The Best Places to Retire in New Jersey

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By the CBBCNJ Team

Last updated on

New Jersey, known as the Garden State, offers a diverse range of options for retirees. From charming small towns to bustling urban centers, there is something for everyone looking to enjoy their golden years. To help you make an informed decision on where to retire in this beautiful state, we have compiled a list of some of the best places to consider. Factors such as affordability, healthcare options, and quality of life were taken into account when selecting these top locations.

Best Coastal Retirement Destinations in New Jersey

For those who dream of spending their retirement by the sea, New Jersey’s coast offers several excellent options. With miles of sandy beaches, scenic boardwalks, and a wide array of recreational activities, these coastal communities are perfect for retirees seeking a relaxing and active lifestyle.

Cape May

Known for its Victorian charm and picturesque beaches, Cape May is a popular destination for retirees. The historic town offers a quaint atmosphere with plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities, from attending events at the local theater to joining in on bird-watching excursions. Additionally, the proximity to the Cape May-Lewes Ferry makes it easy for residents to travel to Delaware for even more exploration possibilities.

Point Pleasant Beach

If you prefer a lively beach town with a family-friendly atmosphere, Point Pleasant Beach might be the ideal location for your retirement. This popular tourist destination features a beautiful boardwalk filled with shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Retirees can also enjoy various water-based activities, such as boating, fishing, and swimming.

Top Small Towns for Retirement in New Jersey

Small towns often provide a tight-knit community feel and a slower pace of life that many retirees find appealing. New Jersey boasts several charming small towns that offer an excellent quality of life for those looking to settle down in their retirement years.

Haddonfield

Located just 10 miles from Philadelphia, Haddonfield is a historic town with tree-lined streets, beautiful parks, and a bustling downtown area filled with shops, eateries, and galleries. The town’s commitment to preserving its rich history can be seen through its well-maintained colonial homes and landmarks. With a strong sense of community and ample opportunities for socialization, Haddonfield is an ideal place to retire for those seeking a small-town atmosphere with easy access to urban amenities.

Lambertville

Situated on the banks of the Delaware River, Lambertville offers retirees a picturesque setting and a vibrant arts scene. The town is known for its antique shops, art galleries, and scenic riverfront park, making it a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike. Additionally, the nearby Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park provides ample opportunities for walking, biking, and bird-watching.

Best Urban Locations for Retirement in New Jersey

For those who crave city living in their retirement years, New Jersey has several urban locations that provide diverse cultural experiences, excellent healthcare facilities, and various transportation options that make getting around a breeze.

Princeton

Home to the prestigious Princeton University, this college town offers retirees a stimulating intellectual environment along with a wide range of cultural attractions. From attending lectures and concerts to visiting the renowned Princeton University Art Museum, there are endless opportunities for enrichment and entertainment in this charming town. In addition, the comprehensive healthcare services available through the Princeton HealthCare System make it an ideal location for retirees concerned about their medical needs.

Red Bank

This vibrant town on the Navesink River provides retirees with an urban atmosphere combined with a riverfront setting. Red Bank boasts a lively arts scene, including the historic Count Basie Theatre and Two River Theater Company, as well as numerous restaurants, shops, and galleries in its downtown area. The town also offers multiple parks and waterfront areas perfect for leisurely walks or picnics by the river.

Affordability and Budget Considerations When Retiring in New Jersey

While New Jersey is known for having a relatively high cost of living, there are still many affordable options available for retirees, especially when considering factors such as housing costs, taxes, and healthcare expenses.

  1. Look for towns with lower property taxes: Some areas of New Jersey have more favorable property tax rates than others. Researching and comparing property taxes in different locations can help you find a retirement destination that suits your budget. We strongly suggest you read this article on what to do before buying a property in NJ.
  2. Consider a 55+ community: These age-restricted communities often offer smaller homes or condominiums designed specifically for seniors, which may be more affordable than traditional housing options. Additionally, these communities typically provide various amenities and activities tailored to the needs and interests of retirees.
  3. Take advantage of senior discounts: Many businesses, attractions, and transportation services across New Jersey offer discounted rates for seniors. Taking advantage of these deals can help stretch your retirement budget further.

