Little-Known Mortgage Option For Family Members Who Couldn’t Qualify on Their Own
Thinking of purchasing a house for a disabled adult child or parent?
Are you unable to qualify for a mortgage due to a disability?
While this program no longer has a brandable name, it’s the perfect fit for specific borrowers.
Let’s set the stage with my scenario:
Currently renting, my prospective client wants nothing more than to be a homeowner. Disabled from a young age, the sense of independence that comes with homeownership has become rare air. The problem? Never enough income to qualify.
A couple of sentences in Conventional guidelines make a world a difference for prospective homebuyers with disabilities:
Fannie Mae will consider the residence to be a principal residence even though the borrower will not be occupying:
Notice how they use the term “adult child?” The disabled occupant can’t be a minor.
In that same vein, determining legal agreement competency must be addressed. When a party to the purchase contract is mentally disabled in a manner that disqualifies their competency in entering legal agreements, he/she is ineligible to sign purchase and mortgage documents.
Back to my scenario: This disabled adult has family that is glad to help out, but dropping a 25-30% down payment for an Investment Property gets far too expensive. Add Conventional pricing adjustments (LLPAs) to the closing costs and the well-intended family member’s idea gets even further out of reach.
This is the perfect example scenario for this program, so talk to a lender about adapting yours, and make sure that they have experience with this sort of transaction. There are particular nuances about the loan application that must be observed for smooth sailing and meeting purchase process deadlines.
Yes, this technically means that you can own two principal residences at one time. Thanks goes out to Ted Rood for originally documenting this program here: https://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/guest/07102015-fannie-mae-program
Inside: Do you want to claim your partner as a dependent on your taxes? This guide will explain the rules of claiming dependents whether girlfriend or boyfriend and help you take the necessary steps to do so.
Navigating the waters of tax credits can be tricky, especially when it involves claiming an unmarried partner as a dependent.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does permit the declaration of a non-relative adult as a dependent, provided certain conditions are met.
And that is where it gets tricky for the tax novice.
That is where we are going to reference the IRS guidance, so you can determine whether or not you qualify for this deduction.
By pointing you in the right direction, you can understand the specific tests and requirements to avoid any tax-related complications.
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Understanding dependency in the context of taxes
The word “dependent” might remind you of a newborn baby or an elderly family member. But in tax terms, the meaning broadens.
In the IRS terms, a “dependent is a person, other than the taxpayer or spouse, who entitles the taxpayer to claim a dependency exemption.” 1
This might be a child, an adult family member, a significant other, or even a close friend. This term “qualifying relative” is crucial in IRS parlance for its implications on your tax dues.
Typically, any person can qualify as a dependent if more than half of their financial support, including living and medical expenses, is taken care of. Also, it’s an opportunity to boost one’s tax return by up to $500 with the Other Dependent Tax Credit.
What qualifies a person as a dependent?
The IRS bases dependents on two categories: “Qualifying children” and “Qualifying relatives.”2 You might think of a qualifying child as your son or daughter. Expanding the scope, a qualifying relative can be a sibling, a parent, or even a significant other.
The essence lies in their financial reliance on you and the nature of your relationship. They ought to:
Be related to you via blood, marriage, or adoption;
You provide over 50% of their financial support including housing, food, medical care, and other expenses
They are U.S. citizen.
The income of the possible dependent.
These nuanced rules might sound overwhelming, but IRS guidance and tax experts like TurboTax can help lighten the load.
Now, let’s address this sticking point: Can you actually claim your partner as a dependent? The following section unravels the mystique.
TurboTax® is the #1 best-selling tax preparation software to file taxes online. Easily file federal and state income tax returns with 100% accuracy.
This is how I have filed my personal taxes for many years.
Can I Claim My Partner as a Dependent?
You can claim your partner as a dependent on your tax return, provided they meet certain criteria explained by the IRS, including passing the non-qualifying child test, the citizen or resident test, the joint return test, the income test, and the dependent taxpayer test.
I know this is where it gets difficult to follow for the average person.
So, we are here, to break this terminology down into layman’s terms, as such you can then make the best decision for your tax situation.
If you are still confused, then consult with an online tax software like TurboTax or a tax professional for guidance on your personal taxes.
Basic requirements for claiming your partner as a dependent
This essentially means that your partner should be financially dependent on you, where you bear more than half of their living expenses.
In essence, claiming your partner as a dependent revolves around these fundamentals: 2
Residency: Your partner must have been living with you for the full tax year.
Income limit: Your partner’s gross income should not exceed $4,700 for the year 2023.
Support Requirement: You are the main pillar for your partner’s financial needs by covering over half of their total expenses.
Anyone Else Claiming Them: None else should claim your partner as their dependent.
Unmarried. Your partner must be unmarried legally.
All fulfillment of these criteria moves you a step closer to enjoying some tax relief.
Confirm with an accountant or tax expert as exceptions can exist, such as temporary absences due to illness, education, business, and others.
Common scenarios where you can claim your partner as a dependent
Claiming a partner as a dependent isn’t as fancy as it sounds, but it’s plausible. Here are common scenarios enabling you to do so:
Co-habiting Before Marriage: You and your partner share a home, and you pay more than half of your partner’s living costs. However, your living situation cannot violate local laws, as in some states, “cohabitation” by unmarried people is against the law.
Unemployed Partner: Your partner’s tie with working life is severed (e.g., due to health issues or being laid off), and you bear most of the living expenses.
Supporting Student Partner: Your partner pursues their education, and you shoulder the majority of their expenses.
Take this interactive IRS quiz to determine whom I may claim as a dependent.
How much will I get if I claim my girlfriend as a dependent?
Now the pivotal question: what’s the advantage in dollars and cents?
In essence, claiming your partner as a dependent will slash your taxable income by $500 with the Other Dependent Tax Credit. 3
If you already qualify for Head of Household status with another dependent, then it is possible your deduction may be more. 4
Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. When tax complexities strike, consult an expert!
Is it better to claim my girlfriend as a dependent?
Honestly, like most tax questions, the answer is: it depends.
If you’re covering your partner’s majority expenses and they’re fulfilling all IRS criteria, then claiming them can bring solid tax savings.
Yet, bear in mind:
If your partner earns substantial income (greater than $4,700), they might lose personal benefits by becoming your dependent.
By claiming your partner, their Social Security or medical benefits may take a hit.
So, assess your partner’s income, benefit entitlements, and your tax situation. Then, tread wisely.
E-file makes tax season a breeze with its user-friendly interface, ensuring a seamless and stress-free experience for filers.
Simplify your tax journey by choosing E-file.
Important Rules to Keep in Mind When Claiming Your Partner
When filing taxes, it’s crucial to understand that both parties are responsible for the accuracy of each other’s tax reporting and liability.
It’s worth noting that tax advantages and disadvantages exist in the scenario of being married and filing jointly, such as potential reductions in your tax bracket and sharing of business losses. So, it may be something to consider.
Can I claim my girlfriend as a dependent if she has no income?
In a nutshell, yes! If your girlfriend had no income in the tax year, you might claim her as a dependent. Given you provide over half of her total support and she lived with you all year, you’re golden.
For 2023, your partner’s gross income should not exceed $4,700.
However, keep in mind that in cases where public assistance or Social Security benefits are her primary financial sources, claiming her could negatively impact those benefits.
Learn the answer to do you have to file taxes if you have no income.
Remember: tax waters are often murky. When in doubt, lean on a tax professional’s shoulder!
Answering the support question plays a hefty role in determining who qualifies as a dependent.
You shouldn’t just share the living cost; you should pay more than half of it. Remember, it includes an array of expenses, like food, clothing, education, or medical expenses.
The implication of your partner being claimed by someone else
Here’s a key rule: if someone else is claiming your partner as a dependent, you’re out of the game. The IRS rules say a person can be claimed as a dependent by only one taxpayer in a single tax year.
This could happen if your partner perhaps lives part of the year with someone else like a parent.
Another possibility is if your partner is legally married still, then they would have to file a married, filing separately return.
So, if your partner qualifies as someone else’s dependent, even if they don’t claim them, you can’t claim your partner.
Frequent Situations Where You Can’t Claim Your Partner as a Dependent
Considerations for Non-resident or Non-citizen partners
If your partner isn’t a U.S. citizen, resident, or national, the dependent claiming game changes. Notably, nonresident aliens cannot be claimed as dependents.
