Having lived all over the U.S., Terry and Evelent Cox could have chosen anywhere for their forever home when Terry retired last year from a long career in environmental consulting.
But the New York metro area won out, especially when they discovered Lantern Hill, a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) just outside the city in New Providence, N.J.
The couple, who had split their time between a Seattle, Wash., home and a Manhattan apartment for 15 years, found traveling between the two became "less pleasant than it used to be," says Evelent.
Although they will now split their time between their Manhattan and Lantern Hill apartments, they've cut nearly 3,000 miles from their commute. Now, it's just a short shuttle ride to the Murray Hill station and into the city for a concert at Carnegie Hall or opera at the New York Opera House.
"We have about 13 series at Carnegie Hall and about 24 operas at the New York Opera, so most likely we will be dividing our time about half and half. We'll definitely be spending the summers in Lantern Hill," Evelent says. "The best thing is instead of being 3,000 miles away, now we'll be about 20 miles."
Peace of mind
Aside from distance, Lantern Hill had some big draws for the couple. "It's the nicest CCRC within a good commuting distance to New York City," says Terry. "As we grow older, we know we have Lantern Hill for everything we'll need in the future."
As a CCRC, Lantern Hill has luxury independent living apartment homes, activities and amenities, and an on-site medical center to help residents stay healthy and independent and enjoy a vibrant, active retirement.
Should their health needs change, they can receive assisted living, sub-acute rehabilitation, nursing care, and memory care on site without having to move again.
"My dad was a widower, and when he couldn't manage anymore, we as children went through a nightmare of convincing him to go to assisted living," says Terry. "We're not going to rely on anyone to choose our CCRC. We've made the decision ourselves."
Lantern Hill has been recognized as a five-star community by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The services and quality of care available at Lantern Hill offer peace of mind Terry and Evelent couldn't find elsewhere.
On to their next adventure
Another thing they couldn't find elsewhere: the ability to modify their apartment home to fit Evelent's concert grand piano.
In working with Sales Counselor Kathy Banks, Terry and Evelent chose the two-bedroom, two-bath with den Hartley floor plan in Lantern Hill's sixth and newest residence building, Bell Pavilion.
"The Hartley accommodates [my piano] if we remove a wall between the living area and the den," says Evelent.
So, that's exactly what they did. Lantern Hill's design and construction teams modified the Cox's brand-new apartment to suit their needs, and the couple moved in late January.
They had sold their Seattle home last year, and after sorting through what they would bring to their new home, stored it safely with a moving and storage company. While they both agree the hardest part has been downsizing, they also agree it's better to do it sooner than later.
"We all want to procrastinate, but the sooner you do it the better because you feel much better and you can go on. Lantern Hill has helped us move along very nicely," says Evelent. "It's difficult to downsize and leave, but you always look forward to your next phase and your next adventure."
They look forward to reconnecting with a few old friends who live at Lantern Hill from their days living in Summit, as well as new ones they've met attending reservist events at the community before Bell Pavilion opened.
As for their other friends, "I think all our friends are envious that we've reached this point," Evelent says.