“Golden Girls” Type Arrangements Take Off in Real Life

Older women are discovering the social, financial and security benefits of home sharing.

Similar to the premise of the popular 1980s television show, The Golden Girls, hundreds of thousands of older women are embarking on a new retirement strategy: home sharing. Home sharing enables women to save money, find companionship, feel secure and enjoy a sense of community.
According to 2010 U.S. Census data More than a million single women 45 and older live with a roommate who is not a relative.
The popular 1980s television show, The Golden Girls, is experiencing a rebirth of sorts — in real life, as thousands of single, older women embrace the concept of home sharing.

According to 2010 U.S. Census data, more than one million single women 45 and older live with a roommate who is not a relative. Given that Baby Boomers are now moving through retirement, the cost of living is continuing to rise and women typically live longer than men, home sharing is a trend that’s likely to grow.

Among the motivators fueling the home sharing trend:
  • Finances – Home sharing gives many women a practical way to make ends meet in a tough economy. Others use cost sharing as a way to build wealth and enjoy a higher standard of living.
  • Companionship – A housemate provides a social outlet, helps reduce the chance for isolation and loneliness and can be of assistance if someone becomes ill or is injured.
  • Security – Shared housing, especially in a home in a gated community, provides a strong sense of security.
  • Reinvigorate – Many single retirees build on the companionship of a housemate and become more outgoing and social than they had been on their own.

New home sharing services such as Housemate Match and Golden Girl Homes, Inc. are springing up across the country, offering information and match-up services for housemates.

For many women in or nearing retirement, home sharing can provide the solution to living independently, prudently and sociably for years to come.

Of course, these arrangements also present financial issues that should be addressed upfront. For example: lease agreements, schedules of bill payments, and income of potential roommates. That’s why it makes sense to talk to a financial advisor before making any formal agreements on home sharing. Find out how to make the most of your talks with a financial advisor.

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