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Best Places to Retire in NJ ⭐ | Guide to Retiring in New Jersey + New Jersey Retirement Taxes

Are you thinking about retiring in NJ? There’s a lot to love about New Jersey retirement, from the gorgeous beaches and walkable retirement towns of the Jersey Shore to the state’s many highly-rated golf courses, state parks, forests, and nature preserves. Many towns and retirement communities in New Jersey offer benefits like dedicated senior services departments, free local public transportation, and free beach wheelchairs for those in need, which make retirement living easy and worry-free.

Here’s an overview of what you should know about retirement in New Jersey and the six best places to retire in NJ for any budget! Once you have found the community you want to call home, our senior movers are here to help with full-service moving solutions.

Is New Jersey a Good Place to Retire?

New Jersey is usually ranked one of the worst states to retire – although cost of living and home prices are heavily weighted. For seniors looking for affordable retirement living, New Jersey won’t be high on the list, as a general rule. However, there are many communities where you can enjoy affordability if you want to stay in the state! If affordability isn’t your biggest priority, New Jersey may be perfect for you, especially if you don’t find hot summers in the south or rural areas with limited amenities very appealing.

Bankrate ranked New Jersey #32, with Iowa, Delaware, and West Virginia claiming the top three spots. Affordability was weighed the heaviest, but overall well-being, weather, crime, and the quality and cost of healthcare were also considered.

WalletHub, meanwhile, ranked New Jersey #49 out of 50 across 47 metrics like affordability, quality of life, cost of in-home services, taxes, museums and theaters per capita, and senior-friendly labor market. They placed Virginia, Florida, and Colorado at the top of the list.

New Jersey Taxes for Retirees

High taxes are the biggest reason New Jersey ranks poorly for retirees. It has one of the country’s highest income tax and property tax rates. Here’s an overview of what to expect tax-wise when retiring in New Jersey.

Property taxes vary significantly by municipality and country, but the average property tax rate is 2.23% of the home’s assessed value. The average property tax bill was $9,490 in New Jersey in 2022 with some homeowners paying an average of $24,000 in certain towns.

Municipalities with very low property taxes include:

  • Camden ($1,943)
  • Trenton ($3,431)
  • Winfield Township ($3,983)
  • Manchester Township ($4,439)
  • Atlantic City ($4,640)

The New Jersey sales tax rate is 6.625%. There are no local sales taxes in the state.

New Jersey income tax ranges from 1.4% to 10.75, with seven tax brackets for singles and eight brackets for joint filers. Pension, annuity, IRA, and 401(k) withdrawals are taxable with just a few exceptions. Seniors who are 62 and older or residents with a disability who have total income of $150,000 or less can exclude all or a portion of their retirement income.

Social Security benefits are not taxed in New Jersey. Investment income is usually taxed as regular income.

Best Places to Retire in NJ

Ready to discover where to retire in NJ to fit your budget and lifestyle? Here are six of the best communities for NJ retirees, whether you’re looking for affordable New Jersey retirement communities or beachfront living at its best.

Holiday City at Berkeley – One of the Largest 55+ Retirement Communities in NJ

If your vision of retirement in New Jersey includes owning your own home while benefiting from amenities and activities for active adults, you’ll love Holiday City at Berkeley. It’s one of the largest New Jersey retirement communities, with more than 10,000 homes across multiple neighborhoods. Each neighborhood has its own clubhouse, HOA, social clubs, and schedule of activities and events.

Holiday City at Berkeley covers nine large communities like Holiday City Carefree, Holiday City Heights, Holiday City West, and Silver Ridge Park Westerly.

Holiday City at Berkeley is one of the best places to retire in New Jersey if you’re looking for affordable homeownership and great amenities for retirees. The median home price is $288,000 to $360,000, depending on the neighborhood.

Little Egg Harbor – Best Place to Retire in NJ on the Jersey Shore for Outdoor Recreation

It’s easy to see what makes Little Egg Harbor such an attractive choice for seniors retiring in New Jersey. Nestled along New Jersey’s largest bay and surrounded by Bass River State Forest and wetland preserves, Little Egg Harbor is a dream come true for active adults and outdoor enthusiasts.

Little Egg Harbor offers the best recreation with clamming and crabbing, swimming, boating, fishing, golfing, camping, and hiking within reach. There are also several country clubs, outdoor centers, and wildlife areas to explore.

About 28% of people living in Little Egg Harbor are 65 and older. The median home price is $354,000, with taxes lower than nearby towns on the bay. One of the most desirable neighborhoods is Mystic Islands, a planned waterfront community with small bungalows, retirement homes, and luxury homes. The community is built around man-made lagoons with easy access to fishing in the bay.

Seniors may also appreciate Cranberry Creek Estates, a 55+ community in Little Egg Harbor with newer homes. Most homes have screened porches with two or three bedrooms. The modest HOA fee covers snow and leaf removal, lawn care, and amenities like a clubhouse, heated pool, and fitness center.

