Retirement is supposed to be one of the most celebrated stages of life. However, today, older adults are facing more challenges than opportunities when it comes to finances, companionship, health and, ultimately, quality of life – and this is especially true for women. From lower earnings and savings to higher debt, financial challenges are turning into housing challenges that are only expected to grow.
But retirement with roommates, also known as “the Golden Girls trend,” is providing women everywhere with more support, options and hope to seniors who want to age in place. Here are some advantages to this growing co-housing trend:
With women now retiring with two-thirds the money, it’s no surprise that house sharing can provide a better quality living arrangement to those that might otherwise go without. Older adults in higher mortgages can receive the break they need, while those looking to avoid senior care or uncomfortable family situations can find peace of mind with a place they can still call “home.” And by splitting the costs of utilities, food, and additional care services, the total savings can be significant.
Peace of Mind
Living with others close by offers a sense of security and peace of mind that is invaluable. From minor accidents to major medical emergencies, having a roommate means there will always be someone there to help - or find help - when needed. And because everyone typically offers their own set of skills or expertise, seniors may be able to rely on their roommates to take on household tasks that would ordinarily require a professional.
At a time when nearly one-third of adults age 45 and older report feeling lonely, socialization is becoming more important than ever for retirees and older adults. Whether it’s a special occasion, a holiday or just a meal around the table, having good company with a close friend circle makes all the difference for mental and physical wellbeing – and can be found with the right roommates.
While the idea of retiring with roommates is a promising one, it’s important to remember that it can bring its own set of challenges, too. Whether you’re considering new friends to live with or making plans with old ones, it’s best to get financial agreements in writing and address lifestyle choices, boundaries, and responsibilities beforehand to ensure a more permanent and successful outcome. But with the right people and the right place, this “Golden Girls” concept can offer community, togetherness, and independence at a time when women need it most.
Helping With Meals
Roommates can take turns preparing meals or cooking together. Sharing favorite recipes can make mealtime more fun! Having somebody to help with grocery shopping and cooking duties can lighten the load.
If you or your roommate experience a hospital stay, it's crucial to have proper nutrition when returning home in order to make a better recovery. Many Medicare Advantage plans offer a home-delivered benefit for their members. Be sure to check with your plan to see if you're eligible.
Download our infographic for more tips on Aging in Place.