When you hear the word “roommates,” thoughts about the days of being young and single may come to mind. However, more and more people, especially women, are finding the housemate option to be an attractive choice as they ease into retirement, taking into account financial reality and the resilience needed to live alone. In a home sharing arrangement, residents can split household chores, feel safer with more people around, and grow older at home without feeling isolated, according to research studies citing the advantages of friendship and social engagement.
The number of people over age 75 living alone is expected to nearly double in the coming years, going from 6.9 million in 2015 to 13.4 million in 2035. Most of these people will be women, and many of them won’t be able to afford housing. This is just one reason more and more seniors are looking to share costs by sharing their home.
Finding a Housemate
Today there are a variety of resources that match older people looking for a housemate to share a residence.
Roommates4Boomers – After having a positive experience sharing a home with a roommate after her midlife divorce, Karen Venable started Roommates4Boomers, a resource for retiring women baby boomers. For $29.99 per month, with a minimum of two months, women over 50 can find roommates to share a home with. Venable suggests that someone should join only when they’re ready to contact a potential match. Access to credit and criminal background checking resources are also available.
The Golden Girls Network – This nationwide database connects about 1,500 members who are between the ages of 50 and 70, enabling them to find housemates. Though most choose just one housemate, you can also access multiple-housemate listings. The fee is $39 for six months’ access.
Senior HomeShares – Seniors between the ages of 50 and 90 can access this database of more than 600 members to find a roommate online, even with the option to add a helper to your account, like a family member or a friend who can help you fill out your profile and navigate the site. Customer service is available by phone, email, or live chat, and is staffed by individuals aged 55 and older.
Silvernest – Silvernest uses a matching tool to pair you with compatible housemates. Homeowners can list their homes for a fee, but people looking to move into someone’s house can search for free. Silvernest is still expanding, and its top locations are Colorado, California, and Florida.
Regional HomeShare Programs – If one of the above national programs doesn’t seem right for you, explore local programs like HomeShare Vermont, which offers a one-time match fee ranging from $60 to $500, depending on your income. They interview applicants, complete background checks, help both parties reach a satisfying agreement, and offer continuing support.
No matter which of these programs you try, if you end up with a housemate, you’re likely to end up with a new friend. This is an added perk to the financial savings you’ll enjoy!
If you or your parent are struggling with questions about how best to afford long-term care or other expenses, Ashar Group can help. A life settlement enables you to sell a life insurance policy you no longer need and receive a lump sum of cash that’s greater than the cash surrender value and less than the death benefit. Ashar Group has brokered life settlements in which the policy owner received as much as 8x the policy’s cash surrender value.
The proceeds from a life settlement can be applied to anything, including heath care cost or other expenses. You, or your financial advisor, can take our 7-question policy value quiz to determine whether your situation may qualify for a life settlement solution.
Though a life settlement isn’t right for everyone, Ashar Group can be part of the process of determining whether it makes sense for your situation. We invite you and your financial planner to contact us today.