Essex County, NJ 55+ Active Adult Retirement Communities

The Essex County, NJ area offers a mix of suburban tranquility and urban convenience, with easy access to various amenities and cultural attractions. The region features a temperate climate, providing residents with distinct seasons and a rich natural landscape. The community spirit and local activities contribute to a welcoming atmosphere, making it an appealing choice for 55+ active adults looking for a vibrant and fulfilling retirement experience.

The Essex County, NJ area offers a mix of suburban tranquility and urban convenience, with easy access to various amenities and cultural attractions. The region features a temperate climate, providing residents with distinct seasons and a rich natural landscape. The community spirit and local activities contribute to a welcoming atmosphere, making it an appealing choice for 55+ active adults looking for a vibrant and fulfilling retirement experience.

Newark, the largest city in Essex County, is a cultural hub with a mix of historic and modern architecture, diverse dining options, and entertainment venues. Montclair, known for its artistic flair, features boutique shopping, art galleries, and a lively cultural scene. West Orange, with its suburban feel, offers a blend of green spaces and recreational opportunities, making it an attractive location for retirees seeking a relaxed yet engaging lifestyle.

For more information about living in the Essex County area explore the following local resources:

Essex County NJ Area Affordability and Cost of Living 

The Essex County area, while offering a wealth of amenities, is known for its higher cost of living compared to the national average. Housing on the pricier side, with home prices 67 percent higher than the national average. Groceries and utility costs in the area are also slightly higher than the national average. Transportation costs are 50 percent higher than the U.S. average, contributing to the overall living expenses. However, the array of recreational and entertainment options, combined with the region's cultural richness, can offer a unique and fulfilling retirement experience for those willing to invest in the lifestyle.

New Jersey property taxes are among the highest in the nation but exact amounts can vary across municipalities in Essex County, detailed information can be found on the Essex County Board of Taxation website. New Jersey has a 6.625% statewide sales tax and localities can add up to an additional 3.31 percent, which is slightly higher than the national average. New Jersey does not impose an estate tax, but it does have an inheritance tax although that is waived depending on the relationship to the deceased. New Jersey does not tax Social Security benefits, however, other retirement income, such as pensions and withdrawals from retirement accounts, may be subject to state income tax. Individuals aged 62 and above may be able to exclude all or part of their retirement income from taxes but there are financial qualifications for this exemption.

Essex County NJ Area Climate and Geography 

The Essex County area experiences a humid subtropical climate characterized by distinct seasons. Winters are generally cold, with average temperatures ranging from 22  to 38 degrees and sees an average annual snowfall of around 28 inches. Summers, on the other hand, bring warmth and humidity, with average temperatures ranging from 65  to 86 degrees. Humidity levels can reach around 65 percent, making summers feel warmer. The area receives an average annual rainfall of about 48 inches. Severe weather events, including thunderstorms and occasional winter storms, can occur, but Essex County is not typically prone to hurricanes or tornadoes, providing a relatively stable climate for residents.

The Passaic River flows through the county, offering serene waterfront areas and recreational opportunities. The proximity to the Watchung Mountains provides residents with scenic views and hiking possibilities, creating a perfect blend of nature and urban living. Additionally, being situated within a few hours' drive of the Appalachian Mountains adds an extra dimension for nature enthusiasts. The county is about an hour from the Atlantic Ocean which opens up possibilities for beach outings and coastal experiences.

Recreation, Shopping, and Entertainment Near Essex County NJ Area 

Essex County offers a plethora of recreational and cultural activities, ensuring an active and engaging lifestyle for residents.

Golf and Racquet Sports Near Essex Co NJ Area

  • Essex County Country Club in West Orange
  • Francis Byrne Golf Course in West Orange
  • Orange Lawn Tennis Club in South Orange
  • Maplewood Country Club in Maplewood

Hiking, Biking, and Boating Near Essex Co NJ Area

  • South Mountain Reservation in West Orange
  • Eagle Rock Reservation in Montclair
  • Essex County Trail Association in Verona
  • Verona Park Boathouse in Verona

Parks and Gardens Near Essex Co NJ Area

  • Branch Brook Park in Newark
  • Presby Memorial Iris Gardens in Montclair
  • Eagle Rock Reservation in Montclair
  • Verona Park in Verona

Museums and Historical Sites Near Essex Co NJ Area

  • Newark Museum in Newark
  • Montclair Art Museum in Montclair
  • Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange
  • Grover Cleveland Birthplace in Caldwell

Performing Arts Near Essex Co NJ Area

  • New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark
  • Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn
  • Wellmont Theater in Montclair
  • SOPAC (South Orange Performing Arts Center) in South Orange

Festivals and Fairs Near Essex Co NJ Area

  • Montclair Film Festival in Montclair
  • Maplewoodstock in Maplewood
  • Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival in Newark
  • Nutley Saint Patrick's Day Parade in Nutley

Shopping Near Essex Co NJ Area

  • The Mall at Short Hills in Short Hills
  • Downtown Montclair
  • The Shoppes at the Livingston Circle in Livingston
  • South Orange Village Center in South Orange

Essex County NJ Area Health and Wellness 

Essex County offers a robust network of health and wellness resources for its residents. The area is in close proximity to major medical centers, ensuring convenient access to top-notch healthcare services. Notable medical facilities include Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, and Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston. These hospitals provide comprehensive healthcare services, specializing in various medical fields, and are equipped to meet the diverse health needs of residents.

