The aim of this study was to compare satisfaction with residence, wellbeing and physical health of continuing care retirement community (CCRC) residents with people who considered enrolling in the same CCRCs but elected not to move. A total of 101 participants were recruited from 13 CCRCs located in multiple cities in the United States of America. A phone interview was conducted with participants three months or less from enrolment and one year later. Compared with those who chose not to move, CCRC residents reported lower satisfaction at baseline, but higher satisfaction at one year. Wellbeing declined from baseline to follow-up for both groups, but was higher in CCRC residents both at baseline and at one year. CCRCs might consider giving new residents a longer cancellation period in order to allow sufficient time for the adjustment process. This, in turn, might both prevent an early departure and affect the decision of potential CCRC residents to move into the community.