55+ communities in New Jersey offer low-maintenance homes, great amenities, and a vibrant retirement lifestyle.

When you think of retirement, you probably think of tropical locales and outdoor adventure, which may not exactly make you think of New Jersey. But contrary to what some might believe, New Jersey has actually become one of the most popular retirement destinations in the US.

To date, there are over 200 active adult communities in New Jersey, and more are popping up all the time. So what is it about The Garden State that has active adults buzzing?

Landscape, Climate, Proximity 

Like any destination, it’s a combination of factors that make New Jersey so appealing to the 55+ crowd. For some, it’s the natural beauty. New Jersey is a large state with a varying landscape.

Transplants may come for the Jersey Shore, where they can get beautiful waterfront property. Others may head for the more heavily forested regions of the state where they can get their own plot of land. Some may be attracted to the more suburban sections of New Jersey. Whatever your personal taste is, there’s something for you.

New Jersey is also centrally located along the East Coast, making travel to see nearby family or tour other large cities a breeze. New York City is just a short drive or train ride away, and Baltimore and Washington, D.C. are also a manageable trip away.

For retirees with family on the East Coast, this kind of convenience may win over warmer destinations. For those who aren’t seeking out the warmth of destinations like Florida, New Jersey is perfect because the climate gives residents all four seasons.

Tax Benefits

Aside from proximity to family, though, by far the biggest draw of retiring to New Jersey is the tax benefits the state offers its retirees. Kiplinger named New Jersey one of its top tax-friendly states for retirement, and for good reason. The state offers a wide variety of tax cuts to the 55+ crowd.

First and foremost, New Jersey lets residents aged 62 or better exclude up to $20,000 of their private-pension income from their taxes, assuming their annual income is $100,000 or less. Additionally, New Jersey is one of a few US states that doesn't tax residents on their Social Security funds.

These benefits can really add up. Saving a few extra thousand dollars a year on taxes can mean the ability to afford a larger home, more trips to see the grandkids, or even a golf membership to better spend all that extra time you’ll have on your hands as a retiree.

So next time you’re planning your dream retirement, look past the traditional locations and try New Jersey. Your bank account will thank you!