For those focusing on self-care and fitness, Essex County boasts numerous options. There are various local fitness centers, yoga studios, and wellness centers offering tailored programs for seniors. Additionally, the region hosts several farmers markets, including the popular Montclair Farmers' Market, all of which promote a healthy lifestyle through access to fresh, locally sourced produce providing an opportunity for residents to incorporate nutritious and locally grown items into their diet.

Recommended Itinerary for Visiting Essex County NJ Area 55+ Communities

Embarking on a journey to explore Essex County as a potential retirement destination is an exciting endeavor. This sample two-day itinerary is crafted to help prospective retirees immerse themselves in the local atmosphere, experience the amenities, and gather valuable insights into what this vibrant area has to offer.

Day One


  • Breakfast at Montclair Diner: Start the day with a hearty breakfast at this popular historical restaurant, offering a cozy atmosphere and delicious morning fare.
  • Explore South Mountain Reservation in West Orange: Take a morning stroll through this scenic reservation with lush trails, providing a glimpse of the area's natural beauty.


  • Lunch at McLoone's Boathouse in West Orange: Enjoy a waterfront lunch at this restaurant overlooking the reservoir in South Mountain Reservation.
  • Visit the Newark Museum in Newark: Immerse yourself in art and culture at this renowned museum, showcasing a diverse range of exhibits and collections.


  • Dinner at Scala Del Nonna in Montclair: Savor authentic Italian cuisine at this charming restaurant, offering a cozy setting for a relaxing evening meal.

Day Two


  • Breakfast at The Corner in Montclair: Begin the day with a cozy breakfast at this local favorite, known for its warm ambiance and delicious menu.
  • Meet with Local 55places Expert Retirement Community Partner Agent: Spend time meeting with a local agent who specializes in 55+ communities. This is an opportunity to gather information, ask questions, explore potential retirement options, and tour those that interest you.


  • Lunch at Sweet T's in Montclair: Enjoy a delightful Southern lunch at this popular spot, known for its authentic home cooked Southern fare.
  • Explore Downtown Montclair: Spend the afternoon exploring the vibrant downtown area, featuring unique shops, boutiques, and cafes.


  • Dinner at Highlawn Pavilion in West Orange: Conclude your visit with a fine dining experience at this historic venue, offering stunning views of the New York City skyline.

Getting to the Essex County, NJ Area

Whether arriving from nearby states or across the country, Essex County offers a variety of transportation options to cater to the diverse needs of those considering retirement in the area.

By Car:

Essex County is easily accessible by major highways. If driving, visitors from the north or south can use the Garden State Parkway (exit 148 to 159) or the New Jersey Turnpike (Exit 15W to 18W). From the west, Interstate 80 and Interstate 280 provide convenient access to the area.

By Air:

Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR): Located in Newark, EWR is the closest major airport. It is a hub for United Airlines and serves as a significant hub for several other major carriers. Visitors can find various domestic and international flights to and from this airport. 

By Train:

For those preferring rail travel, Amtrak and NJ Transit operate train services to Newark Penn Station. NJ Transit's Montclair-Boonton Line also serves several towns within Essex County.

By Bus:

Greyhound and Megabus provide long-distance bus services to Newark, making it accessible for those who prefer bus travel.

Local Transportation:

Once in Essex County, visitors can utilize the NJ Transit system, which includes buses and the Newark Light Rail, providing convenient transportation within the area.

Communities Near Essex County

Price Range

Rent or Buy

Home Types

Age Restriction

New Construction or Resale

Community Size



Price Range




3 communities near Essex County

0 Homes for Sale

The Pointe

For Sale
  • High $400ks - High $600ks
  • 180 Homes (2 for sale)
  • 55+ Age Restriction
  • Resale Homes Only
  • 2004 - 2007
  • No Reviews
Four Seasons at Cedar Grove - Cedar Grove NJ

Four Seasons at Cedar Grove

For Sale
  • High $400ks - Mid $600ks
  • 156 Homes (4 for sale)
  • 55+ Age Restriction
  • Resale Homes Only
  • 2000 - 2005
  • 1 reviews
Four Seasons at North Caldwell, NJ

Four Seasons at North Caldwell

For Sale
  • Mid $700ks - High $800ks
  • 108 Homes
  • 55+ Age Restriction
  • Resale Homes Only
  • 2011 - 2015
  • 2 reviews


1056 Southern Hills Drive, Banning, CA

Meadow Ranch Community

  • 3 bed
  • |
  • 3 bath
  • |
  • 2320 SqFt
MLS CV23099287
Call Us: (888) 625-4885

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