Nestled in the heart of New Jersey, Somerset County offers a delightful blend of natural beauty and a welcoming atmosphere, making it an ideal destination for retirement. With its serene suburban charm and convenient proximity to both New York City and Philadelphia, Somerset County provides retirees with the perfect balance of tranquility and easy access to urban amenities.
The area boasts picturesque parks, scenic walking trails, and well-maintained golf courses, ensuring retirees can indulge in their favorite outdoor pursuits. For those seeking intellectual stimulation, Somerset County has museums and art galleries, showcasing a rich tapestry of history and culture. Food enthusiasts will relish in the dining scene, which offers a wide selection of culinary options, ranging from cozy local eateries to trendy gourmet restaurants. Additionally, Somerset hosts a few community events and festivals throughout the year, fostering a strong sense of belonging and camaraderie among its residents. With its picturesque landscapes, cultural richness, and a warm and inviting atmosphere, Somerset truly embodies the essence of an idyllic retirement haven.
For more information about visiting or moving to Somerset County you can explore the following local resources:
- The Somerset County visitors’ website provides comprehensive information about Somerset County, including attractions, events, dining options, and local services, allowing you to uncover the hidden gems of the area.
- Discover the area’s natural beauty through the Somerset County Park Commission website, which offers details on the county's parks, trails, recreational facilities, and upcoming events, ensuring you can make the most of the outdoor offerings.
- Finally, the official county website provides census data, details on local events, and election information.
Affordability and Cost of Living
The cost of living in Somerset County, New Jersey is about 25% higher than the national average. Residents in this city pay an average of 37% more for housing, and their transportation, utility, and grocery costs are also higher than in other parts of the country. Healthcare is slightly lower than average, however. Compared to the rest of the New Jersey and the New York metro area, rents and home prices are relatively affordable. However Somerset has higher than average prices compared to New Jersey on its own.
New Jersey has a progressive state income tax; the more Somerset residents earn, the more they’re likely to pay. The range starts at 1.4% and goes as high as 10.75% for those earning more than a million dollars annually. The Garden State does not tax Social Security benefits. However, pensions are taxed, and there is a state inheritance tax. There’s also an estate tax, which is progressive and ranges from 0% to 16%.
Property taxes in New Jersey are some of the highest in the nation. New Jersey residents pay an average of 2.23% of their home’s assessed value, and Somerset property taxes are slightly lower at an average of 1.81% of home value. New Jersey has a Senior Freeze program which allows homeowners 65 years of age or older to claim property tax deductions as long as they meet residency and income requirements.
Sales tax in Somerset is 6.625%. That’s the New Jersey state tax; there are no local sales taxes. Food, clothing, and medications are exempt from the state sales tax.
Climate and Geography
The climate of Somerset County offers a delightful range of seasonal weather, making it an appealing destination for retirees who enjoy all four seasons. Summers in Somerset County are warm and pleasant, with average highs in the mid-80s. The region experiences four distinct seasons, and wintertime average lows range from the mid-20s to low 30s. Snowfall is moderate, creating a winter wonderland without excessive cold temperatures. Annual rainfall in Somerset County averages around 49 inches, ensuring the area remains lush and green throughout the year. The county also boasts a generous number of sunny days, with an average of 206 days of sunshine annually, allowing retirees to bask in the beautiful weather and enjoy their favorite outdoor activities.
The geography of Somerset County presents a wealth of natural beauty and varied landscapes that contribute to its appeal as a retirement destination. Rolling hills, picturesque valleys, and tranquil streams provide a scenic backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts. The region has an abundance of parks and recreational areas, offering ample opportunities for hiking, biking, and leisurely walks. Proximity to the Raritan River further enhances the outdoor experience, allowing for boating, fishing, and other water-based activities. Additionally, Somerset County is conveniently located near the majestic Watchung Mountains, which provide breathtaking vistas and opportunities for hiking and exploring. The combination of stunning geography, including lush greenery, serene waterways, and captivating mountains, ensures that retirees in Somerset County can revel in the beauty of nature and lead an active and fulfilling retirement lifestyle.
Recreation, Shopping, and Entertainment
In Somerset County retirees have access to recreational activities, cultural events, shopping destinations, and entertainment options.
Golf and Racquet Sports:
- Raritan Valley Country Club
- Royce Brook Golf Club
- Green Knoll Golf Course
- Green Knoll Tennis Center
Hiking, Biking, and Boating:
- Six Mile Run State Park
- Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park
- Sourland Mountain Preserve
- Hacklebarney State Park
- Raritan River
Museums and Historical Sites:
- Firehouse Museum
- Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage
- Abraham Staats House
- Middlebush Village Historic District
- Brook Arts Center
- New Brunswick Performing Arts Center
- ClubRock NJ
- Starland Ballroom
- Somerville Circle Shopping Center
- Golden Acres Shopping Center
- Somerville’s Main Street
- Bridgewater Commons
Parks and Gardens:
- Duke Farms
- Washington Valley Park
- Lincoln Avenue Park
- North Branch Park
Festivals and Fairs:
- Somerset County 4-H Fair
- Somerville Craft Beer Festival
- Raritan River Music Festival
- Bound Brook Food Truck Festival
Health and Wellness
Somerset County has a robust healthcare infrastructure that provides peace of mind for 55+ homebuyers looking for quality medical services. The county is conveniently located near major medical centers, ensuring access to advanced healthcare facilities and specialized treatments. Prominent hospitals serving the area include Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, which is renowned for its comprehensive medical services, state-of-the-art facilities, and skilled healthcare professionals. Other nearby hospitals include Hunterdon Medical Center and Princeton Hospital. Additionally, Somerset County itself offers a range of local options for self-care and wellness. Residents can take advantage of wellness centers, fitness clubs, and yoga studios to prioritize their physical and mental well-being. The county's commitment to providing quality healthcare options ensures that retirees can lead a healthy and active lifestyle while having peace of mind knowing that top-notch medical care is readily available.
Recommended Itinerary for Visiting Area 55+ Communities
- Grab breakfast at Country Squire Restaurant in nearby Warren, where locals enjoy three-egg omelets, benedicts, and breakfast sandwiches.
- Start the day off with a visit to Duke Farms, a beautiful nature preserve with over 1,000 acres to explore.
- Enjoy a relaxing lunch at Chimney Rock Inn, known for its delicious pizza and Italian cuisine.
- Spend the afternoon at the Bridgewater Commons Mall, which offers a variety of shopping and dining options.
- Start the day with breakfast at The Golden Corner Diner, a local favorite for french toast, omelets, pancakes, waffles, and more.
- Enjoy a hike or bike ride at the Sourland Mountain Preserve, a beautiful natural area with scenic trails.
- Grab lunch at Mike’s Courtside Kitchen, a local spot serving American favorites like burgers, sandwiches, wraps, and smoothies.
- Meet with a local 55places real estate expert in the afternoon to learn more about 55+ communities in the area.
- Have dinner at Sarah Jane’s Restaurant, a cozy Somerville eatery serving a variety of seafood dishes, steaks, burgers, and more.
Getting to Somerset County, NJ
Visitors can easily reach Somerset County using various transportation options. For those driving, major highways leading into the area include Interstate 287, which runs north and south, and Interstate 78, which runs east and west. If arriving by air, the closest major airport is Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). Newark Airport serves as a hub for several major airlines, including United Airlines, which offers a wide range of domestic and international flights. Taxi and rideshare options are available to get from the airport to Somerset County, in addition to car rental services.