One of the largest expenses people have after they retire – aside from long term care – can often be housing. Children move out, maybe a spouse passes away, and all of the sudden the house seems a bit bigger. More and more retired seniors are using services to find a roommate in a similar situation and solve more than one dilemma.
The most obvious benefit of obtaining a roommate in retirement is the cost savings. Mortgages and rents are expensive. A roommate (or two?) can dramatically reduce that line item in your budget. Using websites such as Senior Homeshares and Silvernest, seniors can find someone to split their mortgage with and save money. You can then also split utilities and perhaps even groceries, which is a bonus!
One of the worst things for seniors’ health is loneliness and depression. While you may not sit around the kitchen table at midnight snacking on cheesecake and exchanging stories about St. Olaf, it might be nice to have someone to say good morning to while getting coffee, enjoy an occasional meal with, or work in the garden together. A senior roommate won’t replace your family, and they don’t have to be your best friend, but sometimes just knowing someone else is around is comforting in itself.
“You may not sit around the kitchen table at midnight snacking on cheesecake and exchanging stories about St. Olaf, but it might be nice to have someone to say good morning to while getting coffee, enjoy an occasional meal with, or work in the garden together.”
As we age, the danger of a fall or accident increases. Having a roommate nearby to hear a cry for help or see the need for assistance after a stumble can be extremely beneficial. They’re not going to be your caretaker, that’s not why you get a roommate, but they just might keep you out of care a bit longer.
As with all things, there are drawbacks and things to put in place for security. Run a background check, have an agreement in writing, and get a deposit. Realize that you will be living with another older person who may have habits that annoy you, relatives you do not care for, or even a different take on privacy. Talk through disagreements, maybe even have a roommate’s meeting once a week or month to discuss issues, maintenance, and any unexpected expenses.
At the end of the day many seniors are finding the pros outweigh the cons, but make sure to do some research before deciding to take any next steps for your own home. Who knows? You may create your own “Golden Girls” house and have some of the best times of your life in your retirement years.
While you’re exploring the possibility of a roommate, don’t forget to also research long term care insurance. Our team of industry experts can answer any questions, explain how policies work, and run multiple free quotes for you (or your roommates) over the phone and screen sharing technology. Protect your retirement and your loved ones, and make sure you’re covered for a long term care event today.