Retiring in New Jersey
This article will take you through the main things you need to consider if you are retiring in New Jersey.
New Jersey, located on the east coast of the United States, is a popular retirement destination for many Americans seeking a diverse and dynamic environment with access to outdoor activities, cultural events, and a moderate climate. With its stunning coastline, mountains, and bustling cities, New Jersey offers a unique retirement experience that attracts many retirees every year. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2020, New Jersey had a population of approximately 9.2 million people, with over 16% of the population being over the age of 65, making it one of the top states with a large retirement population.
What age can you retire in New Jersey?
Like many states, New Jersey has no specific retirement age that is mandated by law. This means that individuals are free to retire whenever they choose, as long as they are able to financially support themselves. However, there are some age-related benefits and considerations for retirees in New Jersey:
Social Security benefits: The earliest age at which you can begin receiving Social Security benefits is 62, but if you delay taking benefits, your monthly payments will increase. Full retirement age (FRA) is between 66 and 67, depending on your birth year. Delaying benefits until after FRA can result in even higher monthly payments.
Medicare eligibility: Medicare eligibility begins at age 65, regardless of retirement status. However, if you choose to retire before age 65, you will need to find alternative healthcare coverage until you become eligible for Medicare.
Age discrimination: It is illegal for employers to discriminate against employees or job applicants based on age.
Retirement savings: Regardless of retirement age, it is important for individuals to start saving for retirement as early as possible. Many financial experts recommend saving at least 15% of your income for retirement.
However, like any location, there are both pros and cons to retiring in the state.
Why do people retire to New Jersey?
Diverse environment: New Jersey is known for its diversity, from its bustling cities to its scenic natural areas. Retirees can enjoy living in a diverse environment that offers plenty of opportunities for exploration and cultural experiences.
Moderate climate: New Jersey's climate varies greatly depending on the region, but many areas have a moderate climate with mild winters and warm summers. This makes it an attractive destination for retirees who want to avoid harsh weather conditions.
Outdoor activities: New Jersey is home to numerous state parks, forests, and beaches, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, and boating.
Cultural scene: New Jersey has a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, galleries, and performing arts venues. The state hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, including the Atlantic City Airshow, the New Jersey Seafood Festival, and the Montclair Jazz Festival.
What puts people off retiring to New Jersey?
Cost of living: New Jersey's cost of living is generally higher than the national average, which could be a concern for retirees on a fixed income. Housing and healthcare costs, in particular, are higher than in many other states.
Traffic: New Jersey is known for its heavy traffic, particularly in and around the major cities of Newark, Jersey City, and Trenton.
Natural disasters: New Jersey is prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes, flooding, and winter storms, which could be a concern for retirees living in certain areas.
Best places to retire in New Jersey
If New Jersey is your chosen retirement state, here are some of the best places to retire in:
Princeton: Located in central New Jersey, Princeton is a historic town with a rich cultural scene. It is home to Princeton University, which offers a range of educational and cultural opportunities for retirees. The town also has a vibrant downtown area with many restaurants, shops, and entertainment options.
Cape May: This coastal town in southern New Jersey is known for its beautiful beaches, historic architecture, and quaint bed and breakfasts. Retirees can enjoy a laid-back lifestyle with access to water activities, fishing, and boating.
Montclair: This northern New Jersey town is a popular destination for retirees due to its proximity to New York City and diverse cultural scene. The town offers a variety of dining and shopping options, as well as easy access to outdoor recreation areas such as Eagle Rock Reservation.
Toms River: This coastal town in central New Jersey is known for its scenic waterfront and outdoor recreation options. Retirees can enjoy boating, fishing, and hiking, as well as easy access to nearby attractions such as Six Flags Great Adventure.
Princeton Junction: Located in Mercer County, this suburban town is a great option for retirees looking for a quiet, residential lifestyle with easy access to nearby amenities. It is located near the city of Princeton and offers a variety of shopping and dining options, as well as access to public transportation.
Lambertville: This charming town located in Hunterdon County offers a quaint downtown area with art galleries, antique shops, and restaurants. Retirees can enjoy a relaxed lifestyle with easy access to outdoor recreation areas such as the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park.
Ocean City: This family-friendly coastal town located in southern New Jersey is known for its beautiful beaches, boardwalk, and amusement parks. Retirees can enjoy a variety of recreational activities, including fishing, boating, and golfing.
In conclusion, New Jersey offers a variety of options for retirees, with something to suit every lifestyle and preference. Whether you prefer a coastal town or a suburban community, there are many great places to retire in the Garden State but potential retirees should be prepared for a higher cost of living. It's important to seek expert financial advice to weigh up all of the costs associated with retiring in New Jersey, including property taxes, insurance, and living expenses, in order to make an informed decision about whether the state is the right choice for your retirement.
Kate has written for leading publications and blue chip companies over the last 20 years.