However, if your partner is a resident of Canada or Mexico or a U.S. national, you may claim them. But they should be living with you full-time. 2
This rule extends to partners awaiting changes in their residency or citizenship status. In such cases, you must wait until their status changes before claiming them.
When your partner earns more than the stipulated income threshold
When your partner’s income level sails past the IRS limit ($4,700 in 2023), claiming them as a dependent slips off the table. 2
Any part-time job, seasonal work, or income source counts, even those seemingly negligible. As soon as they cross this threshold, regardless of how heavily they rely on you or where they reside, they can’t qualify as your dependent.
Make sure to stay updated on IRS rules. They adjust the income limit for inflation annually, which changes this income ceiling. Keep an eye peeled for those IRS updates!
TurboTax® is the #1 best-selling tax preparation software to file taxes online. Easily file federal and state income tax returns with 100% accuracy.
This is how I have filed my personal taxes for many years.
How to Officially Claim Your Partner on Your Taxes
To officially claim your partner as a dependent on your tax return, you will do this when you file your taxes.
Thankfully, this is made easier with online software companies like TurboTax or H&R Block.
The same is true when you are trying to figure out how to file taxes without a W2.
Necessary steps to claim your partner on your taxes
You will first identify them as “other qualifying dependent” or “other qualifying relative”.
Gather the facts first: Confirm your partner’s income, residency, and who has been supporting them for more than half the year.
Document expenses: Keep track of all relevant bills and receipts to demonstrate your majority support.
Use tax software or a professional: Follow prompts about dependents in tax software like TurboTax. They could guide you through the process and specifics.
Complete relevant Tax Forms: Prepare the necessary forms such as Form 1040 and Schedule H and have proof of residency, financial support, gross income information, and certification of your domestic partnership to support your claim.
File your return: Don’t forget to include your partner’s details and tick the correct boxes.
Remember, the devil is in the details. So carefully evaluate your situation to avoid missteps, and consult with a tax professional when in doubt.
Pitfalls to avoid while filing tax returns
While preparing to file your tax returns, beware of these common pitfalls:
Incorrect income calculation: Ensure you tally your partner’s gross income accurately. Reminder: it should not eclipse $4,700 in 2023.
Overlooked Living Qualification: Your partner must have resided with you the entire year. Temporary absences (illness, education) can be exceptions.
Ignoring Other Claimants: If someone else is poised to claim your partner as a dependent – even if they don’t – you can’t claim them.
Emergency Funds Consideration: If your partner taps into their savings for a large expense, this could speak against you providing most of their support.
Forgotten Documents: Maintain a record of bills, receipts, and other expense documents.
The IRS overlooks no mistakes, so take care and stay informed. When in doubt, professional tax help is a button away.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Intriguing question! Here’s the short answer: Your partner’s marital status may indeed affect your ability to claim them as a dependent.
For instance, if your partner is married and files a joint tax return with their spouse, you can’t claim them as a dependent.
Remember, tax rules are lock-key specific, and bending them can lead to penalties. Always seek advice from a tax professional.
While you might be able to claim your partner as a dependent, laying claim on their children as dependents is unlikely. IRS rules are clear: you can claim a dependent only if they’re your child or relative.
Since your partner’s children don’t fulfill this requirement, you can’t claim them unless they can be considered your qualifying relative AND you provide more than half of their support.
As always, it’s best to run this by a tax professional for clarity on your unique situation. All we tax-seers can do is guide; the decision falls on your shoulders.
Here’s the hard truth: if your partner didn’t live with you all year, you couldn’t claim them as a dependent. IRS rules are stringent about this: your partner must have the same home as you for the entire year. That is 365 days, no less.
However, IRS grants a green light to temporary separations due to special circumstances like illness, education, military service, or even a holiday. The key lies in their intent to return and, of course, their follow-through.
Stay wise and stay informed, and consult with a tax analyst to seal your decision with assurance.
Get Online Help
Navigating tax rules and regulations doesn’t need to be overwhelming. With the advent of online help, understanding whether you can claim your partner as a dependent becomes considerably more manageable. Here are a few benefits of seeking online help:
Convenience: With online help, you can access the information you need anywhere, anytime. No need to schedule appointments or deal with traffic to get to a tax office. You can get the updates and instructions right from the comfort of your own home.
Accessibility: Some great examples of accessible platforms are TurboTax, e-File, and H&R Block which provide 24/7 support and resources. They offer a wealth of information and experts at your fingertips.
Expertise: Apart from the convenience, these websites employ tax experts who deliver professional analysis and guidance tailored to your specific needs. Specifically, you can use TurboTax Live Full Service for someone to do your taxes from start to finish. Or you can ask questions with TurboTax Live Assisted.
File your own taxes with confidence using TurboTax. This can greatly simplify the process and minimize potential missteps.
Now, Can I Claim my Unmarried Partner as a Dependent is Up to You
As they say, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse”. The same holds true for tax rules.
Falsely claiming a dependent can lead to severe penalties, not just a dinging of your wallet. You’d be sailing the choppy waters of tax evasion, which can bring on hefty fines or even dark days behind bars.
In blatant cases, the IRS could impose a Civil Fraud Penalty. That means a penalty amounting to 75% of the unpaid tax amount resulting from fraud. 5
In short, play by the rules! Accurate and clear tax filing may seem tedious, yet it will steer clear of any legal trouble. Remember, it’s always safer to ask if you are unsure!
Now, are you wondering why do I owe taxes this year?
Internal Revenue Service. “Tax Tutorial.” https://apps.irs.gov/app/understandingTaxes/hows/tax_tutorials/mod04/tt_mod04_glossary.jsp?backPage=tt_mod04_01.jsp#dependent. Accessed October 23, 2023.
Internal Revenue Service. “About Publication 501, Dependents, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information.” https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-publication-501. Accessed October 23, 2023.
Internal Revenue Service. “About Publication 501, Dependents, Standard DeductionUnderstanding the Credit for Other Dependents.” https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/understanding-the-credit-for-other-dependents. Accessed October 23, 2023.
Intuit TurboTax. “Guide to Filing Taxes as Head of Household.” https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tips/family/guide-to-filing-taxes-as-head-of-household/L4Nx6DYu9. Accessed October 23, 2023.
Are you a nurse who is looking to make extra income? Looking for the best side hustles for nurses? Whether you are looking for a part-time side gig or a full-time extra income stream, there are many ways to make extra cash as a nurse. Whether you are looking to pay off your student loans,…
Are you a nurse who is looking to make extra income? Looking for the best side hustles for nurses?
Whether you are looking for a part-time side gig or a full-time extra income stream, there are many ways to make extra cash as a nurse.
Whether you are looking to pay off your student loans, save for a vacation, retire earlier, or whatever else, there are many reasons why you may want a side hustle.
As a nurse, though, you may be wanting something that will fit into your already busy and tiring schedule.
When it comes to finding side work, there is no shortage of options for nurses. But, not all side jobs for nurses are created equal.
Related content on side jobs for nurses:
Best Side Hustles For Nurses
Transcription is when you turn audio files or video content into a text document. As a medical transcriptionist, you would be converting voice recordings from doctors and others in the medical field into formal reports.
Medical transcriptionists are required to be knowledgeable about medical terminology, HIPAA, and more, which makes this a side hustle that a nurse would be somewhat familiar with.
Medical transcriptionists earn around $20 to $25 an hour.
There are also other types of transcription work that are not medical related. There are many businesses looking for transcriptionists – since general transcriptionists convert audio and video to text for virtually any industry, there really isn’t a typical client. Examples include marketers, authors, filmmakers, academics, speakers, and conferences of all types.
You can learn more at How To Become A Transcriptionist From Home.
A lactation consultant is someone who specializes in breastfeeding.
A hospital may have you on call, you may go in person to people’s homes to assist them with breastfeeding issues, you may start a website where you help families online, and more.
My lactation consultant at the hospital when I gave birth to my daughter Marlowe also happened to be a healthcare worker at the pediatrician’s office that we brought her to. So, she definitely had more than one form of income!
A night nanny (or sometimes called night nurse if they are a nurse) is someone who helps new parents take care of their children overnight.
