Summer view of Fourth Creek in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Monmouth County has a lot to offer budget-minded active adults.

Monmouth County is a great place for retirees who want to stay in the Northeast but live near the coastline. It offers easy access to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, plus getting to New York City or Philadelphia is very doable especially if you use public transportation.

For active adults who don’t like getting sand between their toes, there's much more to do here throughout the year. To start with, there are 15 public golf courses, including Knob Hill in Manalapan and Bel-Aire in Wall Township. There's one national park, Gateway Recreation Area, plus three state parks and several county ones. Or you can take your grandchildren to Six Flags Great Adventure, visit Monmouth Battlefield State Park, or see a show at the Algonquin Arts Theatre.

This region is no slouch when it comes to good healthcare, either. Some of the county’s top-performers include Hackensack Meridian Health Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel and RWJBarnabas Health – Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, or you can drive into Middlesex County to visit Robert Wood Johnson Hospital. And since New Jersey is known for its shopping malls, you can expect to find some here in Monmouth. Some favorites include Freehold Raceway Mall and the Jersey Shore Outlets in Tinton Falls.

This county is easy to get around in, offers great leisure time opportunities, boasts excellent medical organizations, and has more shopping than you’ll ever need. It doesn’t get much better than this, but if you want to retire in Monmouth County, knowing what kind of home meets your budget is important. If you can swing $250k, there are several large active adult communities that fall into this price range. Here are three for you to consider.

Shadow Lake Village - Red Bank, NJ

Low $100s - Mid $300s

Shadow Lake Village homeowners reap all the benefits of having resort-like amenities in their neighborhood. This gated community has its own 9-hole golf course, a fishing and boating lake, and walking trails on the grounds. The community clubhouse has bocce ball, shuffleboard, and tennis courts, plus an indoor fitness center, sauna, and multi-purpose room. There’s also a community bus, so residents don’t have to bother with driving.

Some of the most well-attended activity groups here include gardening club, pet club, golf club, and book club. Friends also get together and head into Downtown Red Bank, a charming village on the banks of the Navesink River. It's known far and wide for its fine restaurants, nightlife, cinema, the Count Basie Theatre, farmers markets, and special holiday events. Surrounding area attractions include Monmouth Beach and Navesink Country Club.

This active adult neighborhood was built with 952 attached homes, and it has 14 resale models. They range from 909 to 1,391 square feet with one to two bedrooms, one to two bathrooms, and either garages or parking spots. Extras include screened-in porches, patios, and dens, and the reasonable homeowners’ association (HOA) fee covers snow and trash removal, landscaping, and the community shuttle.

Learn more information about Shadow Lake Village here.

The Villages - Howell, NJ

Low $100s - High $200s

The Villages NJ also features attached homes, and it's situated mere minutes from Route 9 in Howell. Its residents relish their social activities such as Friendship Club, Bookworms, aerobics class, and day trips, to name a few. There’s also a community bus for errands and trips, and the neighborhood is across the way from the Manasquan Reservoir, where you can go boating, fishing, and hiking.

Inside the private clubhouse, there’s a hobby and game room, a ballroom, a woodworking shop, and a fitness center. Outdoor amenities include a swimming pool, shuffleboard and bocce ball courts, and walking trails. Fees are covered by the HOA, which also provides for trash and snow removal, lawn care, and exterior maintenance.

This popular community has 670 resale attached homes with six floor plans, ranging from 952 to 1,545 square feet with one to two bedrooms, one to two bathrooms, and attached one-car garages. They're grouped into two or four units within 165 buildings, and all have electric heat and central air-conditioning. Options include sunrooms, stainless steel appliances, and updated bathrooms.

Learn more information about The Villages NJ here.

Surrey Downs - Freehold, NJ

Mid $100s - Mid $200s

If you’re in the market for a well-priced single-family home, Surrey Downs offers a dozen floor plans and a homeowners’ association to take care of maintenance for you. The monthly HOA fees provide for lawn care and landscaping, plus trash and snow removal, common area and exterior maintenance, and services like the community bus.

The community clubhouse has a catering kitchen and a ballroom for events and meetings, along with a fitness center (Jacuzzi included!) and activity rooms. During the warmer months, you can find residents outside playing tennis, shuffleboard, or bocce ball, unless they're swimming and hanging out at the outdoor pool. Added activities include the men’s club, yoga, travel club, ceramics, and discussion groups.

The floor plans are sized from 760 to 1,383 square feet with one to two bedrooms and one or two bathrooms. Most come with garages, and options include lofts, patios, decks, enclosed porches, upgraded kitchens, and Florida rooms. Surrey Downs is located in the northern part of Howell, on the border of Freehold Township. In addition to being near the Freehold Mall, it's close to Freehold Raceway, and it's less than half an hour from Asbury Park.

Learn more information about Surrey Downs here.