The Northampton Street Bridge over the Delaware River, and Phillipsburg, New Jersey.

6 Most Affordable Towns to Retire in New Jersey

New Jersey is a small but densely populated northeastern US state that shares borders with New York State, the Atlantic Ocean, the Delaware River, and the State of Pennsylvania. Known for its expansive and robust public transit system and fertile soil, densely urban environment, and expansive Atlantic beaches, this state has no shortage of cultures, services, natural landscapes, and connections to the rest of the United States and the world to keep retirement fast or slowed-paced. New Jersey is a true four-season state, and the climate is generally colder in the winter months than the rest of the United States, with delightfully hot summers.

New Jersey has affordable options for retirees eager to stay connected to the bustle of the city or those who want tranquility along the state's 125-mile coastline.


Aerial of Rahway, New Jersey
Overlooking Rahway, New Jersey.

Rahway, with a population of just under 30,000 residents, is relatively affordable for New Jersey, with median home prices of $276,500 (according to the Economic Research Institute). This city is relatively walkable with reasonable public transit. Rahway is located only 15 miles from Manhattan and sits along the Northeast Corridor/New Jersey Coast rail lines, keeping residents connected to the rest of the state and New York CIty.

The town is home to several parks and arts spaces such as the Veterans Memorial Field, Rahway River Park, The Gallery Space, as well as the Union County Arts Center. With a robust senior program and center, there is a constant calendar of activities, social circles, and recreation run by the town specifically for those over 60. Rahway is also home to the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and the Kindred Hospital.


Downtown sidewalk in Haddonfield, New Jersey.
Downtown sidewalk in Haddonfield, New Jersey. Image credit EQRoy via

This small community of 12,465 residents has a cost of living that is relatively on par with the state average but with home prices being slightly higher at $534,000 on average. However, the slightly higher price tag is well worth it. Philadelphia Magazine has chosen Haddonfield as one of the best places to live in the Delaware Valley, with an incredibly high walking score, excellent public transit, and low crime rates. This quaint historical town with roots dating back to 1682, is also an easy commute to both Pennsylvania and New York. The downtown is home to over 200 shops and galleries, among countless restaurants and historic sites.

From the Cooper River and Pennypacker Parks for daily scenic strolls, to its tree-filled Main Street, and the Haddonfield Plays and Players, there is constantly something to do in Haddonfield, whether you are looking for leisure, excitement, or both. Although Haddonfield does not have its own hospital, there are eight hospitals within Camden County, a short drive or commute on public transit from town.


Old Ornamental Tractor In the Yard, Hammonton, New Jersey.
Old ornamental tractor in the yard, Hammonton, New Jersey. Image credit Matthew Verderose via Shutterstock

With a population of around 15,000, Hammonton's cost of living is slightly below the state average, with median house prices around $243,000 on average. Like with Rahway and Haddonfield, Hammonton is a very walkable town. Unfortunately, Hammonton does not have its own hospital, but there are four within Atlantic County that are accessible and service the region.

This town holds the title of "Blueberry Capital of the World." Home to the Wharton State Forest, several wineries, including Plagido's and White Horse, and the Atsion Lake and Recreation Area, Hammonton is a tiny but outdoor-centered artistic community. Hammonton is known for its hiking, biking, canoeing, and camping as well as its abundance of historical sites, museums, and tours.


A Scenic view of Lake Hopatcong in Sussex County New Jersey.
A scenic view of Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey.

Although Hopatcong's cost of living is 8% above the national average, it sits at 10% below the state average, with houses costing $240,600 on average (according to the Economic Research Institute). The nearest hospital is only a 20-minute drive away or an hour by public transit and is located in Dover, New Jersey. Located on Lake Hopatcong, this town of a similar size to Hammonton is known for its waterfront and water activities. The lake is the states largest and is only 30 miles from the Delaware Water Gap. The lake has 45 miles of shoreline full of restaurants, marinas, beaches, and shops to explore both in town and in surrounding communities.

Hopatcong began as a summer resort community but has since blossomed into a full-season community bustling with both residents and tourists. Hopatcong is home to cruises on the lake, the Tagalong's Play Place for younger community members and visitors, several boat rental companies and marinas, as well as ample park and beach space. Hopatcong also has a robust Senior Recreation and Nutrition program, offering various services, events, transportation, and medical and personal support.


Aerial of New Jersey Real Estate, Hainesport
Overlooking homes in Hainesport, New Jersey.

This town of 6,042 sits 10% below the state's average cost of living, with average home prices around $240,000. Although Hainesport is a safe community, it is a car-based town. There are nine hospitals in Burlington County, but they are all a short-to-moderate drive from Hainesport. Nevertheless, Hainesport has an age-restricted affordable housing program for those over age 55, offering two-story, two-bedroom housing units. Hainesport is home to the Rancocas State Park and Nature Center, Burlington County Prison Musem, as well as the Air Victory Museum.

Despite its small population, the town is home to a 30-acre county park, keeping residents active and connected to the outdoors. Its affordability, small-town charm, and services make it an ideal retirement community for those looking for the quiet life in New Jersey. In Hainesport, join the Senior Citizen Club every second Thursday of the month for Game Day, and every fourth Thursday of the month for club meetings.


Phillipsburg, New Jersey, seen across the Delaware River from Easton, Pennsylvania.
Phillipsburg, New Jersey, seen across the Delaware River from Easton, Pennsylvania.

This town of 15,206 residents has a cost of living below the state average with median house prices sitting at $144,200. Phillipsburg is another very walkable city with crime rates well below the national average and its own hospital in town. An old railroad community, Phillipsburg is home to the Delaware River Railroad Excursions, Phillipsburg Railroad Historians, and the Sigal Museum and Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society.

The town is a 30 minute drive from the Poconos and is geographically beautiful with its hills, the Delaware River, and woodlands all within the town's limits. Despite its slightly larger size, this is a tight-knit community that has thriving businesses and arts scene both live along the Riverfront and across its many galleries and restaurants. Warren County is also home to several seniors programs including a community meals program that hosts lunches and mingles.

Despite its small size, New Jersey offers a multitude of different social and geographic environments to settle in. It is worth keeping in mind that housing and living costs are higher on average in New Jersey than in much of the rest of the country. Despite this, there are numerous communities that are more affordable than the State average, making different lifestyles and cities accessible to many looking to retire to this state. With its strategic and convenient position near New England, New Jersey is an optimal state to consider, keeping you connected by car to much of the northeastern United States and some of Southern Canada, and by plane to the rest of the world.

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