You would be employed by a family, usually for a few weeks or a few months after a baby is born. You would be helping parents at nighttime so that they can get more sleep as well as learn how to take care of their new infant.
You will be changing diapers, feeding the baby, helping the baby go to sleep, and more.
A night nanny typically works 8-12 hours overnight.
Night nannies are sometimes licensed practical nurses or registered nurses, as new parents many times want the skills and expertise that a nurse has.
You may be able to find night nanny jobs through word of mouth, or on websites such as SitterCity.com or Care.com.
Telehealth nurse jobs are in high demand and will continue to grow. A telehealth nurse is a nurse who sees patients online, such as by video or phone. You may be working part-time or full-time as a telehealth nurse.
As a telehealth nurse, you would be assisting patients with minor health problems as well as advising them if they should go to the emergency room or urgent care, for example.
A telehealth nurse may work from home (and simply require an internet connection), at a physician’s office, hospital, and more.
As a telehealth nurse, you are still required to be a registered nurse and to have passed the NCLEX examination.
Start a blog or website
I know a few nurses who have started blogs, and this is because a blog can help you make income in your spare time with a flexible schedule.
So, what is a blog? A blog is a website. A blog is content that is written on a website. It usually consists of articles, like the one you are reading right now.
Blogs can vary from person to person. You may create a blog to journal, to teach on a topic, to sell something, to tell a story, and so on. There are no exact rules about what your blog has to be used for.
You can blog about many different topics such as personal finance, travel, lifestyle, food, family, home, DIY, and more.
You can learn how to start a blog with my free How To Start a Blog Course (sign up by clicking here).
Become a caregiver
As a registered nurse, you have highly valuable skills that make you in demand for caregiving jobs, such as taking care of children and adults.
As a caregiver, you may be helping the elderly, helping people get ready for the day, taking care of them for a day, grocery shopping for them, and more.
You may be able to find caregiving jobs through word of mouth (as nurses are very desirable for these positions) or on websites like Care.com and Craigslist.
Sell printables on Etsy
A printable is a digital product that someone can download and print at home. Examples of printables include grocery shopping checklists, gift tags, candy bar wrappers, printable quotes for wall art, budget templates, and patterns.
What makes this great for a nurse looking to make extra income is that you just need to create one digital file per product, and then you can sell it an unlimited amount of times.
So, this can be a great way to make money without having to use up all of your free time outside of work.
You can sign up for this free ebook that helps you figure out where to start when it comes to selling printables on Etsy.
You can also learn more at How I Make Money Selling Printables On Etsy.
Make Canva templates
Making Canva templates is similar to selling printables – you just need to create them once, and you can sell them an unlimited amount of times.
Canva is an online graphic design website. On Canva, you can sell premade designs to other Canva users so that they can edit and customize them.
Some examples of Canva templates include ebooks, workbooks, Pinterest pins, and more.
People all around the world use Canva to help with the graphic design side of their business, and templates make their lives so much easier.
You can head to this article to learn more at How I Make $2,000+ Monthly Selling Canva Templates.
Selling stickers could be stickers that you have printed out and are shipping to customers, or you may be selling stickers for them to print on their own. You would be creating your own designs on stickers and can sell them for years to come.
Stickers are extremely popular right now and will most likely be for years. Stickers are used for so many different reasons, and you don’t need a lot of equipment to start a sticker business.
You don’t need graphic design skills either – this is something that you can learn quickly and even teach yourself.
You will need a cutting machine (perhaps you already have a Cricut cutting machine?), a printer, sticker paper, and ink to get started.
You can learn more at How To Make $1,000+ A Month Selling Stickers Online.
CPR instructor or First Aid instructor
As a CPR instructor or First Aid instructor, these may be classes that you are hired to teach part-time. It may just be a few hours a week and you would be teaching others CPR and First Aid.
There are classes for those who are expecting a child, prepping for the wilderness, for employees in all industries, and even classes for those who are getting into sailing (I personally have taken these sailing classes!).
Rent out spare rooms or a home
You may be able to earn extra income by renting out a spare bedroom or by investing in rental property to rent out in whole (such as an apartment or a house).
You can learn more at How This Woman In Her 30s Owns 7 Rental Homes.
Rent out your stuff
There are other things you can rent as well.
Renting out your stuff can feel somewhat passive, and if you’re not using it then it may make perfect sense for you.
Here is a list of things to rent out and which platforms are best:
You may be able to make extra cash by making baked goods at home.
In fact, I know someone who is a nurse, and on the side, she decorates and sells amazing-looking cookies for events. She started out decorating cookies simply as a hobby, and people started asking if they could hire her to make specialty cookies for baby showers, weddings, and more. This is now a side hustle for her that she loves.
You can learn more about this topic at How To Make Extra Money By Starting A Home Bakery. Here, you’ll learn about the equipment needed to start a bakery, food laws, tips on pricing your baked goods, and more.
I also recommend reading How I Earned Up to $4,000 Per Month Baking Dog Treats (With Zero Baking Experience!) if you are wanting to make dog treats.
With this, you may be watching pets in your own home or the pet’s home, or you may be walking them during the day, playing with them when the owners are gone, giving them their medicine, feeding them, and more.
While it would most likely be hard to be a pet sitter or pet walker on a day when you have a nursing shift, this may be something that you can schedule for on your days off, as you can pick your days and hours by selecting clients that best fit your schedule.
If you’re interested in watching pets in your home, Rover is a platform where you can list your services and find clients.
Become a virtual assistant
A virtual assistant is an assistant who works from their own home (instead of in person).
As a virtual assistant, you may find part-time or full-time work, and you may be able to be flexible with your hours. I have virtual assistants and they all have flexible hours, which can be great for someone who is a nurse and may not be able to work on days when they have a long shift.
As a virtual assistant, you may be helping a company manage their social media, scheduling appointments, managing their email inbox, data entry, and more.
You can learn more at How To Earn $10,000 Each Month From Home as a Virtual Assistant.
Start a TikTok account
I follow a few TikTok accounts that are all about being a nurse, and they are very informative and entertaining. Or, you can start a TikTok that’s not related to being a nurse at all!
There are over 1.5 billion users on TikTok and many people are able to earn an income on this social media platform doing many different things.
From personal finance tips to comedy, day in the life to travel, and more, there are many different topics you can cover on your own TikTok account through making social media content.
Learn more at How To Make Money On TikTok.
Begin a YouTube channel
As a YouTuber, you may decide to start a channel about being a nurse, or about anything else!
There are many different types of YouTube channels out there.
A great positive of starting a YouTube channel is that, like blogging, you can create your own schedule, and work only on the days that you want. So, it does not have to interfere with your schedule as a nurse.
You can learn more at How I Grew From 0 Subscribers To Over $100,000 On YouTube In Less Than One Year.
As a cosmetic nurse, such as an aesthetic nurse injector, you may be working in a doctor’s office or medical spa.
You may be doing injections, photofacials, microneedling, and more.
Resell items online
If you are looking for a flexible job as a nurse, one to look into may be reselling items online, such as on Craigslist, eBay, or Facebook Marketplace. There are many other online marketplaces as well.
Plus, it’s something that anyone can start because many of us own things that we could probably sell.
My friend Stacy Gallego was a nurse who resold items in her spare time. She made over $100,000 in sales by flipping used items too and actually retired as a nurse so that she could pursue her flipping side hustle full-time! You can read more about her story at How I Made $100,000 Selling Used Items.
Stacy learned how to build a flipping business from my other friends Melissa and Rob. They are the flipping experts! Some of the best items that they’ve resold include:
Something they bought for $10 and flipped for $200 just 6 minutes later
A security tower they bought for $6,200 and flipped for $25,000 just one month later
A prosthetic leg that they bought for $30 at a flea market and sold for $1,000 on eBay the very next day
A lift that they found in the trash (and asked the owner for permission to take) that they sold online for $7,500
They have a helpful free webinar, Turn Your Passion For Visiting Thrift Stores, Yard Sales & Flea Markets Into A Profitable Reselling Business In As Little As 14 Days, I recommend checking out.
As a tutor, you can help a nursing student with their nursing degree, pass an examination, and study for a certificate, for example.
To become an online tutor, you can simply create a tutor profile on a tutoring platform, create a listing on Fiverr, reach out to people that you know, and more.
