Ocean County in Southern New Jersey has been a popular retirement destination for active adults who enjoy a four-season climate, exciting recreational activities, and easy access to big cities nearby.
Ideally situated along 44 miles of the scenic Jersey Shore, Ocean County is a prime coastal location for Baby Boomers who want to live near beautiful sandy beaches with Atlantic Ocean breezes while enjoying a diverse selection of entertainment and attraction options. Ocean County is home to oceanfront boardwalk resorts like Point Pleasant Beach and Seaside Heights, not to mention well-known New Jersey towns like Toms River, Little Egg Harbor, Brick, Barnegat, Manchester, Whiting, and Lakewood.
Four Season Climate
Active adults who want to experience all four seasons will enjoy living in Southern New Jersey’s Ocean County. The area’s average temperatures range from the low 20s in winter months to high 80s at the height of summer. Towns closer to the coast will experience milder winters and cooler summers. Boomers can delight in the scenic views that the changing seasons offer, from crisp fall foliage to fresh winter snow to blossoming spring flowers.
Ocean County’s location along the Atlantic Coast also provides opportunities for endless outdoor recreation and attractions. The popular oceanfront beaches and boardwalks are constantly buzzing with locals and tourists year round. Seaside Heights offers great beaches for water activities like swimming, riverboat sightseeing, surfing, and scuba diving as well as fun events and entertainment like the Polar Bear Plunge, Palm Sunday Egg Hunt, Annual Easter Parade, and Fourth of July Fireworks Extravaganza.
Jenkinson’s Boardwalk hosts plenty of dining and shopping options as well as recreation like arcades, batting cages, mini golf, and an aquarium. Brick and Long Beach Island offer exciting and interactive pirate sailing excursions that are perfect for when the grandkids visit. Ocean County’s Department of Parks & Recreation also provides more than four thousand acres of land, which includes 20 parks, four conservation areas, and two golf courses.
Another major appeal for retirees is Ocean County’s proximity to urban cities. Ocean County is just 50 miles east of Philadelphia, 70 miles south of New York City, and 25 miles north of Atlantic City, making it an ideal destination for active adults who want convenient access to big-city amenities, nightlife, and cultural attractions.
In addition to outdoor recreation and water activities, the area is also home to numerous museums, theaters, music and performance venues, and art galleries. Retirees can visit Toms River Seaport Museum, Ocean County Historical Society, Barnegat Light Museum for a cultural night out. They can also check out exhibits at the Strand Center for the Arts or Grunin Center Art Gallery or watch a performance at the Albert Music Hall or Garden State Philharmonic.
Although New Jersey has high state and property taxes, it does offer some tax breaks for retirees living in Ocean County. The state’s moderately tax-friendly environment does not tax Social Security income and withdrawals from retirement accounts are partially taxed. Pension incomes (both public and private) are also partially taxed. According to SmartAsset.com, average home prices in Ocean County are in the low $300s and are reasonable when compared to other counties in New Jersey.
Active Adult Communities
Ocean County offers a wide selection of active adult communities that range from quaint 55+ neighborhoods with small-town charm to larger and established age-restricted communities with resort-style amenities. Holiday City at Berkeley is a 10,000+ home development that has affordable resale homes priced from below $100k to the low $300s and offers multiple clubhouses and recreational facilities.
Leisure Village is another great and established 55-plus community that was named as one of the 2016 Best Places to Retire in New Jersey by Niche. Retirees seeking new construction can find innovative home designs and superb amenities at Four Seasons at South Knolls in Jackson or The Fairways at Lake Ridge in Lakewood. Ocean County’s coastal setting, fun attractions, and proximity to popular urban cities are what makes this region an attractive retirement destination for active adults.