Lambertville – Quint, Walkable Retirement Town & Quiet LGBTQ-Friendly Tourist Destination

Part of the Greater Philadelphia or Delaware Valley area, Lambertville is a small city known for its charming and walkable downtown area. Lambertville is New Jersey’s antiques capital, with small antique shops, boutiques, restaurants, and bed and breakfasts lining its picturesque streets. Popular with artists, it’s home to many art galleries and the Rago Art auction house.  Part of the draw of Lambertville is it retains a lot of the charm and style of its roots from the 18th and 19th centuries with many beautifully restored homes.

Lambertville has become a popular gay-friendly tourist destination thanks to its outdoor activities, shopping, and laid-back atmosphere. It’s also a great place for affluent retirees looking for a walkable, quiet town where there’s always something to do.

Manchester Township – Best Place to Retire in NJ on a Budget

About 49% of the 45,000 people living in Manchester Township are 65 and older. Why? Because it’s the best place to retire in New Jersey on a budget while staying close to the beach. Manchester is frequently ranked the top place to retire in NJ by Forbes thanks to its low crime, air quality, high number of physicians per resident, median home prices, and more.

The median home price in Manchester Township is just $212,000 in part due to the large number of age-restricted retirement communities like:

  • Renaissance at Manchester: More than 1,900 homes built between 1997 and 2007 with an 18-hole golf course, an arts and crafts studio, 30,000 SQ FT clubhouse, and many clubs and activities.
  • Leisure Village West: A gated golf course community and one of the largest retirement communities in Ocean County with 2,600 homes ranging from the $100s to $300s.
  • Leisure Knoll: A gated active adult community with 1,600 homes built between 1973 and 1999.

Golfing isn’t all Manchester has to offer; the area has many museums, the Popcorn Park Animal Refuge, dozens of parks and recreation centers, and beaches just minutes away. With its large senior population, Manchester Township has a dedicated Manchester Senior Services Department, which helps residents with information and assistance on everything from transportation to prescription drug programs.

Manchester has one of the lowest property tax rates in New Jersey. In 2022, the average homeowner paid $4,439 – lower than any other Ocean County municipality!

Surf City – Ranked One of the Best Towns to Retire in NJ for Beach Lovers

Surf City is one of several communities on Long Beach Island or LBI. It’s home to about 1,200 people, half of whom are seniors. Surf City boasts a close-knit community with many year-round retirees and summer residents who enjoy the best lifestyle the Jersey Shore has to offer. It’s been named the best small town for retirement in NJ!

You’ll love the walkable town packed with art galleries, gift shops, boutiques, bookshops, restaurants, and fresh seafood. If you love getting out on the water, members of the Surf City Yacht Club enjoy social activities and sailing on Barnegat Bay, and the borough is home to the full-service Surf City Marina.

You can easily get around the island with the LBI Shuttle, which provides free service every 5-20 minutes along Long Beach Boulevard.

Best of all, you’ll find Surf City beaches are some of the most beautiful on LBI and very accessible. The borough offers free ADA beach wheelchairs available for rent and the ADA Gator Program to help physically challenged beachgoers get over the dunes to the beach. Surf City residents 65 and older don’t need to buy beach badges either!

Long Beach Township – Best NJ Shore Towns to Live in Year-Round

Long Beach Township, or LBT, is the largest municipality on Long Beach Island. While Surf City is known more for shopping, dining, and surfing, Long Beach Township is a larger tourist destination with many cool, small sections to explore. You’ll enjoy fantastic beachfront retirement living in New Jersey with the best LBI beaches and attractions right outside your door.

LBT is divided into many sections, like Spray Beach, Loveladies, Holgate, and High Bar Harbor. Home to 3,100 year-round residents, the population swells to up to 130,000 every summer with tourists and part-time residents. Beach Haven is the largest community with many attractions like the New Jersey Maritime Museum, live performances at Surflight Theatre, Schooner’s Wharf, and Bay Village with small shops and eateries.

Ship Bottom Beach is popular with visitors of all ages. Bring the extended family out for swimming, sunbathing, and fun with a playground with tube slides for the kids. When the grandkids visit in the summer, Fantasy Island is right around the corner with carnival rides and games.

You’ll find many other cultural and recreational attractions in LBT, like Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, one of the most important navigational spots for ships leaving and entering the New York Harbor.

Long Beach Township is an affluent New Jersey retirement destination with a median home price of $1.5 million. About 40% of the population is 65 and older, with a median age of 61.

Map of the Best Places to Retire in NJ

Are you ready for retiring in NJ and enjoying the state’s best parks, beaches, and amenities at your leisure? The full-service New Jersey movers at Harrington Moving & Storage are here to help you settle into retirement without the stress. We can help with every aspect of your move from packing and unpacking to storage, furniture assembly, and more. Give us a call today for a free moving estimate to get started!

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As one of the leaders in the New Jersey and New York moving and storage industry, we strive to ensure the satisfaction of our customers. Our goal is to move, or store, your things efficiently and effectively with the utmost professionalism. In fact, Harrington Moving & Storage has been one of the top movers in the New Jersey moving and storage industry since 1996.
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