Learn more at The Best Online Tutoring Jobs – A Flexible Way To Make More Money.
Freelance writing is when you write for different clients, such as a website, magazine, and more.
Many people start with no previous experience, so this can be a great one to begin for you.
Plus, as a freelance writer, you can create your own schedule and take on as many or as few clients as you would like, so you can determine how much money and time you want to spend on this side hustle.
You may be able to become a health writer or write about any of the other thousands of topics out there.
You can learn more in the article How To Become A Freelance Writer.
Mystery shopping won’t be a huge source of extra income, but it can be something that you can do whenever you have some spare time. There’s not a huge commitment to this either, which can be great if you are looking for something flexible.
Another positive of mystery shopping is that there are mystery shops that can be conducted both in person, online, and on the phone.
As a mystery shopper, you would get paid to evaluate companies from when you walk through the door to after you get your receipt. Or, you may be evaluating how they answer the phone when you pretend that you are a customer inquiring about a service that they offer.
The company has no idea that you are a mystery shopper – this is so that the company can truly evaluate how they are doing and see what they need to improve.
As a mystery shopper, you may be completing mystery shops for clothing stores, department stores, restaurants, car dealerships, salons, amusement parks, and more.
You can learn more at How To Become A Mystery Shopper.
Join a focus group
There are many market research companies that pay people like you and me to share their opinions. Companies then use these opinions and feedback to improve their products and services.
Sometimes focus groups are looking for a specific person too, such as a healthcare professional or someone who uses medical devices. Or, they may be looking for anyone who works in any field.
User Interviews pays very well for market research studies. Over 2,000 studies are launched each month and they have paid over 72,000 participants in the last year.
Pinterest, Spotify, Macy’s, Home Depot, Trip Advisor, and more all use User Interviews to gather feedback from users about their latest products, apps, and websites.
Participants can earn $50 to $100 per hour or more for sharing their opinions and feedback. The average pays over $60.
You can learn more in my User Interviews Review.
Similar to this, there are many paid online surveys you can take as well. These will pay much lower than a focus group, though.
An immunization nurse is a nurse who gives vaccines, such as flu shots. You may be working part-time or full-time, such as at a travel vaccine clinic or curbside clinic.
Immunizations will always be around, which means that there will always be a demand for immunization nurses.
As a camp nurse, you would typically be working in the summer (because that is when camps usually take place). A camp may last a few days or even weeks or months.
You may be taking care of campers, such as doing first aid.
Many camps go without medical professionals because they are unable to find a nurse to fill the role – so there is a demand for camp nurses.
Sign up for extra nursing shifts
This one is the most common as a nurse, so I saved it for almost last. As a nurse, you may have the option to work overtime and make extra money.
Since you are already in the profession, this may be the easiest to get started with.
Okay, so this is not a side hustle, but I do think it’s somewhat related enough to include in this article!
A travel nurse may be able to earn more than $3,000 per week. They tend to make much more than a nurse who has a permanent job at a hospital or other facility.
Travel nurses are RNs working short-term positions at healthcare facilities. Whenever there are nursing shortages, which happen often in the medical profession, travel nurses help healthcare facilities fill these roles.
I have had several friends become travel nurses, and I’ve also met a few travel nurses while traveling.
Travel nurse jobs usually last around 3 months and can come with many benefits, and they also tend to pay quite well.
Recommended reading: 25 Best Travel Jobs To Make Money Traveling
Common questions about nurse side hustles
Below, I answer some common questions that you may have about side hustles for nurses.
How can nurses earn extra from home?
There are many ways that a nurse can earn extra money from home. This may include:
Answering medical surveys
Freelance health writer
Rental real estate
Creating a nurse TikTok
And so much more.
Can nurses be entrepreneurs?
Yes, nurses can definitely become entrepreneurs. There are many options above, such as starting your own lactation consultant business, a night nurse business, becoming a health coach, and more.
Can a nurse have more than one job?
As a nurse, you may be working 3 days a week, which leaves you with 4 days off each week.
This may lead you to wonder – can you work two jobs as a nurse?
Yes, you may be able to work two jobs as long as you can realistically fit them both into your schedule.
As a nurse, though, you are working long hours. So, while you do have more free days than average, you would want to make sure that you are able to manage a good work-life balance.
How to make 6 figures as a nurse?
There are many ways to make over $100,000 each year as a nurse.
To start off – where you live can greatly impact your salary as a nurse, as some areas will pay more.
Other ways to increase your income as a nurse are to get into travel nursing, enter a specialty (such as becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist or nurse practitioner), work overtime, and of course start a side hustle.
What can a nurse do as a side hustle?
Whether you are looking for a part-time or full-time gig, there are many different side hustles for nurses to fit your schedule so that you can make extra money.
As a nurse, you have skills, training, and expertise that are highly desirable in many different jobs and fields, which can allow you to earn a high income.
There are many different jobs that a nurse can do. Some of the best side jobs may include:
Night nanny / Night nurse
First Aid instructor
Real estate investor
Focus group participant
What do you think are the best side hustles for nurses?
The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has released details of a new program to expedite short sales.
The program consolidates Fannie and Freddie’s current short sale programs, including the original Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative (HAFA) programs and other proprietary ones.
The new streamlined approach will be known as the “Standard Short Sale/HAFA II,” and is designed to make short sales easier for those most in need.
Short Sales for Those Still Making Payments
First and foremost, the new guidelines will allow homeowners with Fannie or Freddie mortgages to pursue a short sale, even if they are current on their mortgage payments, assuming they have an eligible hardship.
At the moment, it’s difficult (but not impossible) to get a short sale going unless you fall behind on your payments, which kind of defeats the purpose of attempting to avoid full-blown foreclosure.
With HAFA II, loan servicers will be able to quickly qualify such borrowers without any additional approval from Fannie or Freddie.
Common hardships listed by the FHFA include unemployment, divorce, long-term disability, increased housing expenses, disaster (natural or man-made), business failure, and death of a borrower or household wage earner.
The streamlined process will also work for those who are transferred to a job or accept a new career opportunity more than 50 miles away.
This should help more borrowers conduct short sales without the massive credit score hits associated with multiple missed mortgage payments.
[Short sale vs. foreclosure with regard to credit]
Fannie and Freddie have also agreed not to pursue a deficiency judgment in exchange for a small financial contribution (assuming the borrower has sufficient income/assets).
It’s unclear how small it may be, but I would venture to say that most homeowners won’t want to pay it.
Service members who are relocated will also be automatically approved for short sales, even if current on their mortgages (and they won’t be subject to paying the contribution).
Quicker Short Sales for Those Already Behind
HAFA II also addresses those who are already behind on their mortgage payments and sailing full steam toward foreclosure.
These borrowers will enjoy an expedited approach to better deal with the time sensitive nature of the foreclosure process.
This means the documentation needed to demonstrate hardship may be reduced or even eliminated in some cases.
To further speed things up, or at least not unnecessarily slow things down, Fannie and Freddie will offer up to $6,000 to second mortgage holders to accelerate the short sales.
At the moment, a secondary lien holder can slow down a short sale by negotiating for a larger chunk of the outstanding balance, effectively stalling the entire process.
So hopefully the $6,000 will be enticing enough to speed along the process in most cases.
The new guidelines will also provide clarity on processing a short sale if a foreclosure sale is pending so borrowers can get last minute offers in and avoid losing their home.
Currently, loan servicers are required to review and respond to short sale offers within 30 days of receiving them.
They must also provide weekly status updates if the short sale is still under review after 30 days, and must finalize decisions within 60 days of the receipt of the offer.
Note: Borrowers who take part in the program will not be eligible for another mortgage backed by Fannie or Freddie for at least two years after the short sale occurs.
The HAFA II program will be effective come November 1, 2012.
Portland, an East Coast city and the largest city in Maine, offers a blend of old-world charm and modern sophistication.
Nestled amidst a beautiful coastline and lush greenery, this city has seen an uptick in popularity over recent years, drawing people from all walks of life.
But, is Portland Maine a good place to live? This comprehensive look aims to explore the facets of living in Portland from its food scene to housing costs, aiming to provide a holistic view of life in this quaint New England city.
