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Old 04-24-2010, 05:47 PM
Location: Madison, WI
3 posts, read 3,914 times
Reputation: 10


I'm 23 right now and will be finishing up my undergraduate degree in Management Information Systems within the next year or so (I took some time off from school) and I'd like to relocate somewhere outside of Wisconsin. Connecticut seems like it'd be a nice area to live in due to its proximity to New York City and access to ski areas in Vermont, etc. I was looking at Hartford as a potential place to move to upon graduating.

Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone could just give me a little bit more info on the area, the cost of living, nightlife, etc. I'm not sure what my salary would be if I found a job out there, but what's enough to live comfortably on out there? I've been told the prices are high, so I'd just like an idea. I don't need a life of luxury, but having a nice apartment in safe neighborhood, cable, internet and spare money to entertainment things is important to my sanity. Right now I'm living at home in Madison, WI so I'm not paying for a lot of those expenses at the moment, but I do know roughly what the costs are around here.

Also, what's the job situation like for computer/technology related fields?

Any information anyone could give me would be awesome and I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!
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Old 04-24-2010, 06:05 PM
Location: Connecticut
2,727 posts, read 5,186,103 times
Reputation: 1962
There was an article (and they talked about it on the news the other day) saying that you need to maker about $21 to live comfortably around Hartford. I'm sure that can be debated.

I'm not sure about the job situaton for what you're looking for.

As far as affording a place, it depends on what you are looking to pay. I know it will depend on what you make also. Nightlife is decent, but I'll leave that for someone else who knows more about it.

Areas around Hartford that are nice and have a lot going on are West Hartford, Manchester. I'm not putting Hartford down, I just don't know what to recommend since I don't care to live there so I never check it out.
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:00 PM
269 posts, read 773,035 times
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COL: It is high in CT but Hartford is probably middle of the road for CT. The closer you are to NYC the COL increases significantly, but the closer you get to Rhode Island the COL drips. Enough to live comfortably is very subjective as there are plenty of variables. In my opinion 40k is too low to live in the Hartford region without roommates so if you are thinking of moving out here without friends you’ll most likely be looking at living with strangers which may not be ideal. Apartments in the area CT tend to be at least $800 and utilities are more expensive than a lot of other places (electricity more specifically), can’t compare to Madison specifically though.

Jobs: Hartford was the insurance capitol of the world but now the industry is moving to cheaper places in either the Hartford region or the mid-west (along with other industries). IT jobs tend to be found mostly through contract-to-hire right now (nationwide) and the prices of the contracts have dropped significantly. Even in Stamford/Greenwich I’ve seen contracts come out that required a bachelor’s degree and years of experience for 12-14/hr (which is probably close to poverty in those areas). I had lunch with a recruiter the other day to catch up and talk about helping my friends get jobs and he basically said the same thing, right now if you can get a job it won’t pay much. Plus a lot of companies are keeping their IT and other “expensive” staff in cheaper areas to keep the costs down.

It won’t cost as much to live in Hartford as some other parts and there are some definite perks. CT has a lot of state parks most of which are free, it’s close to NYC/Boston, it has great education (depending on the area), and the list could go on… To me the CBA isn’t worth it for a single person just starting out but I’m sure there are plenty of people who disagree.

COL calculators put Madison as slightly cheaper than Hartford itself or Manchester (less than 10%) but significantly (20%) cheaper than West Hartford. It sounds to me like you want to do more than just “get by” so I’d suggest staying in Madison and getting some experience and save as much money as possible while living at home then looking to transfer to CT or somewhere else and hopefully get a good salary.

Nightlife: It depends on what you like to do. I’m not into clubs but have been to a few and they are alright, plenty of bars, concerts are hit or miss but if they don’t come to CT you can make a weekend out of it in Boston, NYC, Providence, or wherever it comes.

Anything I didn’t answer or you need more info about let me know.
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Old 04-24-2010, 08:40 PM
Location: Cheshire, Conn.
2,102 posts, read 6,806,762 times
Reputation: 521
Originally Posted by SLippi View Post
COL calculators put Madison as slightly cheaper than Hartford itself or Manchester (less than 10%) but significantly (20%) cheaper than West Hartford.
Are you sure about this?
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Old 04-24-2010, 09:46 PM
269 posts, read 773,035 times
Reputation: 159
Originally Posted by Rich Lee View Post
Are you sure about this?
I'm sure that the 2 COL calculators I used did and both had similar results so I'm using that as a good guess for the OP to understand it will most likely be more than just moving out on their own in Madison. Other than that like I said in my post I have no idea about Madison and it's costs. However you are a RE agent so you may have better access to something more reliable than the generic COL calculators out here on the internet.

*Edit I should disclose one I used gave a comparison of how much it will cost and how much more you will get paid and using that I calculated true COL change. For example if it costs 17% more but you get paid 10% more then the true COL increase is only 7%. The other one gave if you make X you need to make Y to live the same lifestyle and I calculated %s from that.

Last edited by SLippi; 04-24-2010 at 09:50 PM.. Reason: Updated
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