Forked River, located in Ocean County, is a popular New Jersey retirement location. The community’s small population and local boutiques provide residents with a charming small-town feel. With scenic water views, athletic recreation, and close proximity to big cities, retirees will enjoy all Forked River has to offer.
Climate & Geography
Located in Southern New Jersey, more than half of Forked River is water. The Forked River is divided into three branches that flow into the Barnegat Bay: the North Branch, the Middle Branch, and the South Branch. The land around the branches produces varied geography, including Atlantic White Cedar, freshwater bogs, maple gum swamps, tidal saltmarsh, maritime forests, and upland forests.
Residents of Forked River experience summers that are warm and humid and winters that are very cold, wet, and windy. Forked River receives more rainfall, less snowfall, and more sunny days than the national average.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
Retirees can enjoy the summer at Cedar Creek Beach, Bamber Lake Beach, or Lake Barnegat Beach. Active adults can participate in water sports like canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and rowing at these beaches through various access points. Another popular outdoor destination is Popcorn Park Refuge, which houses rescued animals like tigers, monkeys, reptiles, and more.
Active adults interested in sports can join one of the many clubs organized by Lacey Township, including men’s over 45 basketball, co-ed softball, and men’s softball.
For shopping and entertainment, residents head to Lacey Mall and the Cedar Shopping Center. Retirees looking to travel can head to Atlantic City, less than an hour away. In addition, New York City and Philadelphia are both an hour and a half from Forked River.
Cost of Living & Taxes
The cost of living in Forked River is higher than the national average but lower than the state average.
In New Jersey, Social Security benefits and military pensions are not taxed. All other forms of retirement income are taxed, but they are eligible for large deductions. Property taxes in New Jersey are among the highest in the country, and the sales tax in Forked River is 6.63 percent.
On Gallup's Well-Being Index, New Jersey scores best in the social factor.
There are two hospitals located within 10 miles of Forked River: Community Medical Center-Toms River and Hackensack Meridian Health Southern Ocean Medical Center, both of which are rated high performing by U.S. News in their treatment of heart failure. Community Medical Center-Toms River is also rated high performing in treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).