Historical and cultural richness
Portland is steeped in history with its cobbled streets in the Old Port, Victorian architecture in the West End, and a thriving arts district along Congress Street. The city boasts an inclusive community that celebrates local artists during events like First Fridays. The Portland Symphony Orchestra further enhances the rich cultural tapestry of the city.
Nature and outdoor activities
With its proximity to both the Atlantic Ocean and white mountains of New Hampshire, Portland offers a plethora of outdoor activities. Casco Bay invites sailing and kayaking enthusiasts, while the nearby forests and trails are perfect for hiking, cross-country skiing or leisurely walks. Eastern Promenade and Back Cove offer stunning locales for outdoor relaxation and exercise, promoting a healthy lifestyle among Portland residents.
Dubbed as a ‘Restaurant City’, Portland prides itself on its thriving food scene. The city is synonymous with fresh seafood, especially its famed lobster rolls. Coffee shops, breweries and restaurants line the streets, serving everything from traditional New England fare to international delicacies.
Portland Public Schools provide a solid educational foundation, serving a diverse student population. The city is also close to several reputed colleges and universities, providing a wide range of educational opportunities.
Employment and economic opportunities
Portland has a burgeoning job market, particularly in healthcare, education and the maritime industry. Small businesses also thrive here, supported by both locals and tourists.
Housing and cost of living
The real estate market in Portland can be quite competitive with housing costs being above the national average. While there are affordable housing options in nearby communities, the high demand in Portland has driven up real estate prices within the city limits. However, compared to other larger cities on the East Coast, Portland’s cost of living remains relatively moderate, making it an attractive option for many middle-income earners.
Portland offers a reliable bus system, making it easy to commute within the city and to nearby areas. However, the city’s compact size also makes it highly walkable, especially during the warmer months.
Young professionals, families and retirees find a welcoming community in Portland. The city’s population density allows for a small-city feel, yet it is bustling with activities and social events that provide a sense of a larger city vibrancy.
Pros and cons of living in Portland
Learn what’s most desirable and undesirable about living in this quaint coastal city.
Rich Cultural Scene: Portland is a haven for art enthusiasts and those interested in historical architecture.
Outdoor Activities: Easy access to a variety of outdoor activities makes Portland a nature lover’s paradise.
Food Scene: The city is a hotspot for foodies, offering a vast array of culinary delights.
Community Feel: Portland residents enjoy a strong sense of community and friendly neighborhoods.
Educational Opportunities: Quality public schools and nearby higher education institutions are a plus.
Cost of Living: The cost of living, particularly housing costs, can be a hurdle for some.
Winter Weather: The long, cold winters might not appeal to everyone.
Sizable Homeless Population: Like many urban areas, Portland faces challenges with homelessness.
Traffic: While not comparable to bigger cities, traffic, especially during rush hour, can be frustrating.
Conclusion: Moving to Portland, Maine?
Portland, Maine, offers a unique living experience with its rich history, cultural activities and beautiful surroundings. While the cost of living and winter weather may deter some, many find the community atmosphere, educational opportunities and the food scene well worth it. Its increasing popularity reflects the city’s appeal, making Portland Maine a very enticing place to consider as a home.
The array of experiences, from strolling down the cobblestone streets of Old Port to enjoying a fresh lobster roll by the bay, encapsulates the essence of living in Portland. For those who value a blend of nature, culture, and culinary delights, alongside a laid-back yet vibrant city life, Portland, Maine, might just be the perfect place to call home.
If you want to make your new home port in Portland, ME, take a look at our available apartments for rent.
In Orlando, Florida, there’s no shortage of bars that’ll make you a mocktail.
Many are almost certainly designed for the under-21 crowd, including “The Simpsons”-inspired Flaming Moe. The bubbling, citrusy, nonalcoholic concoction is served at Universal Studios Florida.
But in the city known for being family-friendly, there’s an entirely different set of bars specifically not for kids, such as The Bandbox, a 1920s Art Deco-inspired speakeasy. Customers must be 21 or older, and while there’s no official dress code, there’s a more elegant vibe at this intimate lounge.
The Bandbox owner, Kevin Zepf, emphasizes that his bar doesn’t serve traditional mocktails, which tend to be ultra-sweet and contain ingredients like juices, syrups and sodas.
In contrast to classics like Shirley Temples, virgin Piña Coladas or even the Flaming Moe, The Bandbox serves nonalcoholic craft cocktails using alternative or distilled spirits.
When The Bandbox opened in 2022, it became Orlando’s first spirit-free cocktail-tasting lounge and bottle shop. While it’s Orlando’s first, it’s just one of a growing list of bars, hotels and cruise lines worldwide that serve high-end, alcohol-free cocktails.
The same month that The Bandbox opened, the ette-brand hotel in Orlando opened nearby. The ette hotel doesn’t serve any alcohol (though guests can pack their own). Unlike the myriad kid-friendly hotels nearby serving up Mickey waffles, the 126-room luxury property distinguishes itself with quiet grounds and a serene spa — a sharp contrast to Walt Disney World just a mile away.
It’s not just Orlando that’s booming with nonalcoholic drinks. In Portland, Oregon, a city known for craft beers, the nonalcoholic scene is brewing thanks to brands like Portland-based Lolo Hops. Lolo Hops uses Pacific Northwest-grown hops to make sparkling nonalcoholic beverages that sell at markets throughout the city.
Big travel brands are joining in, too. This spring, Carnival Cruise Line’s Alchemy Bar launched a menu of seven cocktails made with nonalcoholic spirits. Note that you’ll still need to be at least 21 years old to get in.
With the new menu, Carnival has claimed the title of first cruise line to offer a full range of mocktails. Similarly, bars inside the newest Hilton brand, Tempo by Hilton, serve what the company calls “free-spirited” cocktails. Carnival and Hilton use products from nonalcoholic spirit-maker Lyre’s as primary ingredients, rather than juices and sodas seen in typical mocktails.
Who are alcohol-free drinks for?
Nonalcoholic beverages aren’t necessarily designed just for people who won’t drink alcohol. In fact, 78% of people who say they drink no- or low-alcohol drinks also partake in full-strength alcohol, according to IWSR, a company that supplies data and analysis on the global beverage alcohol market.
While just 18% of people who drink nonalcoholic drinks are people who refrain from drinking alcohol altogether, IWSR says that figure is growing, led by younger (drinking-age) consumers.
“People come in for a variety of reasons, from women who can’t drink because they are pregnant, to folks looking for a sober-curious experience,” says The Bandbox’s Zepf. “Because we don’t offer alcohol, it takes pressure off those that don’t like to be pressured into drinking.”
Nonalcoholic craft cocktails are pricier than most other nonalcoholic drinks.
The Flaming Moe — which “The Unofficial Universal Theme Parks Cookbook” author Ashley Craft concocts using three ingredients: Fanta Orange, fruit punch and dry ice — can be purchased inside Universal Studios Florida for $9. It includes a collectible cup that is specially designed, which Craft says is necessary given the dry ice compartment.
While $9 is far more than the roughly $4 the same restaurant charges for simply a Fanta Orange, it’s still less than the $12 cost for a draft beer.
When sailing with Carnival, cruisers can opt in to unlimited soda and juice packages, starting at $9.50 per day. But the package that includes cocktails starts at $59.95 per day — and that’s whether you opt for alcoholic or nonalcoholic cocktails.
Why are vacation spots adopting alcohol-free offerings?
Whether or not price is a motivator, people consume nonalcoholic beverages for plenty of reasons.
“The pandemic changed the mindsets of Americans to reevaluate their drinking habits and the money spent on going out and drinking,” Zepf says. “Folks were searching for healthier alternatives during the pandemic, and that’s when the nonalcoholic drink industry really started.”
With alcohol comes the risk of a hangover — an outcome that mixes poorly with vacationers who might trek miles through theme parks and be tossed around on thrill rides the next day.
“As the theme-park capital of the U.S., where experiences and entertainment are paramount, Orlando is such an untapped market when it comes to the world of nonalcoholic drinks,” Zepf says.
There’s also the fact that more companies now are manufacturing nonalcoholic spirits. Seedlip, which bills itself as the world’s first distilled nonalcoholic spirits brand, is still relatively young. Founded in 2015, Seedlip manufactures the three top-selling nonalcoholic spirits on Drizly, an e-commerce alcohol marketplace.
