Whether the proverbial early bird actually gets the worm is open to debate. But there’s little doubt that early planners tend to find a better senior living fit. At least, that’s what a new report from a major consumer magazine suggested Monday.

One of the key components to a smooth transition is to start searching for the ideal setting as early as possible. Prospects should be planning and considering their options for months, even years, before a move is necessary, notes the article in U.S. News & World Report.

But the story adds that many people are reluctant to take action on end-of-life needs, as they fear it may somehow hasten their death. According to experts, many senior living marketers also get started later than they should. Rather than educate seniors who may be researching options, many instead opt to focus on “hot prospects” who need immediate placement, one marketing analyst (who preferred to remain anonymous) told McKnight’s Senior Living.