Having a senior roommate can be beneficial in a variety of ways. If you hadn’t thought about it before, it’s time to reconsider. In the sitcom Two And a Half Men, we see Alan and his son Jake move in with Alan’s older brother, Charlie. Jake didn’t really get a choice in the matter (Charlie is his uncle), but he does wind up living with a senior roommate. And it doesn’t turn out so bad!
Life on social security or retirement payments can make it difficult for many seniors to maintain the same standard of living they enjoyed during their working years. In an increasingly costly world, living on a fixed income presents problems. Especially since the expense of maintaining living spaces and the cost of an assisted living facility have both increased.
According to data from SpareRoom, the number of individuals over 50 living with roommates is rising nearly twice as quickly as any other age group. One in every five of them is sharing a room for the first time. And it’s typically following life events such as divorce or empty nesting. Many of them are motivated by financial considerations, particularly by elderly individuals who want to remain in their homes as they age, much like Charlies’ situation. And as they say, maybe living with roommates is becoming a little less Friends and a little more Grace and Frankie.
If you think these are the qualities you are looking for in a person sharing a space, having senior roommates is definitely your cup of tea.
1. A unique first hand experience
While senior housemates are increasingly using social media, they are still lagging behind younger generations. This implies that elders have a wealth of information that you can only learn by living with them or through connecting with them in person. And, especially if you’re new to the city, who knows what amazing things you’ll learn! If only there was a book that contained the wisdom passed on by Charlie to Jake right?
2. Financial and social benefits
With one of the highest generational divorce rates and more children moving out, many baby boomers are finding themselves living alone. Living alone is a predictor of loneliness and a risk factor for health concerns. These concerns include depression, cardiovascular disease, and cognitive decline, according to some studies on social isolation among older individuals.
Sharing a place with someone else can help them feel less lonely. And sometimes also helps you feel like you have family around. Though Charlie had no issues with his ‘social life’, he did consider Jake and Alan a bond he needed.
Older Americans who live alone are likewise more financially strained than those who live with others. According to Pew Research, just 33% of older individuals feel financially secure living alone. Further, SpareRoom statistics show that 63% of tenants over 50 are rent-burdened.
Sharing expenses while living independently can help senior citizens extend a fixed income before they decide to move to a more expensive assisted living residence. As long as the seniors can maintain their independence, the savings over continuing care retirement communities can be substantial.
3. Social security – especially for senior women
Older women typically feel less pressed to stay in marriages for cultural or religious reasons now that divorce is less stigmatized. In fact, studies show that women are the ones who initiate the majority of divorces. Living with someone who loves her independence may be freeing and powerful for any young person. However, it’s also reassuring to know that simply being yourself can add to a senior roommate’s or older person’s happiness!
How to find senior roommates
Roomi is a roommate finder app that works on both Android and iOS devices. All of the postings and users on Roomi are screened to ensure that there are no red flags or fraudsters posing as potential roommates. It’s simple to use for both millennials and elders, and you can sign up for an account for free. Simply submit an ad or search for roommates once you’re up and running. Then, message those you think could be compatible. The software even goes so far as to transfer your roommate’s share of the rent on the day they move in. So, it’s well worth your time.
With our ever-increasing lists of rooms and roommates across the world, we help you find your perfect match!