Just for Seniors

Belmar Ranks Sixth in New Jersey for Best Social Life for Seniors

Belmar’s plan to transform the first floor of the former First United Methodist Church building on Seventh Avenue into a senior center, under a proposed lease agreement with the church. Credits: Cathy Goetz

BELMAR, NJ — There appears to be no age limit when it comes to having fun in Belmar.

The borough ranks sixth in New Jersey for offering the best social scene for seniors, according to SmartAsset, a New York-based financial technology company. It was the only municipality in Monmouth County to make the top 10 ranking, which was based on the availability of recreational and social centers for retirees.

“When choosing where to retire, people may consider which cities afford them the chance to find new opportunities, experiences and friendships," explained Smartasset in making its selections.

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According to its third annual study of cities with the best social life for seniors, Belmar’s ranking was based on it having three recreation centers per 1,000 persons and seniors who represent 16.5 percent of its total population. Although the report does not stipulate the age range for seniors, it shows the average retirement age in New Jersey is 65.

“It is nice to receive recognition validating that Belmar is a great place for seniors,” Mayor Matthew Doherty said. “We have made a real effort during my administration to make Belmar a place for seniors to socialize and enjoy themselves.

“With a new senior center coming to our town, we will be able to build on our success,” he said, referring to Belmar’s plan to transform the first floor of the former First United Methodist Church building on Seventh Avenue into a community center for seniors, under a proposed lease agreement with the church.

In another SmartAsset ranking — the best places to retire in New Jersey — Belmar placed fifth, based on “tax-friendliness, medical care and social life,” according to the findings, which ranked Freehold in fourth, Red Bank in sixth and Manasquan in 10th place.

Specifically, that overall retirement ranking was based on these specific criteria. Belmar has a calculated effective tax rate of 16.4 percent, based on a review of state and local tax rates, as well as income and sales tax rates, annual retirement earnings of $35,000 and disposable income spent on taxable goods. In terms of medical care, there are nearly seven doctors’ offices per 1,000 persons, 0.3 retirement centers per 1,000 persons and three recreation centers per 1,000 persons in Belmar. Also figuring in the calculations was the number of seniors as a percentage of the total population, which in the borough stands at 16.5 percent.

"A happy, healthy retirement depends a lot on location," according to SmartAsset, which produces date-driven studies based on trends in home-buying, renting, retirement, life insurance, taxes, student loans and investing.

For a detailed look at the study, including the overall statewide and national rankings, visit SmartAsset’s website at: https://smartasset.com/retirement/retirement-calculator#newjersey/recreation-social

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