Ocean City : New jersey


What It Is Like to Retire in Ocean City

Ocean City, New Jersey (population 15,000 in the winter) is a popular retirement community for active adults who enjoy the beach, fishing, boating and a family oriented setting. This beach community just south of Atlantic City has long been a popular family resort. It all started in 1879 when four Methodist ministers chose the island as a suitable spot to establish a Christian retreat and camp meeting. The founders incorporated as the “Ocean City Association” and laid out street and lots for cottages, hotel and businesses. Ocean City is located in Cape May County.

The town offers 7 miles of flat, sandy beaches on the Atlantic Ocean. A 3 mile boardwalk is lined with commercial establishments with the Ocean City Music Pier as its core. There is a small commercial downtown. The rest of the compact town is made up of homes, condos, and cottages. Since Ocean City is an island, many homes on the bay side have docks. Photo of Ocean City Music Pier courtesy of Wikipedia and NuncAutNunquam (public domain)

Here are some helpful facts about how to retire in New Jersey.

Where to Retire in Ocean City and Home Prices

One of the attractions for active adults 55+ is the ability to live in a casual setting near world famous New Jersey beaches. Children and grandchildren will love to visit – they can walk to the beach down gracious sidewalks. On the outskirts of town there are some newer developments and active adult communities that cater to the newly retired.

According to Zillow, the median home value in Ocean City was $937,402 in mid-2022. These prices can be somewhat misleading because there are many condos on the market for far less, and houses on the beach will be a lot more.


What Is Special about Ocean City

Ocean City has those world famous New Jersey beaches. The Travel Channel rated Ocean City as the Best Family Beach of 2005. It has a small but manageable downtown and the Ocean City Golf Course. A livable small city, you can walk just about anywhere. Sale of alcohol is banned within city limits.


What Is Not Special about Ocean City

It is quiet here. Restaurants tend to be family oriented, so for more sophisticated dining or entertainment you need to go off the island.


Who Will Like Retirement in Ocean City

Ocean City attracts a community of retirees who want to live in a small, family-oriented beach town. Here are some helpful facts about retirement in nearby New Jersey towns like Cape May and Manahawkin . (See Comments below about what it is like to live here).

Local Economy Is Driven by

The economy is driven by tourism.

Climate and Physical Environment

Ocean City is a barrier island with bridge connections to the mainland. The Eastern side of Ocean City borders the Atlantic Ocean, while the Western side faces the Great Egg Harbor. Atlantic City is to the north.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Cultural life is very low key. Walks on the beach or a casual concert would be the mainstay. However, just a short hop away, some of the nation’s top acts perform in Atlantic City every night. Walking on the 3 mile boardwalk can be entertaining.


Crime is about average.

Medical Facilities

Shore Memorial Hospital is 3 miles away in Somers Point. Atlantic City Medical Center is 13 miles away.


Atlantic City International is 13 miles away. There is mass transit available from Atlantic City connecting to Philadelphia and New York.

Valuable Links

Ocean City NJ


What people are saying about Ocean City

Summers in Ocean City
You forgot to mention how its awful to live there in the summer.all the way up to October.You cant move. To much traffic,and people.Car back-ups,etc.I notices as time goes on too, every summer theres more and more kids hanging around causing trouble.I really miss the good old days when OC was a nice place in the summer to live and work. :x
Posted by CMCBC40 on January 24, 2010
Ocean City is the worst place to retire
Ocean City NJ is one of the worst places on the east coast to retire or live for that matter. My wife's family is from there and only one of them still remains, (God only knows why). I have been fishing and launching my boat(s) there for the last 41 years. The property value there is $450,000 and up (not beach homes), I can show you homes for 1 million plus on the beach. Property taxes alone are $10,000 plus on the bay side. I can't even speculate as to what the taxes are on the ocean side. Limited "Home Owners Insurance" is almost not affordable. When a bad storm hits many of the homes on the south end burn down (damn, wonder why). You can not get flood insurance there, no insurance companies are dumb enough to sell it to you. Beside the fact that the taxes suck, the public utilities here leave a lot to be desired. Schools, fire, police, etc are very poor at best but not as bad as Camden NJ which is not saying much. They cover up the street lights there from Labor Day through Memorial Day every year to save money. All the big beautiful homes there are rentals because very few people can afford to live there year round.
Posted by theoc on January 23, 2010

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