Finance, Estate & Legal

Home Sharing - An Affordable Retirement Option

Retirement funds, social security, or old age government benefits, do not allow many seniors to enjoy the same kind of lifestyle that they had while they were working. home sharing, share a home, housing costs, cost savings, retirement savings, discounted rent, seniors housing, shared housing costs

(Source Photos via Unsplash: Michael Longmire, Jacques Bopp)

There are several challenges to living on a fixed income in a world that is becoming increasingly more expensive. This is particularly true where the cost of assisted living residences and maintenance of living spaces, is concerned.

A new trend in housing development allows for affordable senior living. You can reduce the amount you need to save for retirement by finding senior roommates to share your living space and the cost of housing. Defer paying for care facilities such as assisted living homes, by sharing a conventional home.

Senior Home Sharing Saves Money

One of the major benefits of sharing living spaces for older adults and senior citizens, is the cost savings. You can save on rent, utilities, groceries, and general living expenses. You can also share transportation and insurance expenses by using the same car.

The best part about living independently in shared facilities is that you can extend your fixed income before you decide it’s time to move to an assisted living facility near you. These residences are generally much more expensive in comparison to shared living arrangements in traditional housing. There are many homeowners who charge discounted rent if the tenant agrees to share maintenance and household chore load. 

Adult home sharing can be just the thing you are looking for, if you were not able to save for retirement. Your savings may be considerably less than required in order to live in a retirement residence or community.

Don’t Miss Out on Companionship OR Privacy

Shared housing offers a unique experience which is not present in assisted living residences, or other senior living spaces. You can enjoy your housemate’s companionship without having to compromise your pride or privacy. 

Sometimes the loss of a spouse can leave older adults feeling socially isolated. This is especially true with the elderly seniors facing an aging social network. There are just not as many bowling nights or bridge club afternoons as there used to be. 

Finding a roommate that shares your interests can allow you to experience a unique satisfaction and camaraderie in your golden years. In fact, a recent government report claimed that one of the major risk factors of social isolation is living alone. The report also noted that ongoing social support can help a senior’s health in a positive way.

A roommate can reduce instances of depression as a result of feeling socially isolated. You may just find a new and fresh friendship, in your roommate.

Maintain Your Independence and Safety

There are numerous benefits from having a roommate(s). You get to have someone at hand when you may need help. The risk of accidents increases manifold as one grows older. Your housemate can make sure that you get the help you need if you have a slip and fall, or other accident, and need medical care. You can help each other with household responsibilities that may be too much for one person to deal with on their own.

Having another person in the house that understands and respects you, gives you the security you need. Some seniors look for housemates that can mutually benefit each other. For instance, you may have a housemate that can help you with minor activities of personal care if you have trouble, such as as bathing or dressing. You may have access to a car, which would make it easier for your roommate to run errands. 

Having a roommate can make it easier to participate in activities outside (and inside) the home, for entertainment. You get to be more independent when you have another person near you. It makes  aging in place at home more possible, by eliminating the hazards and risks of living alone.

Eventually, most elderly folks have to move to assisted living communities, even if they don’t want to. This is because these institutions can provide medical care and additional, more intensive personal care services. But, you can delay that move by having your needs taken care of at a reduced cost, with the right shared living arrangement.

Should You Choose Shared Housing?

Over a third of women over the age of 65 live alone in the United States, as per a 2012 Census Bureau survey. The report cited several reasons for this, with the most relevant being that the rate of divorce has doubled since 1990, for people age 50+. Other major reasons include the choice to maintain independence, and the death of a spouse.

The roommate option and shared housing may become increasingly attractive as the challenges accompanying independent living become more difficult as you get older. You can continue staying in your home while finding interesting roommates to share the load. There are various online sources reporting that senior home sharing can offer more benefits than living alone.

Best Way to Find a Senior Roommate

There has been growing interest in the last decade for alternative senior housing options. Living arrangements for seniors have taken several different directions. There are numerous associations and nonprofits that work to connect compatible senior roommates and potential housemates, for a mutually beneficial and long-lasting shared living arrangement.

It doesn’t cost much for these arrangements to be made, and you may want to consider them if your retirement savings aren’t sufficient. Choose from among group living situations where several seniors live together, or share a home with a single roommate.

There are several online options and tools for seniors looking to share residences. However, you exercise caution, as with all other online sources, while sharing information on the internet.

No Rush

While having a roommate for companionship and to share your household chores and expenses has the potential to be a great solution for you, it’s crucial to remember that you MUST NOT just choose the first roommate that comes your way. Not all roommates are good. Make sure your contractual arrangement has an escape clause if things don’t work out. You should also ensure that all potential candidates are evaluated thoroughly and background checks are done.

You may also be interested in these resources:

Seniors Discounts

Why Condos Are Great For Retirement

*This article is for general informational purposes only. 50+ World does endorse any product or service providers, nor does it receive remuneration from them. Obtain expert medical and/or legal advice from a qualified practitioner about your unique situation.*

Alessia Olsen

Alessia Olsen is a dedicated writer who loves to explore every corner in life. Her topics cover retirement and travel destinations. She keeps discovering new things, and shares her diverse viewpoints on a wide range of fields. 

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