Drizly recorded a 50% increase in sales year-over-year for its nonalcoholic spirits in 2022. But while interest in booze-free beverages is growing, the market is still small. Drizly says nonalcoholic spirits accounted for just 0.06% of its overall 2022 sales.
“We’re not trying to get you to give up drinking,” Zepf says. “We’re trying to help you see what alternatives are available, and our goal was to create a space that is a ‘can’t-miss’ destination in Orlando for both locals and tourists.”
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Well, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) finally released its long anticipated annual report to Congress today, revealing the need for more changes to stay financially independent.
The actuarial study found that the capital reserve fund, which supports the FHA’s single family mortgage and reverse mortgage insurance programs, fell below zero, to -1.44%, representing a negative economic value of $16.3 billion.
The FHA continues to be hurt by seller downpayment assistance loans, which allowed borrowers to buy homes with nothing down, and really, nothing at all out-of-pocket. We’re talking no costs loans on steroids.
Clearly this was a terrible and completely irresponsible way of doing lending, and it has rattled the FHA’s finances year after year.
These loans, which were originated between fiscal years 2007 and 2009, have resulted in about $70 billion in losses for the FHA.
Additionally, the low mortgage rates are also hurting the FHA because of the rapid rate of refinancing among FHA borrowers, though only on a short-term basis.
Essentially, it costs the FHA money when borrowers refinance their mortgages to lower market rates, at least in the near term. However, over time this should help their expected default rate as borrowers will have more manageable payments.
Along with that, FHA borrowers who aren’t able to refinance to today’s extraordinarily low rates will be more inclined to default, thereby increasing losses from projected foreclosures.
The FHA also blamed less favorable home-price appreciation forecasts used for this latest study, and noted that their methodology for predicting losses also hurt the economic value of the insurance fund.
No Treasury Draw Needed, Yet
Despite all this, HUD said it doesn’t need to call on the Treasury for a bailout just yet.
The need for a draw will be determined in the President’s fiscal year 2014 budget proposal, which will be released in February.
And in the meantime, the actuary behind the study believes the FHA’s fiscal year 2013 book of business will add $11 billion in capital accumulation.
Long story short, the FHA cleaned up its act a lot in recent years, and most of the loans it originates are of much higher quality.
This is partially because of a shift in borrower demographics, as more creditworthy borrowers turned to the FHA after conventional lending became more stringent and harder to come by.
Still, the FHA endorsed roughly 734,000 purchase mortgages over the past year, including 78% to first-time homebuyers.
Additionally, the FHA insured about half of all home purchase mortgages to African American and Hispanic/Latino borrowers.
More Expensive FHA Loans in 2013
And now the bad news, for prospective homeowners. Beginning in 2013, the FHA will raise the annual insurance premium paid by borrowers on new FHA loans by 0.10%.
It’s not a lot, but it will add an additional $13 per month to the average borrower’s mortgage payment. And premiums have already increased several times in the past year or so.
In other words, new borrowers will continue to pay for the irresponsibility of past years, but if you want to put down just 3.5%, they’re the only game in town.
On top of that, the FHA plans to reverse a rule that allows borrowers to cancel mortgage insurance premiums after only five years, despite the fact that the underlying loans are still insured for the full term of 30 years.
The agency will also shore up losses by continuing to sell pools of defaulted mortgages, those sailing toward foreclosure, with a commitment to sell at least 10,000 per quarter next year.
They will also expand the use of short sales and revise their loss mitigation program to “target deeper levels of payment relief.”
Are you interested in purchasing a home, but having a tough time coming up with the necessary down payment?
Well, for a limited time, Wells Fargo is offering to help homeowners out through its “LIFT” programs, including NeighborhoodLIFT and CityLIFT.
The San Francisco-based bank and lender has teamed up with NeighborWorks America to provide $170 million in down payment assistance to select borrowers who meet certain requirements.
Before you get your feathers ruffled, this isn’t the same type of irresponsible program that nearly sunk the FHA.
This is a more legitimate version that requires homeowners to get educated and stay in their homes for a long period of time. Or so they say…
If you meet all their requirements, you can receive up to $30,000 toward down payment (depending on the city in which you buy).
The LIFT Requirements
– Household income cannot exceed 120% of area median – Must be an owner-occupied, primary residence – Property must be located in an eligible city – Borrower must complete homeowner education course – Borrower must be approved for a first mortgage loan – No manufactured homes – If you currently own a home, it must be sold prior to closing
Here is the income limit chart for Los Angeles, which allows up to $30,000 in down payment assistance.
Other participating cities include:
– Atlanta – Chicago – Houston – Jacksonville – Las Vegas – Los Angeles – Miami – Minneapolis/St. Paul – Oakland – Orlando – Philadelphia – Phoenix – Sacramento – Tampa – Washington D.C.
How the LIFT Program Works
It’s similar to a regular home purchase
Except you have to buy in an eligible city
And complete a HUD-certified homeowner education course
They recommend a 60-day escrow to ensure you have time to arrange the down payment assistance
It’s just like a typical home buying process, with a few additional steps.
First, you must find a home within an eligible city, make an offer, and sign a purchase contract.
While doing all that, you’ll need to complete an 8-hour HUD-certified homeownership education course.
To schedule one, you’ll need to contact the local housing counselor partner in the applicable participating city.
Wells Fargo recommends a 60-day escrow to ensure there is plenty of time to fund your loan and get the down payment assistance request granted.
When applying for your mortgage, you’ll also have to tell your lender (it doesn’t need to be Wells Fargo) to notify the local housing counselor partner in your city to determine eligibility.
They will work together to get you approved for both the down payment assistance and your new loan to ensure everything goes smoothly.
While you don’t need to use Wells Fargo, they are the sponsor of the LIFT programs, so it might make for smoother sailing.
Tip: The lower your household income, the higher the down payment assistance amount, generally.
The down payment assistance is a grant, with a 0% interest rate that is forgivable.
For each year of residence, 20% is forgiven, so if you stay in the home for five years, it’ll all be forgiven.
But if the property is sold, refinanced, foreclosed, or non-owner occupied (or if title is transferred) within the first five years, the prorated balance must be repaid.
The only exception to this rule is a rate and term refinance that lowers the interest rate, which based on today’s mortgage interest rates, is not likely.
So there is it. If you’re in the market for a new home and live in one of the cities listed above, it’s another alternative for those with little set aside for down payment.
Though the fictional Stars Hollow didn’t make the list, you’ll see the charming towns that might have inspired it.
Connecticut, with its diverse range of communities, offers a plethora of attractive options that suit various lifestyle needs.
When it comes to locking down the ideal location for you and yours, the choice can be dizzying. From coastal towns that exude maritime charm to bustling cities rich in cultural and recreational activities, Connecticut has something for everyone. This article takes a closer look at some of the best places to live in Connecticut, focusing on factors like quality of life, education, economic stability and more.
Average age: 37.9
Median household income: $99,791
Average commute time: 31.0 minutes
Walk score: 55
Studio average rent: $2,019
One-bedroom average rent: $2,618
Two-bedroom average rent: $3,498
Stamford has it all. From high-energy downtown life to the serenity of beachfront communities, Stamford’s strategic location near New York City makes it a popular spot for those who work in the Big Apple but want a more relaxed environment to call home.
Stamford’s economy is booming, thanks in part to a thriving financial sector and the presence of several Fortune 500 companies. On the leisure side, the city doesn’t disappoint. Between the Stamford Town Center mall, the Avon Theatre and the Stamford Museum & Nature Center, there’s never a dull moment.
Living in Stamford offers not just the perk of urban convenience but also opportunities for seaside relaxation. With beaches like Cove Island Park offering saltwater swimming and picnic spots, residents get to experience the best of both worlds. The public schools in Stamford are highly rated, making it an excellent choice for families. There’s also an assortment of housing options to fit different lifestyles—from modern apartments to colonial-style homes. The city’s efficient public transportation and close proximity to major highways make getting around a breeze.
