Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

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B4Xt3r
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Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by B4Xt3r »

Hi All,

I just accepted a job offer in MA that is within commuting distance of MA, RI, or CT. Anyone have a suggestion as to choosing which state to have as my permanent residence if my goal is to minimize cost of living (i.e. all state related taxes/fees + housing)? I find little value in the services that government offers and thus wish to keep the most of my paycheck as I can.

-B4xt3r
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simplesimon
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by simplesimon »

I have heard you get the most value for your tax dollars by living in MA.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

I think you should research the taxes in all states so you are informed.

Sounds like you will likely work within bicycle distance from my house. :D

Remember that you're going to pay the income tax of the higher of MA or the state you live in.

MA: 5.1%
RI: Progressive 3.75-5.99%
CT: Progressive 5.5-6.5%

So say you make $140k. Mass is by far the lowest rate. Mass also has prop 2.5 which limits property tax and tax increases. So you're not going to all of a sudden have a rate that jumps 50% in a year.

Sales tax. I suppose you could just buy things in the state that's cheapest.

MA: 6.25% (zero on clothing and food)
RI: 7%
CT: 6.35%

You will want to look at property tax in the town you're considering. They are literally all over the map and you will find towns that are 10 times what a town in another state are.

Look at commuting. You're not talking about commuting into Boston so you'll avoid the worst of it. And you're not talking NH, so you won't be stopped for an hour along with the rest of the world who thought no income or sales tax was a no brainer. 395 and 146 are wide open for the most part. 95 becomes a nightmare at times in certain parts. 495 will be high in volume but you can often do 80 with everyone else because there's less of the constant lane changing you find on 128 that slows the whole thing to a crawl.

If you're in another state, you'll have to file income taxes in 2 states. Personally, I don't see a reason to live outside Mass if you work in Mass.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by fishmonger »

Massachusetts
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by bottlecap »

Sorry for your loss.

I would want to keep my taxes simple, so I’d stay in MA. It’s probably the best run state of the three, though that ain’t saying much. Connecticut’s a horror show. CT’s tax rate is a candidate to go up.

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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by HueyLD »

B4Xt3r wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:35 am I find little value in the services that government offers and thus wish to keep the most of my paycheck as I can.
What does that mean? Could you please elaborate?
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by Dottie57 »

HueyLD wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:18 pm
B4Xt3r wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:35 am I find little value in the services that government offers and thus wish to keep the most of my paycheck as I can.
What does that mean? Could you please elaborate?

+1
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B4Xt3r
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by B4Xt3r »

HueyLD wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:18 pm
B4Xt3r wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:35 am I find little value in the services that government offers and thus wish to keep the most of my paycheck as I can.
What does that mean? Could you please elaborate?
Like I don't wish to pay taxes.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by Wellfleet »

B4Xt3r wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:32 pm
Like I don't wish to pay taxes.
Live in New Hampshire then and commute down 495.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by JoeRetire »

Wellfleet wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:35 pm
B4Xt3r wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:32 pm
Like I don't wish to pay taxes.
Live in New Hampshire then and commute down 495.
Property taxes. And gas taxes.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by TheRightKost87 »

Wellfleet wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:35 pm
B4Xt3r wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:32 pm
Like I don't wish to pay taxes.
Live in New Hampshire then and commute down 495.
NH property taxes are actually the highest of the bunch
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by Wellfleet »

^^^All true but when I hear "I don't want to pay taxes" the NH state of mind comes up even if not entirely true.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by AlwaysWannaLearn »

.....
Last edited by AlwaysWannaLearn on Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Property taxes:

Hopkinton, MA 1.69%
Hopkinton, NH 3.35%
Hopkinton, RI 2.00%
Simsbury, CT 3.71%

Can we change our name to "Lack-of-tax-achusetts" now?
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by AlwaysWannaLearn »

.....
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campy2010
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by campy2010 »

Lived in MA, in my opinion there is no part of MA that is commutable from NH, RI and CT where you will also retain your sanity, particularly in the winter. People do it, I don't recommend it.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by The Wizard »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:06 pm I think you should research the taxes in all states so you are informed.

Sounds like you will likely work within bicycle distance from my house. :D...
Interesting.
I'm at my GF's house in Burrillville, RI right now and there's actually a rail trail bike path nearby with a stop where you can hike a hundred yards up to the marker at the corner of MA/RI/CT...
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by Ged »

campy2010 wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:58 pm Lived in MA, in my opinion there is no part of MA that is commutable from NH, RI and CT where you will also retain your sanity, particularly in the winter. People do it, I don't recommend it.
This is correct. Winter weather and overloaded infrastructure make living near your place of employment highly desirable.