As we just saw, with its plethora of recreational activities, rich history, and scenic beauty, New Jersey is an ideal location for retirees. But before you pack your bags and say hello to your golden years, there are some essential things you must know about retiring in New Jersey.

Taxes and Financial Considerations

New Jersey has a reputation for being a high-tax state, which can impact your retirement budget. Understanding how the tax system works and planning accordingly can help you make the most out of your retirement savings. Let’s look at some key tax aspects:

Income Tax

New Jersey does have a graduated income tax system, with rates ranging from 1.4% to 10.75%. However, the good news is that social security benefits are not taxed in New Jersey. Additionally, if you are 62 or older and have a gross income of $100,000 or less, you may also qualify for a pension exclusion, which allows you to exclude up to $75,000 of your pension and other retirement income from state income taxes.

Property Tax

Property taxes in New Jersey are among the highest in the nation. If you own a home in the state, be prepared to pay a significant amount in property taxes. However, there are some property tax relief programs available for seniors who meet certain income requirements, such as the Homestead Benefit Program and the Senior Freeze program.

Sales Tax

The general sales tax rate in New Jersey is 6.625%. However, some items are exempt or taxed at a reduced rate, such as prescription medications, certain types of foods, and clothing.

Healthcare and Long-term Care Costs

As you age, healthcare costs can become a significant part of your retirement budget. New Jersey offers various health insurance options for retirees, including Medicare, Medigap policies, and long-term care insurance. It’s essential to research the available options and choose a plan that best suits your needs and budget.

Long-term care costs in New Jersey can be quite high, so it’s crucial to take them into account when planning your retirement budget.

Medicare and Supplemental Insurance Options

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for individuals aged 65 and older. Original Medicare consists of Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). You may also choose to purchase a Medigap policy, which helps cover some out-of-pocket expenses not covered by Original Medicare. Another option is to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C), which often includes additional benefits like dental, vision, and prescription drug coverage.

Finding the Perfect Retirement Community

If you’re considering moving to a retirement community in New Jersey, there are many factors to consider beyond just location and amenities. Here are some essential aspects to keep in mind:

Affordability

Retirement communities can range from modestly priced to upscale luxury options. Determine your budget beforehand and research communities within your price range.

Healthcare and Support Services

As you age, having access to quality healthcare and support services is crucial. Look for communities that offer on-site healthcare facilities, easy access to local hospitals and medical centers, and a range of support services such as meal preparation and housekeeping.

Lifestyle and Activities

Your retirement years should be filled with activities and hobbies that bring you joy. Research the available social, cultural, and recreational opportunities offered by each community to ensure they align with your interests and preferences.

New Jersey’s Four Distinct Seasons

Living in New Jersey gives you the opportunity to experience all four seasons throughout the year. While this can be a refreshing change for some retirees, it also means preparing for cold winters and hot, humid summers. Keep these factors in mind when choosing where to live in the state and ensuring your home is well-insulated and energy-efficient.

Other Top Destinations for Retirees in New Jersey not mentioned above

New Jersey is home to numerous charming towns and cities that are ideal for retirement living. Here are a two other popular options to consider:

  • Montclair: Located just outside New York City, Montclair boasts a thriving downtown area with diverse shopping, dining, and entertainment options.
  • Ocean City: Another popular beach destination, Ocean City features a scenic boardwalk, pristine beaches, and numerous recreational activities.

With proper planning and preparation, retiring in New Jersey can be a fulfilling and enjoyable experience. Take the time to research your financial options, healthcare costs, retirement communities, and local amenities to ensure your golden years are everything you’ve dreamed of and more.

This state offers a wide range of options for retirees seeking a diverse array of lifestyles – from coastal relaxation to small-town charm and bustling urban environments. By carefully considering factors such as location, budget, and personal preferences, you can find the perfect retirement destination in the Garden State.