We're down-sizing our homes and up-sizing our lives!
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Boomers are booming!

Shared Housing


     One third of Boomers today are single, divorced or widowed. The majority of these aging singles are female.
          Boomers as a generation have raised fewer children than any previous generation, and the children we have raised have not remained near us but have relocated across the country and sometimes around the world. The idea that our children could someday be our long-term care providers in our later years is not reasonable.
      These realities have meant adjustments in our thinking about living arrangements as our circumstances change and the economy has its difficulties.
      So, how does the generation who brought us the moon landings and Woodstock deal with the problem? By thinking outside the box, the retiree's apartment complex and the assisted living facility. 
      Some Boomers are attempting to recreate something akin to the college “dorm lifestyle” of our youth. Boomers are advertising for shared housing with shared expenses.  This concept has appeal to single boomers who are feeling the pinch of limited income or loneliness associated with later years in life. 
      However, unlike during the 1960’s and 70’s, this is not an arrangement for some revolutionary sexual lifestyle. Rather it is a creative approach to single living for those of us aged sixty and beyond. 
     Shared housing may have greater appeal for women than men, but it can work for both sexes. It may not even be necessary that roommates be the same sex, although there is less potential for “drama” when people of the same sex live together.
The Benefits 
     Sharing a home with one or more other Boomers may be a big adjustment, but the benefits can be far reaching for individuals who are struggling to make it on their own after retirement or the death of a spouse. 
      Financial burdens are lightened when expenses are shared. 
     A new roommate will come with a new circle of friends and potential activities thus resolving the issue of loneliness…a major cause of depression in seniors. 
     Sharing a home may bring a sense of personal security to the widow or widower who does not feel safe and comfortable living alone. 
      In addition, a roommate can be a lifesaver in a medical crisis. 
 A Few Tips
     When looking for a roommate, one should consider issues of compatibility regarding interests and attitudes. It is also important to look at and discuss expectations regarding financial obligations, household chores, pets, visits by family and friends, privacy, entertaining and so on.
     Potential roommates may want to meet a couple of times for dinner and get a feel for each other before moving in together. Roommates do not have to be best friends, but they do need to be comfortable with each other.
      It is also important to draw up a contract with the potential roommate. A contract, signed by both or all parties, will help avoid misunderstandings and conflict down the road. 
     In conclusion, whether the decision is based on financial considerations or just the need for companionship, shared housing can be a positive solution for the Boomer who struggles with living alone.