When most people think of calling it quits on a career, they immediately think of a move to Florida.
But not everyone wants to spend their golden years in Florida; some of us want to stay close to friends and family and within the great state of New Jersey.
But where exactly in New Jersey? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.
To that end, we have tried to identify the places in New Jersey that are safe, affordable, and have plenty of things to keep you busy well into retirement.
What did we find after pouring through all the data? Let’s just say we hope folks in Ringwood don’t mind us spreading the word.
Here are our top ten places in the Garden State to retire for 2018:
- Ringwood (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Dumont (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Roselle Park (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Haddonfield (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- River Edge (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- New Providence (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Phillipsburg (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Rutherford (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Little Ferry (Homes For Sale)
- Summit (Photos | Homes For Sale)
How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Garden State
To create our list of the best places in New Jersey to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Garden State with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’t townships.
This left us with 97 places from across the state.
For these 97, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI’s Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:
- Low cost of living as measured by rent
- Low crime
- Things to do (Museums, Colleges, and Libraries in town)
- Nice weather
- Distance to the closest international airport
- Other retirees (High median age)
We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 97, with the lowest number being the best.
Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Ringwood, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.
Population: 12,398Median Rent: $1,216
Distance to Closest Airport: 28 miles
Crime Per 100k: 508
More on Ringwood: Homes For Sale | Data
The Lenape, an Algonquian language-speaking tribe of Native Americans who occupied much of the mid-Atlantic coastal areas and the interior mountains including along the Delaware River resided in the area of present-day Ringwood when Europeans first entered the area. Some retreated to the mountains to escape colonial encroachment.
3. Roselle Park
Population: 13,560Median Rent: $1,168
Distance to Closest Airport: 5 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,113
More on Roselle Park: Homes For Sale | Data
The first known settlement within what is now the Borough was built by Samuel Williams in 1700. Galloping Hill Road was continually used by revolutionary war scouts, delivering messages to and from General George Washington and Governor Livingston. Galloping Hill Road also believed to be the route traveled by the British columns en route to the Battle of Connecticut Farms, battling the New Jersey militia the entire way. Son of American general William Crane, was bayoneted and killed by the British near what is now Galloping Hill Road and Colonial Road.
Population: 11,444Median Rent: $1,365
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,686
More on Haddonfield: Homes For Sale | Data
The Haddonfield area was occupied by Lenni Lenape Native Americans. The Lenape disappeared from the local area when settlers arrived. Arrowheads and pottery shards have been found by residents by the banks of the Cooper River, hinting that there was a Native American settlement in Haddonfield at one point in time.
5. River Edge
6. New Providence
Population: 12,434Median Rent: $1,424
Distance to Closest Airport: 12 miles
Crime Per 100k: 458
More on New Providence: Homes For Sale | Data
The written history of New Providence begins in 1664 when James, Duke of York and brother to King Charles II, purchased the land that became known as the Elizabethtown Tract from the Lenape Native Americans. Its first European settlers were members of a Puritan colony established in 1720, which was the first permanent settlement of its type. The settlement was originally called ‘Turkey’ or ‘Turkey Town’, due to the presence of wild turkeys in the area.
Population: 14,570Median Rent: $868
Distance to Closest Airport: 13 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,258
More on Phillipsburg: Homes For Sale | Data
The town grew from a sleepy agricultural village (in 1824), and was transformed into a transportation hub and shipping center as the Delaware terminus of the Morris Canal (1829-1924), the first transportation infrastructure project (of several, each eventually) giving the community a direct connection 107 miles (172 km) to New York City. The Central Railroad of New Jersey would soon follow with a connection, but the community’s growth (and for a long while, its importance) was that it reached the canal terminals of both the Delaware Canal and the Lehigh Canal by its cross-river cable ferry system to Easton, PA. In 1853, the Lehigh Valley Railroad connected across the river with the CNJ and a passenger shortline railroad, the Belvidere Delaware Railroad, as well as the Morris Canal, all within Phillipsburg. Rapid growth followed quickly.
Population: 18,480Median Rent: $1,347
Distance to Closest Airport: 9 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,174
More on Rutherford: Homes For Sale | Data
The ridge above the New Jersey Meadowlands upon which Rutherford sits was settled by Lenape Native Americans long before the arrival of Walling Van Winkle in 1687. Union Avenue, which runs from the Meadowlands to the Passaic River, may have been an Indian trail, but was more likely a property boundary line; it was referenced in the 1668 grant of land by proprietary Governor Philip Carteret to John Berry.
9. Little Ferry
Population: 10,868Median Rent: $1,291
Distance to Closest Airport: 12 miles
Crime Per 100k: 782
More on Little Ferry: Homes For Sale | Data
Little Ferry was formed by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on September 18, 1894, from portions of Lodi Township and New Barbadoes Township, based on the results of a referendum held two days earlier. The borough was formed during the ‘Boroughitis’ phenomenon then sweeping through Bergen County, in which 26 boroughs were formed in the county in 1894 alone.
Population: 21,895Median Rent: $1,706
Distance to Closest Airport: 10 miles
Crime Per 100k: 872
More on Summit: Homes For Sale | Data
The region in which Summit is located was purchased from Native Americans on October 28, 1664. Summit’s earliest European settlers came to the area around the year 1710. The original name of Summit was ‘Turkey Hill’ to distinguish it from the area then known as ‘Turkey’ (New Providence’s original name until 1759). During the American Revolutionary War, Summit was known as ‘Beacon Hill’, because bonfire beacons were lit on an eastern ridge in Summit to warn the New Jersey militiamen of approaching British troops.
Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…
So there you have it, the best place to retire in New Jersey goes to Ringwood.
If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:
For more New Jersey reading , check out:
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In New Jersey
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In New Jersey
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In New Jersey
Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In New Jersey
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