225 communities in New Jersey
New Jersey is the Garden State, and since the colonial era, it's been one of the more productive parts of the greater New York region. The state is culturally and socially split into two major regions: north and south. The shorthand for these is the near-universal division between Giants and Eagles fans, as the northern part of New Jersey leans toward New York, and the south has traditionally been in the orbit of Philadelphia. Unlike most states, New Jersey has no single large urban area that dominates the others, but instead, it has a long list of mid-size cities, topped by Newark's 282,000 people and closely followed by Jersey City's 264,000. The next eight-biggest cities in the state range from 90,000 to 160,000 people, and they are fairly evenly spread around the state.
New Jersey's state bird is the eastern goldfinch, which can be found raiding bird feeders all over the state, and the state flower is the common meadow violet, which is a popular choice for backyards and private gardens. This makes it an ideal place for seniors who love seeing nature around them as they relax in any of the state's assisted living communities.
Brighton Gardens Of Florham Park
Avalon Assisted Living at Hillsborough
The Chelsea At Warren
Chelsea At Toms River
Chelsea At Tinton Falls
The Solana Roseland
Spring Village At Galloway
The Chelsea At Bald Eagle
Sunrise Of Lincroft
Sunrise Of Old Tappan
Sunrise Of Paramus
Sunrise Of Morris Plains
Spring Meadows Summit
What Is Assisted Living?
Assisted living is the most basic level of residential care seniors are likely to opt for. It makes a good choice for aging citizens who may need 24-hour access to help with the normal activities of daily living (ADLs), such as dressing and doing chores.
What Does Assisted Living Cost in New Jersey?
Seniors in New Jersey can expect to pay a significant premium for their assisted living arrangements. Basic care in the state averages $5,725 a month, according to the 2015 Genworth Financial cost of care survey. That's significantly higher than the national median cost of $3,750 a month, and even the lowest New Jersey rates stay well above the $3,000 mark. Premium assisted living communities, with resort-like living and amenities, can run as high as $11,000 a month. This is not at all shocking, since New Jersey is sandwiched between two very dense high-priced urban cores, where the cost of housing is as high as anywhere else in the nation.
Newark and Jersey City are the two largest cities, and as a result, they are the two most popular places in the state for assisted living communities. Atlantic City's sunshine and sandy beaches may have drawn the most properties per capita. Costs vary by location, and the rising demand may drive them higher in the decades ahead.
Seniors made up 13.5 percent of New Jersey's population in 2010. This is expected to rise to at least 19.9 percent by 2030, a 62 percent increase, owing partly to the aging population generally and partly to the very low birthrate the state has had for several decades.
The statewide Assisted Living Resident Profile Survey showed that between 2012 and 2016, the number of licensed assisted living residences, comprehensive personal care homes and assisted living programs rose from 207 to 232. The number of residents within these facilities also rose substantially, from 20,246 in 2012 to 23,293 in 2016.
How Is Assisted Living Regulated in New Jersey?
Assisted living in New Jersey falls under the purview of the state Department of Health, which regulates communities through its Division of Health Facilities. This division has authority over all levels of residential care, from assisted living to hospice, and its regulations are famously strict. Properties that look after seniors all have to hold a valid license, and different licenses are required for many different levels of care and provided services, such as medication assistance and cardiac monitoring. The division takes senior and family complaints online or by phone, and its staff carry out regular and surprise inspections of their licensed facilities as needed.
Care of older people is also regulated in part by the Department of Aging Services, a subsection of the Department of Human Services. It has similar duties to the Division of Health Facilities, but it covers all older people, not just those in assisted living.
How Is Assisted Living in New Jersey Affected by Laws and Taxes?
New Jersey doesn't tax Social Security benefits, and retired residents can dip into their savings and retirement income for up to $65,000 a year before taxes are due. This covers most pension and investment incomes, as well as low- to moderately high income from work, if the aging citizen chooses to stay on the job. Seniors who earn more than that $65,000 threshold, however, come in for some of the highest state income taxes in the nation.
Property tax is also as high in New Jersey as you can find anywhere else, with even a paid-for home often costing upwards of $7,500 a year. Sales taxes are moderate by national standards, at about 7 percent for most goods. One bright point in New Jersey's tax code for seniors is the Homestead Exemption, which saves homeowners over age 65 up to 5 percent of their property tax bill if they make less than $100,000 a year. This can be tricky to claim, so it's always best to speak with a tax professional who knows New Jersey laws before filing.
When you work with our Seniorly Guides to find a home to love, this is always a free service for families. The Seniorly Guide is compensated directly from the community you eventually select in New Jersey.
Politics in New Jersey
New Jersey is enough of a blue state that it's typically one of the first places called on Election Night. Voters in the state lean heavily toward the Democratic Party on a national level, though they occasionally vote Republican on the state level. New Jersey's constitution centralizes power in the office of the governor, to the point that the state's chief executive is widely considered one of the most powerful people in American politics.
New Jersey state law allows the governor to appoint most of the other state-level office holders, which makes much of the bureaucracy dependent on the current executive for their jobs. The governor is also the president of the State Senate, which allows him to set the agenda for half of the state legislature, in addition to playing his role as the highest member of the Executive branch. Before 2010, New Jersey didn't even have a lieutenant governor, so it ran most day-to-day administrative tasks and the majority of its legislative business through the governor's appointees.
New Jersey is a celebrity factory. The list of famous people from the Garden State includes Arron Burr, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Money, Frank Sinatra, Grover Cleveland, Jason Alexander, Judy Blume, Lords of the Underground, Naughty by Nature, Queen Latifa, Redman, Shaq, Sugar Hill Gang, Whitney Houston, Jon Stewart and Jack Nicholson.
The streets of Atlantic City inspired the place names for the original Monopoly game. You can still stay in a hotel on Boardwalk, but it will cost you around $350 a night.
The first baseball and college football games were played in New Jersey. The first football game was between Rutgers and Princeton in 1869. Rutgers blew Princeton out in a tradition that largely continues to this day.