Average age: 32.9
Median household income: $37,477
Average commute time: 22.3 minutes
Walk score: 67
Studio average rent: $1,432
One-bedroom average rent: $1,613
Two-bedroom average rent: $1,705
Hartford somehow manages to offer an urban buzz in a friendly, neighborhood-like atmosphere. As one of the best places to live in Connecticut, Hartford is a hub for healthcare, education and insurance, hosting some of the largest companies in the industry. From historic sites like the Mark Twain House to the modern wonders of the Connecticut Science Center, the city offers a range of activities for all age groups. Foodies will find a growing culinary scene that rivals larger cities, while sports enthusiasts can catch a Hartford Yard Goats game at Dunkin’ Park.
Although the city possesses a bustling downtown, the many parks and green spaces provide ample room for relaxation and outdoor activities in peace. Bushnell Park, for instance, serves as the city’s green lung, with a carousel and plenty of space for picnics or jogs. For those looking to raise a family, Hartford offers a variety of public and private school options, and the nearby suburbs provide even more choices for residential living. With its proximity to other major cities like Boston and New York, Hartford makes for a convenient home base without the overwhelming bustle, cementing its status as one of Connecticut’s most desirable places to settle down.
Average age: 43.4
Median household income: $115,885
Average commute time: 30.4 minutes
One-bedroom average rent: $3,720
Two-bedroom average rent: $5,452
Greenwich is not just a name you’ll hear on Wall Street; it’s also one of the best places to live in Connecticut. Often celebrated for its high-end shopping districts and upscale neighborhoods, Greenwich offers an extraordinary quality of life just a stone’s throw away from New York City.
The city is a magnet for successful professionals and families, featuring top-tier public schools and a range of impressive real estate options, from sprawling estates to contemporary condos. For those who appreciate the finer things, the Greenwich Avenue shopping district is a stroll down luxury lane, boasting designer boutiques, art galleries and some of Connecticut’s best dining spots.
The allure of Greenwich isn’t just limited to its commercial and residential glamor. The city is equally rich in natural beauty and recreational activities. Topping the list are the pristine beaches along Long Island Sound, which provide the ideal backdrop for sailing, swimming or simply soaking up the sun. For those who love the outdoors, the city is home to a ton of parks and nature reserves, making it a splendid locale for hiking and bird-watching. Excellent public services, a low crime rate and community-centric events like the annual Greenwich International Film Festival, round out the city’s many merits.
Average age: 30.7
Median household income: $42,222
Average commute time: 22.9 minutes
Walk score: 68
Studio average rent: $1,745
One-bedroom average rent: $2,322
Two-bedroom average rent: $2,895
New Haven is frequently highlighted as one of the best places to live in Connecticut. Known worldwide as the home of Yale University, the city offers a rich intellectual climate without skimping on culture and recreational options. Whether you’re drawn by the scholarly atmosphere, the groundbreaking medical facilities or the economic opportunities in technology and healthcare, New Haven has something for everyone. Add in iconic spots like the historic Shubert Theatre and the culinary treasure trove that is Wooster Square, famous for its pizza, and you’ll see why many consider it a gem in the Constitution State.
Life in New Haven isn’t only about hitting the books or attending lectures. Residents here find plenty of room for leisure and outdoor fun. East Rock Park offers panoramic views of the city and is a popular spot for hiking, while Lighthouse Point Park is preferred for beach outings and scenic picnics.
Average age: 41.0
Median household income: $149,641
Average commute time: 32.9 minutes
One-bedroom average rent: $2,200
Two-bedroom average rent: $2,065
When discussing the best places to live in Connecticut, Fairfield frequently makes the cut — and with good reason. Thanks to a strategic location along the Long Island Sound, this charming town seamlessly blends coastal living with suburban tranquility.
Fairfield University and Sacred Heart University lend the town an intellectual flair, adding an assortment of unique events and academic resources to the mix. Economically, Fairfield holds its own with a diverse job market in industries like healthcare, education and retail. As for leisure, from the historic Burr Mansion to the Fairfield Theater Company, there’s no shortage of arts and culture to indulge in.
Fairfield doesn’t skimp on the natural beauty either, boasting several pristine beaches and peaceful parks. Jennings Beach and Lake Mohegan are popular spots for swimming, picnicking and hiking, perfect for individuals and families alike. Speaking of families, the town’s public schools are highly rated, offering strong academic programs that make Fairfield an attractive place for parents seeking quality education for their children.
Average age: 44.0
Median household income: $140,420
Average commute time: 22.5 minutes
One-bedroom average rent: $1,450
Two-bedroom average rent: $2,575
Glastonbury is a picturesque town that is often cited among the best places to live in Connecticut. Located along the banks of the Connecticut River, Glastonbury is a hotspot for those who enjoy outdoor activities with a side of upscale suburban life. With a strong job market primarily in healthcare, education and insurance, the town provides a stable economic environment for professionals. When it comes to recreation, whether you’re a fan of farmers markets, antique shops or hiking trails, like those found in Case Mountain, Glastonbury doesn’t disappoint.
Beyond its recreational appeal, Glastonbury makes a lasting impression with its commitment to education. The public schools are among the best in the state, featuring comprehensive curriculums and a wide range of extracurricular activities. A tight-knit community spirit is palpable here, supported by various local events and a bustling town center where residents gather to shop, dine or simply catch up.
Average age: 50.8
Median household income: $60,139
Average commute time: 34.9 minutes
One-bedroom average rent: $1,800
Two-bedroom average rent: $2,650
Madison is a picturesque town that offers its residents the dual joys of beach life and a robust culture. From enjoying water sports like kayaking and paddleboarding to exploring the town’s many boutique shops and cafes, Madison has a little something for everyone. And don’t overlook the cultural richness here: Places like the Scranton Library and the Madison Art Cinemas add layers of activity and entertainment to community life.
Madison also brings practical advantages to the table. Education is a strong suit, with public schools that rank among the top in the state, offering a variety of advanced placement courses and extracurricular activities. From the historic district to the more modern parts of town, the housing market is diverse, providing plentiful options for different lifestyle needs.
Average age: 45.8
Median household income: $129,919
Average commute time: 36 minutes
One-bedroom average rent: $1,850
Two-bedroom average rent: $1,951
If you’re on the hunt for a place that combines New England charm with an air of sophistication, Ridgefield should undoubtedly be on your list of the best places to live in Connecticut. Located near the New York state line, Ridgefield has long been a favored destination for those who desire a serene living environment without sacrificing easy access to the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s the kind of place where historic homes, top-notch schools and swanky boutiques coexist harmoniously. The Ridgefield Playhouse and the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum inject a dose of culture into the community.
When it comes to recreation, Ridgefield does not disappoint. Open spaces like Bennett’s Pond State Park and the Ridgefield Rail Trail offer plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking and nature observation. Families, in particular, find Ridgefield a prime location for settling down, thanks to an excellent public school system and myriad of youth-oriented activities.
Average age: 38.9
Median household income: $74,600
Average commute time: 28.6 minutes
Walk score: 37
Studio average rent: $1,575
One-bedroom average rent: $2,202
Two-bedroom average rent: $2,925
Positioned along the New York-Connecticut border, Danbury stands as a diverse and bustling city, frequently highlighted as one of the best places to live in Connecticut. Known as ‘Hat City’ for its once flourishing hat industry, Danbury is now a hub of commercial activity thanks to Danbury Fair Mall, a variety of restaurants and a lively downtown area.
The city’s employment landscape is as diverse as its population, with opportunities spanning from healthcare to retail to manufacturing and more. Highlights like the Danbury Music Centre and the Danbury Railway Museum add a unique touch to city life, appealing to residents of all ages.
Beyond its commercial and cultural assets, Danbury provides residents with a ton of opportunities to get their hearts pumping. Candlewood Lake, the largest lake in Connecticut, provides a fantastic backdrop for boating, fishing and kicking back under the sun. The city is also home to several parks and trails, perfect for all outdoorsy types. Education is well-covered, too, with public and private schools offering challenging curriculums and well-supported extracurricular programs. Whether you’re interested in renting a modern apartment downtown or purchasing a traditional home in one of its quieter neighborhoods, there’s a place in Danbury for you.
