New Jersey – Retirement Guide

New Jersey   Retirement Guide

Thanks to its gritty turnpike, “Jersey Shore” stereotypes and blighted cities like Trenton and Camden, New Jersey all too often gets a bum rap. The reality is that this state offers so much more than those regions.

Large swaths of New Jersey is farmland, and there are large, beautiful swaths of rural areas, such as the Delaware Valley, in addition to a number of charming coastal beach towns, like Cape May. The state’s size is manageable enough that no matter where you reside, you’ll never be more than a few hours from New York City or Philadelphia, both of which can be reached by public transportation from many towns.

The major downside to retiring in New Jersey is cost. The state’s cost of living is 35% higher than the national average, and the top state income tax is nearly 9 percent — among the highest in the nation.

In fact, the tax burden in New Jersey is the highest in the nation at 11.8 percent. Still, New Jersey does not tax Social Security, and some seniors could qualify for an exclusion of part of their retirement income.

Pros: Easy access to urban areas, miles of coastline
Con: Extremely high taxes and cost of living

At a Glance
Best For: Proximity to urban areas
Population: 8,821,155
Cost of Living: 35% higher than national average
Median Home Cost: $258,400
Unemployment: 9%
Top State Income Tax: 8.97%

Certainly, the Jersey coast was battered hard during Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and a number of stretches of beach have not yet recovered, still, others have worked hard to return to normal as quickly as possible.

It’s important for retirees to consider the risk of hurricanes along the Jersey coast. Where once they were considered an anomaly, it has become cause for greater concern. Additionally, homeowners’ insurance in coastal areas may rise.

Photo by j-dub1980 via Flickr. All statistics were up to date as of publication. See these sources for the most current data.