Located in Central New Jersey, Freehold is a tight-knit, active community with outdoor recreation and a vibrant downtown scene. Its small-town feel combined with its proximity to two major U.S. cities make Freehold an attractive retirement destination for active adults looking to experience all four seasons while still being near the ocean.
Climate & Geography
Freehold is considered a “doughnut” city, with Freehold Borough, a very small area, surrounded by the larger Freehold Township. Together, they make up a mostly flat region that experiences four seasons without hitting extreme temperatures on either end. Summers are warm and a bit humid, while winters reach freezing temperatures. Rainfall and snowfall is average and evenly spread throughout the year. Residents experience over 200 sunny days annually.
Though Freehold is considered part of the larger New York metro area, Philadelphia is nearly the same distance away to the southwest.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
Freehold’s downtown is full of events for active adults, including live music on weekends, movie nights, a Farmers Market on Fridays, an annual food truck festival, and holiday special events. In addition, the downtown area has plenty of local restaurants and eateries.
Residents can also enjoy outdoor recreation at numerous parks in the area. Turkey Swamp Park offers boating, kayaking, canoeing, row boats, and paddle boats, as well as fishing, camping, and picnic areas. Birdwatchers can enjoy the wildlife preservation efforts at Durand Park, and history buffs can visit the restored Revolutionary War battlefield at Monmouth Battlefield State Park.
Cost of Living & Taxes
The average cost of living in Freehold is higher than the national average, with housing playing the biggest part. Homes are more expensive in Freehold than the state average, and other factors like groceries, utilities, and transportation hover just above average as well. Groceries are slightly less expensive.
New Jersey is mildly tax friendly for retirees. Social Security is not taxed, but other forms of retirement income are taxed at a lower level. There are also substantial deductions for active adults above the age of 62. Property taxes are the highest in the country, while Freehold’s 6.6 percent sales tax is average. Groceries, over-the-counter and prescription medicine, and many types of clothing are all exempt from the sales tax.
Considered part of the New York-Newark-Jersey City metropolitan area, Freehold generally ranks within the top 60 communities across the country in Gallup’s Well-Being Index.
CentraState Medical Center is the only hospital in the township, however there are no nationally ranked hospitals in Freehold. Nationally ranked Jersey Shore University Medical Center is 12 miles away in Neptune City, and is ranked the No. 5 hospital in New Jersey by U.S. News. Two other high performing hospitals nearby are equidistant from Freehold and part of the same company: Hackensack Meridian Health’s Riverview Medical Center and Ocean Medical Center.