I don't know if you have school age children or not, but it's worth noting the public schools of Massachusetts are usually regarded as the best in the United States.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by The Wizard »

campy2010 wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:58 pm Lived in MA, in my opinion there is no part of MA that is commutable from NH, RI and CT where you will also retain your sanity, particularly in the winter. People do it, I don't recommend it.
Oh come on, certainly there is.
Let's say you work in Methuen. You can easily live a couple miles away in NH.
Or you work in Webster. Same thing for CT or RI...
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by BeneIRA »

Everyone is focusing so much on the taxes that we aren't focusing on the second part of the question. The housing cost differences will almost certainly make up the tax differences. Rhode Island has to be cheaper than both MA and CT and it probably isn't close. If you just care about minimizing expenses, I would probably rent in RI to start and see how it works out for you. In an ideal world, you would live close to work, but I know that MA real estate right now is extremely high.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by campy2010 »

The Wizard wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:09 pm
campy2010 wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:58 pm Lived in MA, in my opinion there is no part of MA that is commutable from NH, RI and CT where you will also retain your sanity, particularly in the winter. People do it, I don't recommend it.
Oh come on, certainly there is.
Let's say you work in Methuen. You can easily live a couple miles away in NH.
Or you work in Webster. Same thing for CT or RI...
Oh sure, this is true. My general assumption with the question being worded as NH, RI or CT is that they said MA and meant they will be working somewhere that is located somewhere near the midpoint of these places (ie Boston or near Boston). Otherwise, the questions would have been worded differently. But that's the problem with general questions, they can only elicit general answers. This would be much more helpful thread if the OP if he had said where he will be commuting to and what his housing budget is.
Last edited by campy2010 on Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by pshonore »

Ged wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:04 pm
campy2010 wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:58 pm Lived in MA, in my opinion there is no part of MA that is commutable from NH, RI and CT where you will also retain your sanity, particularly in the winter. People do it, I don't recommend it.
This is correct. Winter weather and overloaded infrastructure make living near your place of employment highly desirable.

I don't know if you have school age children or not, but it's worth noting the public schools of Massachusetts are usually regarded as the best in the United States.
I think greater Worcester and east is within easy range of CT and RI, bit of a hike to NH but doable.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by The Wizard »

Wellfleet wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:39 pm ^^^All true but when I hear "I don't want to pay taxes" the NH state of mind comes up even if not entirely true.
I think it's an accurate statement so long as you stay north of Manchester most of the time.
Certainly commuting from anywhere in NH to the Boston area is not a good idea, unless you work second or third shift...
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

We should refocus.....NH wasn't in the question.

I don't know of any big employers in towns like Webster or Sutton, so am assuming Worcester or Hopkinton or maybe Framingham.

OP....any chance you can say what town you're going to work in? I think there are actually a good number of us who live nearby.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by mpsz »

As a lifelong CT resident, Connecticut has high taxes and cost of living is generally expensive. Without going into politics, the state and its capital city are both in a difficult financial situation and everything is poised to continue getting worse -- the state cannot balance its budget and Hartford has been bailed out by the state but is still circling bankruptcy. Connecticut is also considering adding tolls along its highways which would increase your commuting costs.

None of the towns along the CT/MA border are particularly interesting places to live... central and southern CT are the population centers.

I'd suggest living in MA.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by nisiprius »

I don't know your tolerance for highway congestion. I wouldn't say we have the very worst congestion in the country, but we have bad congestion.

Image

For about twenty years of my life (two different jobs), I had a forty-mile-each-way highway commute in this area, over Interstates-congested-at-rush hour. For me, commuting is a major loss of quality of life and I would put a very high value on minimizing it. I wish I'd kept actual statistical records, because it would interesting to have the actual skewness, etc. but while, let's say 50-60 minutes for forty miles was "normal," it would fairly often take up to an hour-and-a-half, often for no apparent reason. Traffic reports are pretty useless. Radio traffic reports didn't tell you about traffic jams until it was too late to find an alternate route. The same seems to be true today on my GPS.

During the winter, let's say one or twice per winter, if snow began at the wrong time, I would encounter commutes, one way, of three hours or more. The terrible decision to make is "will I leave the road in order to find a bathroom, knowing that it that will add about forty minutes more of congested stall-and-crawl driving to get off and back on the highway?"

For two glorious years I worked at a place that was an easy 15-20 minute drive from my house, and I remember the exhilarating sense of liberation. I suddenly realized that I could actually eat lunch at home on my lunch hour, and I did so occasionally.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by pshonore »

mpsz wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:26 pm As a lifelong CT resident, Connecticut has high taxes and cost of living is generally expensive. Without going into politics, the state and its capital city are both in a difficult financial situation and everything is poised to continue getting worse -- the state cannot balance its budget and Hartford has been bailed out by the state but is still circling bankruptcy. Connecticut is also considering adding tolls along its highways which would increase your commuting costs.

