We’ve all been there.

You know you’re going to need to make a decision about something big.

It could be whether to get married, having kids, taking that dream job that requires a big move, or when you should retire.

These decisions aren’t easy, and often there never seems to be a perfect time to make them.

Where to retire and when to look at retirement communities like Kendal-Crosslands is right up there. How soon is too soon? When is it too late?

The answers to these questions depend on your individual circumstances. Here’s what you need to consider.

old fashioned mapDo you know where you want to retire?

Some people know they want to go to someplace warm, which is why many retirees think about Florida or Arizona. Others want to have a change of seasons and summers that are comfortable. Some want to make sure they are near family and some people even choose to retire overseas. There are lots of options, so narrowing down a location is probably a good first step.

One of the things we love about our location in Kennett Square is it’s incredibly beautiful all year long and we have a change of seasons. Our winters are mild, and our summers are pretty pleasant. We do have hot and humid days, and they offer a great opportunity to use the outdoor pool at Kendal at Longwood or pop into Kennett Square for ice cream.

We’re accessible as well. We’re located a short drive from Philadelphia and the Philadelphia International Airport, which makes it easy to travel anywhere in the world with a large selection of direct flights. You can enjoy all the excitement of the City, but still live in the quiet beauty of the Chester County countryside.

Our location is one of the reasons why you’ll find residents at Kendal-Crosslands that have chosen to retire here from California, New York, Florida, Maine, and even Ireland, and everywhere in between. Our residents choose Kendal-Crosslands Communities for many reasons, but the location and the diversity of the residents plays a part in what makes us special.

Do You Know When You Plan To Retire?clock and map

Many people retire in stages. The first stage is often deciding to work less. Some people go half-time or decide to stop working all together. Sometimes they’re ready to consider a retirement community at that time, or they think it’s something they’ll consider later on.

The median age of people entering continuing care retirement communities like Kendal-Crosslands is in their mid 70’s. Some move in earlier, and some later, but we’d generally recommend you consider a move sooner rather than later.

Retirement communities like Kendal-Crosslands are designed for people who are looking for an active, engaged lifestyle. When you look down the list of resident committees and activities, it’s not surprising residents remark that it feels like going to college again, but without the grades. And just like college, you’ll meet an amazing group of like-minded people who will become great friends.

If you wait until you are a little older and you are more concerned about health issues, you may find that you waited too long.  Life Plan Communities (formerly known as Continuing Care Retirement Communities) like ours are designed to provide you with supported care if and when you need it, but you get the most personal value out of the community when you come while you are active and healthy.  In fact, many communities like ours have health screenings and you may not qualify if you are already having significant health or cognitive issues. That’s another reason why we encourage people to join the community sooner rather than later.

How Far In Advance Should You Plan?planning

Many communities like ours have a variety of living options, at a variety of price points. This is done to ensure there’s more choices for more people who chose to live here, and that we can accommodate different needs.

If you are looking to retire as a couple and are looking for large cottages with two bedrooms, you need to consider getting on the waitlist at your preferred retirement communities sooner than if you are thinking about a smaller cottage or if you are single. In many communities, the wait time for large cottages can be several years long, so getting on the waitlist early can be important.

In general, at Kendal-Crosslands Communities, we currently have availability for one bedroom and studio cottages, and the wait time is significantly shorter. Planning a move for a time period within the next six to eighteen months is usually a good plan. This gives you time to find a cottage that will suit you, make plans regarding your current home and downsizing if necessary, and make choices about designing and customizing your new cottage so that it’s perfect for you.

Whether you are single or living with someone, planning ahead is always a good idea. Once you decide where you want to be and find a community you want to join, putting down a deposit and getting on the waitlist is recommended. This will help ensure that you have a choice of cottages once you are ready to make the move.

A Word About Cottages and Size

Communities like ours often have a wide variety of cottages and apartments, but the upfront costs and monthly fees are often dependent on the size of the home, how many people in the home, or financial contract type you choose. This means that the cost of joining the community can vary significantly depending on the size and type of the cottage, with larger, two bedroom cottages being the more costly options. People sometimes assume that a Life Plan Community like ours will be too expensive for them, but end up pleasantly surprised that it can be quite affordable if they choose a smaller home.

We also encourage prospective residents to keep in mind that people live differently at Kendal-Crosslands Communities than you would in a single family, suburban home. Residents spend more time in the main center, going to functions, spending time in the art studios and wellness center, eat dinner in the main dining room, hiking in our woods. This means they live large – –  spending less time in their cottages and less time on home maintenance chores and more time with friends and neighbors. Even people who are concerned they might need a guest room find that their friends and family are just as happy staying in our guest house as in your cottage- and you don’t have to clean up after them!

Don’t Wait Too Long!pocketwatch in sand

Residents often tell us that they wish they’d moved to Kendal-Crosslands sooner- and it’s always better to be five years too early than five minutes too late.  What does that mean? Once you are ready to move into a Life Plan community, there is a health evaluation that is part of the process, and if you are already experiencing cognitive issues, you may no longer qualify for admission.

That’s part of the reason we encourage everyone to get on the waitlist early and once there is an opening available, we encourage people to take advantage, rather than delay. You’ll find that living in Kendal-Crosslands is similar to living at home, just without the headaches! We have residents that still work, others spend time at their vacation homes, travel extensively, have grandkids come stay- everything they did at home, but fewer chores and much more fun!

If you’re interested in exploring whether Kendal-Crosslands is the community for you, be sure to download one of our digital brochures, and check out our website for upcoming events to learn a little more about what makes our community so special.