Average age: 44.3
Median household income: $97,951
Average commute time: 25.5 minutes
Walk score: 34
Studio average rent: $1,945
One-bedroom average rent: $2,262
Two-bedroom average rent: $3,045
Boasting 17 miles of coastline along Long Island Sound, Milford brings together the best of seaside living and suburban comfort, easily making it one of the best places to live in Connecticut. This small city with a big heart offers a ton of activities that keep residents engaged year-round. Whether you’re a beach enthusiast, a shopping addict or someone who loves exploring historical sites like the Eells-Stow House, Milford has you covered. The city’s downtown area is a blend of old-school charm and modernity, filled with boutique stores, art galleries and eateries that offer a delightful mix of local and international cuisine.
When it comes to education, Milford doesn’t fall short. The city has excellent public and private schools that make it an attractive destination for families. Moreover, Milford’s well-planned residential areas offer an array of housing options, from cozy beachfront cottages to more expansive homes further inland.
On the employment front, Milford boasts a balanced job market with opportunities in healthcare, education and retail, just to name a few. A sense of community is palpable here, nurtured through yearly events like the Oyster Festival and a strong network of local organizations.
Your Connecticut community is waiting
After exploring a variety of towns and cities, it’s clear that the list of the best places to live in Connecticut is expansive and diverse. Whether you’re seeking the cosmopolitan allure of a bustling city, the tranquil ambiance of a coastal town or the balanced offerings of a suburban community, Connecticut provides a compelling list of options.
Each town featured above offers its unique blend of attributes, from excellent schools and flourishing job markets to open spaces that keep you engaged. Choosing where to live is a personal decision, but one thing is certain: in Connecticut, you’re spoiled for choice.
Ready to find the perfect Connecticut apartment for you? Start your search at Rent.
Disney has a massive global footprint across its theme parks, films and merchandise. And it doesn’t stop there. Among its many offerings is the Disney Cruise Line, whose fleet of five ships sails all over the world.
Family-friendly but with adults-only areas, Disney cruises offer some of the most comprehensive cruise options around. Let’s break down everything there is to know about the Disney Cruise Line, including pricing, destinations and its loyalty program.
About Disney Cruise Line cruises
You can always expect some magic from Disney, and there is no exception when sailing on Disney Cruise Line. Although its fleet is small, it offers a high-end, family-friendly experience for guests. Here’s a quick overview of Disney Cruise Line’s key features.
Cabin types: Disney Cruise Line offers all the usual cabin types, including inside, oceanview, verandah and concierge-level rooms. Disney Cruise Line’s cabins are larger than average and designed for families, with split bathrooms and privacy curtains. Their largest rooms can accommodate up to seven guests.
Main U.S. routes: Disney has several departure points from within the United States, including options from San Diego, New York City, Miami, and Galveston, Texas. However, its most frequent departures are fromPort Canaveral in Brevard County, Florida, to the Bahamas and the Caribbean or from Vancouver, British Columbia to Alaska.
Loyalty program: Disney Cruise Line offers the Castaway Club to repeat guests. It has four membership levels — Silver, Gold, Platinum and Pearl. The first level is earned by completing a single cruise.
Disney Cruise Line destinations
Although Disney currently operates only five ships, the cruise line still manages to cover most of the world. Here are the locations you can currently sail on a Disney cruise:
Disney cruise destinations
Cruises are available in a variety of lengths, from three nights up to 15 nights.
Disney Cruise Line prices
Disney cruises tend to be more expensive than the average cruise. Currently, for example, the cheapest cruise departing from Port Canaveral is a three-night trip to the Bahamas, which costs $1,958 for two guests.
And you’ll pay more to take a “special occasion” Disney cruise. The same three-night Bahamas cruise sailing during Disney’s Silver Anniversary at Sea starts at $2,345 for two guests.
When it comes to timing, standard logic applies. The high season will cost more, especially during holidays and the summer break.
The cheapest rate we found — the previously-mentioned $1,958 — is for a cruise in late January, a time when those with school-aged children might have trouble getting away. Meanwhile, the most expensive period for this cruise takes place over the Christmas holiday and rings in at $3,737 for an inside stateroom.
For all destinations, if you’d like to save money, avoid peak periods and search all available dates to find the lowest rates. This is true even on less popular cruises, such as those sailing up to Alaska.
The cheapest cost for two guests to Alaska from Vancouver is $2,983 in mid-September, while the same cruise will cost you $4,607 if you sail over the Fourth of July holiday.
One-way positioning cruises — that is, those that end in a different location from where they started — are often much cheaper per night than standard round-trip cruises.
Disney cruises are more inclusive than most cruises. You don’t, for example, need to pay extra for soft drinks on a Disney cruise like you would on Norwegian Cruise Line. You’re also entitled to complimentary room service 24/7, unlike on Virgin Voyages, where you’ll be charged a $5 fee for each delivery.
Here are more inclusions you can expect.
Live, high-quality entertainment.
Large staterooms (designed for parties of up to three guests).
Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay (on most Bahamas and Caribbean cruises).
Upscale restaurants, quick-service dining, poolside snacks and room service.
Adults-only lounges and pool areas.
Waterslides (on some ships).
Disney Cruise Line loyalty program: Castaway Club
Disney isn’t known for its loyalty programs. For example, there is no frequent traveler program associated with staying at one of its resorts or frequenting its parks. However, Disney Cruise Line rewards repeat customers with various benefits, including a complimentary specialty dinner, free photo downloads and an exclusive terminal check-in area.
Castaway Club levels
The Castaway Club levels are Silver, Gold, Platinum and Pearl.
How to earn: Sail on one cruise.
Best benefits: Book cruises one day before the general public, online activity planning 90 days before sailing, check in 33 days early, exclusive terminal check-in.
How to earn: Sail on five to nine cruises.
Best benefits: Book cruises two days before the general public, online activity planning 105 days before sailing, check in 35 days early, onboard reception, special discounts.
How to earn: Sail on 10 to 24 cruises.
Best benefits: Book cruises three days before the general public, online activity planning 120 days before sailing, check in 38 days early, complimentary specialty dinner.
How to earn: Sail on 25+ cruises.
Best benefits: Book cruises four days before the general public, online activity planning 123 days before sailing, check in 40 days early, complimentary unlimited digital photo package.
What is the best Disney Cruise Line ship?
The Disney Wish is the newest Disney Cruise Line ship and certainly its best. It just launched in the summer of 2022. Among its many amenities, guests can find the first-ever Disney attraction at sea. It’s a 760-foot water slide filled with show scenes, lighting, music and more that touches down into a lazy river.
The Disney Wish also has dedicated areas themed for “Frozen,” the Marvel Universe and “Star Wars.”
In addition, the Disney Wish has all the regular amenities you’d expect on a Disney cruise, including live entertainment, pools and spacious staterooms.
Frequently asked questions
Does Disney Cruise Line have free Wi-Fi?
Disney Cruise Line does not offer free Wi-Fi. Instead, it has three levels of packages from which to choose:
Stay Connected: $10 per day for the entire cruise or $12 per day for a 24-hour period.
Basic Surf: $20 per day for the entire cruise or $24 per day for a 24-hour period.
Premium Surf: $30 per day for the entire cruise or $36 per day for a 24-hour period.
These packages are available on the Disney Wish, Disney Magic, Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream. The Disney Wonder still operates on the old data-usage Wi-Fi packages.
Is Disney Cruise Line all-inclusive?
Most of your daily expenses, including your food and non-alcoholic beverages, are included when sailing on a Disney cruise. However, if you’d like specialty drinks or alcohol, you’ll need to pay extra. Gratuities are not included, and Disney Cruise Line’s recommended tip is a minimum of $14.50 per guest, per night.
How much is the Disney Cruise Line drink package?
Disney Cruise Line doesn’t offer the standard drink package other cruise lines offer. Drink packages allow you to pay a flat-rate price and drink as much alcohol as you’d like.
Instead, you’ll either pay per drink or purchase bundled quantities onboard. It’s also possible to purchase a specialty beer mug at the pub onboard, which can then be refilled across the ship. Much like Disney’s popcorn buckets, your beer mugs entitle you to cheaper refills on all your beer.
Does Disney Cruise Line require COVID-19 vaccine or test?
In the past, Disney Cruise Line required that you be vaccinated or tested for COVID-19 before sailing, but this is no longer the case. Guests departing from the United States are not required to do either, though the cruise line highly encourages you to get vaccinated before sailing.
(Top photo courtesy of Disney Cruise Line)
How to maximize your rewards
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