None of the towns along the CT/MA border are particularly interesting places to live... central and southern CT are the population centers.

Lived in CT my entire life and I don't think the COL is that bad as long as you stay out of Fairfield County. Same for traffic. Like night and day compared to Metro Boston.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by Wellfleet »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:26 pm We should refocus.....NH wasn't in the question.

I don't know of any big employers in towns like Webster or Sutton, so am assuming Worcester or Hopkinton or maybe Framingham.

OP....any chance you can say what town you're going to work in? I think there are actually a good number of us who live nearby.
OP, back to your question, the sweet spot if you choose Massachusetts is to find a community with a lot of commercial properry leading to a low residential tax rate. Cities like Boston have tax rates around $12 per thousand of assessed value while some of the western suburbs approach $20.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

I can't argue with traffic in general being bad in eastern Mass, but traffic is really local. There are 3 major highways in the area of question that are very, very underused. 395 from Auburn, Ma (90) to New London, CT, Rt 146 from Worcester (290 in Worcester) to 295 which circles north of Providence and in the opposite direction, 190 from Worcester to Fitchburg. With the exception of the couple traffic lights (literally 2) on 146, traffic always moves at the speed limit (well, some of us follow the traffic flow which can be 80). Unavoidable, horrible traffic usually means heading to Boston in the morning or out of Boston at night and average speed is about 25 mph. But central and western MA, not so much.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by tarmangani »

Live closest to where you work. IMO this is a completely insane approach. I agree with the poster who said there's no location that would make any sense here. Traffic is pretty damn bad here and only worsening.

BTW, someone mentioned Prop 2 1/2 in MA and that your property taxes are capped at 2.5% growth. That is not true. The total amount of tax levied by a municipality (minus new growth) is capped at 2.5%. Your tax bill certainly can increase by more than 2.5% if property values elsewhere fall. The municipality will just increase the effective tax rate. So suppose your tax rate is $15. If property values overall fall enough, the municipality can reach the 2.5% cap by simply raising the tax rate, suppose to $16 or whatever. And thus if your property's value did not decrease, you will pay more in taxes. You may also have a district (fire/water) tax, completely separate from Prop 2 1/2.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by B4Xt3r »

OP Here,

Job is south of worcestar by about 20 minutes. I'm totally unfamiliar with the area, so any comments about places to look at will be welcome.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by brokendirtdart »

B4Xt3r wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:19 pm OP Here,

Job is south of worcestar by about 20 minutes. I'm totally unfamiliar with the area, so any comments about places to look at will be welcome.

That is just about on the border. I worked in Woonsocket, RI for 3 years in the early 2000s and the only thing I can say is stay far away from that town. Pascoag, RI and the NW corner of the state (part of Burrillville) was nice and quiet. No shopping anywhere near there though.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by Hillview »

are schools a consideration (do you have children in school)? That is another factor to consider if you do. Not if you don't.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by pshonore »

B4Xt3r wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:19 pm OP Here,

Job is south of worcestar by about 20 minutes. I'm totally unfamiliar with the area, so any comments about places to look at will be welcome.
Pomfret and Woodstock (both in CT and not from Worcester) are two very nice scenic but rural towns. That's called the Quiet Corner of CT and the last Green Valley for a reason. No Home Depots that I know of but there is a Lowes and big box stores at the junction of I 395 and Rt 101 in Dayville. There were mills all up and down the Quinebaug River and a lot of little mill villages are still there.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by peek »

JoeRetire wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:36 pm
Wellfleet wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:35 pm
B4Xt3r wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:32 pm
Like I don't wish to pay taxes.
Live in New Hampshire then and commute down 495.
Property taxes. And gas taxes.
NH residents still need to file a form to pay taxes to MA. Not that NH was even in the question.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by The Wizard »

B4Xt3r wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:19 pm OP Here,

Job is south of worcestar by about 20 minutes. I'm totally unfamiliar with the area, so any comments about places to look at will be welcome.
Usual recommendation holds here and that is to rent a place for the first 6-12 months while you get to know the area.
I'd look for something within a few miles of 395 to facilitate getting around better...
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by Snowjob »

For the love of god anywhere but CT!

But as a CT resident please live here and stimulate our economy -- misery loves company!
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by GaryEsq »

I've lived in Connecticut al my life and I wouldn't wish this state on my worst enemy. The day I can leave can't come soon enough.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by The Wizard »

It doesn't matter to the OP right now, I'm guessing, but both CT and RI tax SS income. MA does not...
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by JoeRetire »

The Wizard wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:33 pm Usual recommendation holds here and that is to rent a place for the first 6-12 months while you get to know the area.
I'd look for something within a few miles of 395 to facilitate getting around better...
IMHO, this is exactly the right answer when moving to any unfamiliar locale. You simply must get to know the area (costs, housing, commute, etc) before committing to an expensive decision.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by pshonore »

The Wizard wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:11 pm It doesn't matter to the OP right now, I'm guessing, but both CT and RI tax SS income. MA does not...
CT taxes SS at at max of 25% but a lot of folks are exempt.

