Toms River : New jersey


What It Is Like to Retire in Toms River

Toms River is the county seat and largest town in Ocean County, New Jersey (also includes Dover, both are part of Toms River Township).  The 2010 population was about 90,000.  Residents of nearby towns like Brick, Manahawkin, and Lakewood tend to come here for shopping or doctor's appointments.  It has a busy downtown thanks to many government buildings, yet it also has a waterfront with easy access to boating and beaches. Barnegat Bay Island, the barrier land to the east of Toms River (between the Atlantic ocean and Barnegat Bay) is actually NOT an island at all, but is a peninsula that start at Point Pleasant Beach to the north and runs down to Island Beach State Park at the southern tip. That area is totally different from mainland Toms River, and much more expensive. Photo of Toms River during wintertime courtesy of Wikipedia and Jimmypitt1234 (public domain).


Where to Retire in Toms River and Home Prices

Many retirees from New York City and suburban New Jersey are moving here to have their dollars go further and live in a slightly milder climate near the shore. Many active adult and 55+ communities have been built to accommodate them (see link at top left.) The Median home value was $350,384 in early 2022, according to Zillow. Homes on Barnegat Bay Island are much more expensive.


What Is Special about Toms River

A vital downtown and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and Barnegat Bay make this a great place to live. Ocean County College is a local resource.

What Is Not Special about Toms River

New Jersey is not one of the tax friendliest states.


Who Will Like Retirement in Toms River

Escapees from the New York Metro will generally find a more relaxed lifestyle here.

Local Economy Is Driven by

Construction, health care, and government are important to the local economy.


Climate and Physical Environment

Toms River is in Ocean County in southern New Jersey, about 46 miles north of Atlantic City. It is located where the Toms River runs into Barnegat Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.  The average Jan temp is in the low 30s and the average July temp in the mid 70s. Long Beach Island is to the south.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Ocean County College and some small historical attractions contribute to Toms River culture.  The Toms River branch of the Ocean County Library is quite large and well funded, in fact it doubled in size in 2006. Downtown Toms River hosts many community events, including festivals and the second largest Halloween parade in the world.



Crime hovers around the national average.


Medical Facilities

Community Memorial Hospital is in Toms River. Numerous rehab facilities and assisted living homes are in the area.


The Garden State Parkway runs through town. Atlantic City Airport is about 46 miles. Newark and Philadelphia airports and trains are easily drivable.

Valuable Links

New Jersey retirement guide
Toms River Wikipedia entry

What people are saying about Toms River

thanks for the correction
Thank you for the correction to the correction! Obviously this is a complicated geographic area and we are glad to get it right with your help. It is wonderful when people who live in an area help us fine tune these reviews.
Posted by admin on June 13, 2019
Retiring in Southern Ocean County
Having lived in the southern Ocean County for the past 40+ years, I can offer some additional feedback on the area. While the overall NJ Tax burden is high, retirees see several areas for relief - including relief on Income Taxes (Social Security benefits are NOT taxed, many other retirement income sources are taxed at a reduced rate). Real Estate taxes are extremely high in NJ, but the rates are a bit more moderate in Ocean County. If you are a veteran - you get a Homestead Rebate on your real estate taxes as well. Other costs of living in the area run about 10-15% above the national average. The area has become a bit overpopulated with the growth of new retirement communities being developed from Toms River and south. Finally, a correction to a correction. The barrier land to the east of Toms River (between the Atlantic ocean and Barnegat Bay) is NOT an island at all, but rather a peninsula that start at Point Pleasant Beach to the north and runs down to Island Beach State Park at the southern tip.
Posted by Looie52 on June 12, 2019
Kay sent in this comment
I just read your update on Toms River NJ. Since I live in Toms River I thought I\'d make a correction. The barrier island off of TR is Barnegat Bay Island, the southern tip of which is beautiful Island Beach State Park. Half of BBI is part of Toms River and is mainly a summer resort that was greatly affected by Sandy. That is also where I live. The island is totally different from mainland Toms River, and much more expensive. Long Beach Island is the next island to the south.
Posted by admin on August 13, 2015

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