticut native, and a Connecticut resident. She works in healthcare, and manages to do well enough to minimally provide for herself in Connecticut. Recently, she and I have explored the option of her relocating out of the state - I, in return, would obviously relocate with her. We would start our life together elsewhere.

I had suggested this route due to research I had done over the past three years for a private sector client of mine contemplating business expansion into the State of Connecticut. I was staggered by the data procured and presented. By my estimation, the fiscal health of Connecticut is terrible. It's future (statistically) appears to be on par with the near bankruptcy of the State of Illinois, and the next to insolvent futures of New York, Vermont, and New Jersey. Job markets, tax burdens, growth, public asset diversification, housing costs, and (at least on paper) wide spread government incompetence in Connecticut are staggeringly concerning.

It is, by some empirical measures, the wealthiest state in the country - but, the gap between the wealthiest residents and the poorest residents forges a divide which is fought out in rising property tax burdens, a plethora of estate, inheritance, death, and probate taxes, insulated communities, and housing price margins so extreme that populations in some cities are completely priced out of mobilization into neighboring communities. On paper, it is maddening. Statistically the state is a rabbit hole of fiscal issues, financial imprisonment, and stagnation. When the final data was validated and summarized, I was in shock.

I have spent the last decade working as an analytical economist everywhere from Miami, to London, to Mexico City, to Toronto. I have lived in various cities, numerous states, and traveled extensively. I had never in my life seen anything like Connecticut.

So, that leaves me with this question;

Is it really THAT bad?

I am asking because I know better than most that business analytics professionals are paid good money to make statistics tell a certain story. There are people in my business paid specifically for their ability to manipulate data to support one argument or another. They have worked in industrial, political, and sociological capacities. So, I don't want to just say "this must be true due to statistics".

So again I ask, is it really THAT bad? Is Connecticut as bad as the statistics would lead one to believe?

For me, this is a personal matter. My fiancé (due to a recent family court matter) may no longer be able to relocate outside the state, and as part of our agreement moving forward in our relationship - I am leaving my consulting business behind. She has no urge to settle down with someone who works absurd hours, travels all over the place, and has to put the fiscal needs of clients ahead of his own health. I can't blame her. However, if I do that, and if we have to reside in Connecticut, the statistics would indicate that I would be signing my fate over to a state on the verge of insolvency. Looking at the data, even the prospect of finding a job, which would pay a salary that would allow me to live in Connecticut comfortably, appears to be an exercise in futility.

So, any insight would be helpful. From those of you who live, work, and raise families in Connecticut I would love to know if it is as bad as it seems. I would like to hear from residents of the state in regards to if these statistics are accurate. I would like to know if relocating to Connecticut, finding a job, settling in, establishing a life, and raising a family there would be as monumental a task as empirical substance indicates it would be.

Is living in the State of Connecticut really THAT bad?

Thank You in advance for any insight that you can provide. It is deeply and sincerely appreciated.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:54 AM
 
2,890 posts, read 2,962,298 times
Reputation: 1419
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angeluzzo View Post

But again, depending on your individual objectives, financial position, and work status - your list could be completely different. But just as a general perspective, for the general population, those states in the U.S. would be comparable and worth consideration.
So then the data that shows CT in purgatory isn't absolute? You just admitted that based on a modified criteria CT could register strongly.
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