Starting in TY 2019 for single filers <75K and MFJ <100K; no tax on SS and
14% of pensions, annuities, etc is deductible from AGI for CT tax purposes
in 2020 28% is deductible
in 2021 42% is deductible and so on until 2025 when 100% is deductible.
QCDs here I come.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by The Wizard »

pshonore wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:27 pm
The Wizard wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:11 pm It doesn't matter to the OP right now, I'm guessing, but both CT and RI tax SS income. MA does not...
CT taxes SS at at max of 25% but a lot of folks are exempt.

Starting in TY 2019 for single filers <75K and MFJ <100K; no tax on SS and
14% of pensions, annuities, etc is deductible from AGI for CT tax purposes
in 2020 28% is deductible
in 2021 42% is deductible and so on until 2025 when 100% is deductible.
QCDs here I come.
Three cheers for Connecticut!!!
Perhaps I should sell and buy a nice 5 acre estate there...
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by samsoes »

bottlecap wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:14 pm
Connecticut’s a horror show.
Agreed. Stay away from Connecticut. Skyrocketing taxes, massive state and local budget deficits, brain drain, and corruption. Soon to be a domestic banana republic.

(Born, raised, and a lifelong resident of this cesspool.)
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by Billius »

Another CT resident here advising not CT. The wife and are I getting out ASAP when she wraps up with school next year.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by B4Xt3r »

Wow, ppl really don't like CT.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by The Wizard »

B4Xt3r wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:07 pm Wow, ppl really don't like CT.
Not just ppl, but ppl who live in the state and have some experience with the details...
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by atomicrc11 »

As a former CT state resident I also suggest MA over CT and either over RI. Connecticut has some difficult years ahead. That isn't to say it won't be a good place to live further down the road. You also have to be very careful due to the issues with foundations in CT. Years ago poorly made concrete is causing houses to be made unlivable due to them crumbling.

MA is a bit more stable and there is much growth, but it is concentrated around Boston. Out by Worcester you will be able to find plenty of housing that is affordable and if you want them good schools. The tax situation in MA is not bad. With the income tax being a flat 5.1%. you could pay more than CT depending on your salary as there it is a progressive tax. Sales taxes are a wash and property taxes vary greatly by town. This will also affect your car taxes which are due to your city and town every year.

The reality of things is everywhere you pay taxes, just in different ways. In Texas there is 0% income tax but sales taxes can go up to 10% and property taxes are also high. If the living situation is good and keeps you near a well paying job you like, it is worth it.

Aside from taxes and the political environment it really is a beautiful state with great variety of terrain. There are mountains, rivers and Long Island Sound. If the job were more towards New Haven or Stamford then CT is the place to live. In your situation I would go with MA.
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Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by cockersx3 »

Agree with all the posters on avoiding CT. Income taxes are higher and gas prices are also high relative to MA and RI.

Traffic is really dependent on where you are going. Mostly good in that area, but 290 near downtown Worcester can be very bad at rush hour. Ditto with 146 where it comes in to meet 290. Recommend you take a look at Google Maps...they have a historical traffic tool that lets you see congestion on typical weekdays and weekends, and also at different times. Very helpful when making a move to an unfamiliar area!

If schools are in the picture, MA does a good job of reporting out school quality on a town by town basis. Google "MCAS Results" and you will find a link.

No experience to share about RI, unfortunately.
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samsoes
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Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:12 am

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by samsoes »

atomicrc11 wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:33 pm You also have to be very careful due to the issues with foundations in CT. Years ago poorly made concrete is causing houses to be made unlivable due to them crumbling.
Great point. Fortunately, my home was built in 1956 and is not affected.

Here's more info:

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/08/nyre ... hless.html
https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/troubles ... 61181.html

A particular northeast Connecticut quarry was providing tainted concrete to builders in the 1980's through the early 2000's.

From the NYT article: "The stone aggregate used in the concrete mixture has high levels of pyrrhotite, an iron sulfide mineral that can react with oxygen and water to cause swelling and cracking. Over the past 30 years, the quarry has provided concrete for as many as 20,000 houses."

Renders your home worthless. Not covered by homneowner's insurance.
"Happiness Is Not My Companion" - Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren. | (Avatar is the statue of Gen. Warren atop Little Round Top @ Gettysburg National Military Park.)
FireHorse
Posts: 221
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:03 pm

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Post by FireHorse »

Billius wrote: Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:53 pm Another CT resident here advising not CT. The wife and are I getting out ASAP when she wraps up with school next year.
Also CT here. Wondering where you are moving to?
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