Active adults looking to downsize should consider these 55+ communities in Southern New Jersey.

Home to over 130 active adult communities, Southern New Jersey is among the most popular retirement destinations on the East Coast. It has seven counties: Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem. Some counties are closer to the coastline, and many 55+ homeowners choose to live here for close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. Others are closer to Philadelphia and all its big-city attractions.

No matter your preference, there are plenty of options that meet the need for downsizing. Having a more manageable home and/or a lower mortgage payment translates into extra time for things you like, such as traveling, spending time with grandchildren, or golfing. Many retirees also downsize to Southern New Jersey real estate and buy or rent a second home in a warmer climate. This is how snowbirds are born; they spend summers in New Jersey, then sprout their wings and spend winters in Florida.

Here are five South Jersey active adult neighborhoods that offer downsizing options.

1. The Village at Linwood - Linwood, NJ

Low $100s - Mid $100s

If you want to simplify your life, a condo at The Village at Linwood may fit your bill. This gated active adult neighborhood was completed in 1990 with 188 resale condos and resort-style amenities. There are several floor plans from 950 to 1,700 square feet with two to three bedrooms and bathrooms as well as two parking spaces for each condo. Some also have upgrades like cathedral ceilings and gas fireplaces. A monthly homeowners’ association (HOA) fee covers snow removal, cable, water, sewer, and landscaping.

Residents can be found spending quality time at the community clubhouse, which has tennis and shuffleboard, an outdoor pool, and a comfortable lounge. It takes about 30 minutes to drive to seashore towns like Atlantic City, where you will also find the closest international airport.

2. Woodland Village - Absecon, NJ

Below $100K - Mid $100s

Like The Village at Linwood, Woodland Village is also in Atlantic County, but it's smaller with just 108 resale condos finished in 2007. The seven models offer two bedrooms and bathrooms, luxury master suites, porches or balconies, extra storage space, and either a garage or parking spot. Upgrades may include hardwood floors, wall-to-wall carpeting, and ceiling fans. Also, the reasonable HOA fee covers certain community services.

Woodland Village’s clubhouse has an outdoor pool and patio, an exercise room, a catering kitchen, and a banquet room. It's the perfect gathering place for holiday parties, book club, and game nights. This 55+ neighborhood is also just minutes from Absecon Bay a haven for fishing and boating, and Atlantic City is only 10 miles away.

3. RiverWinds - West Deptford, NJ

High $100s - High $200s

Drive about an hour northwest of Absecon and you'll run into the town of West Deptford and one of its main attractions, RiverWinds. Built from 2001 through 2005 right by the Delaware River, this 55+ development has 355 resale condo and single-family homes as well as year-round recreational activities.

The 88 Pelican Place condo units come in two floor plans at 1,512 or 1,592 square feet with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and lot parking. The affordable single-family homes come in 12 models, ranging from 1,113 to about 2,500 square feet with one to three bedrooms, one-and-a-half to three baths, and attached garages. Some have features like sunrooms, eat-in kitchens, and patios, and a reasonable HOA fee provides for trash, snow removal, and lawn care.

Part of this intriguing package is the RiverWinds Community Center, which is right next door and open to all ages. It has a restaurant, two gyms, an indoor track, swimming pools, a rock-climbing wall, a senior center, a fireplace lounge, and activity rooms. Outdoors, you can find another pool, an amphitheater, a kayak launch, and the 18-Hole RiverWinds Golf Club.

4. The Renaissance Club - Mt. Laurel, NJ

Below $100K - High $100s

Burlington County’s The Renaissance Club is a popular, established active adult community with 500 condo and attached homes. The cozy condo units are sized at either 900 or 1,000 square-feet with one or two bedrooms and bathrooms as well as assigned parking spots. The attached villa models range from 1,100 and 1,200 square-feet with two bedrooms, one or two baths, and assigned parking. Some have upgrades like sliding glass doors, modern appliances, walk-in closets, and private balconies. The monthly HOA fee includes snow removal, lawn care, and exterior building maintenance.

The community clubhouse offers homeowners a refreshing outdoor pool, bocce and tennis courts, and a welcoming multi-purpose room for events and group activities. Air travelers can make the 20-minute drive to Philadelphia International Airport, and there's also an Amtrak stop at 30th Street Station in Philly. Daily errands are made easy, since Renaissance is just off the Route 38 corridor, which has numerous grocery stores, hair salons, fitness centers, banks, medical offices, and pharmacies.

5. Parke Place - Sewell, NJ

Low $100s - Mid $200s

Sewell is close to Philadelphia (30 miles), and it's a haven for active adults who appreciate convenient shopping, great golf (check out Pitman Golf Course), and well-priced homes. Out of the three communities we have listed in this town, Parke Place is the most affordable with 406 resale condo and single-family homes completed in 2003.

The Garden Condominium units range from 1,353 to 1,436 square feet with two bedrooms and bathrooms, balconies or patios, and lot parking. There are also a limited number of single-family homes, which range from 1,308 to 2,268 square feet with two to three bedrooms and bathrooms as well as an attached one- or two-car garage. Some homes include sunrooms, patios, and dens.

The HOA fee includes lawn care, snow removal, and common area maintenance. Parke Place’s vibrant clubhouse has desirable amenities like an outdoor pool, bocce and tennis, a fitness center, and game rooms.