Thank You For Being A Friend…Want To Home Share?

Definition: An arrangement whereby several participants live together in one home. The participants share the costs.

Are you single? No kids? No family nearby? Lonely? Retired or soon to be? Worried that you will be an elder orphan? A Golden Girl living arrangement may be to your liking.

It was September of 1985 when the Golden Girls TV show first aired. While four adult women sharing an apartment may have seemed unlikely at the time, the concept has grown in popularity. In fact, many single retirees are interested in home-sharing.

Recent studies show loneliness can be a major detriment to health in later years. Consider that as we age we may not be physically able to maintain our homes or afford the upkeep and repair costs. Why not share the costs and benefit from everything else that a live-in roommate has to offer?

The Golden Girls model is just one of several different home-sharing arrangements. Today there are organizations, consultants and training firms all centered around how to engage in home-sharing.

Should long-term care funding be a requirement?

What would you do if your golden girl roommate needs long-term care? You’ve lived together for years, traveled together, enjoyed the same books and movies, go to the same hair salon, etc. Life takes a turn and care is needed. What to do?

Maybe the gal gang should have a verifiable long-term care funding strategy in place. Insurance? Home care membership service? Annuity or life insurance that can be used to pay for care expenses? Something to consider.

There is a lot to learn about this living arrangement. Pros and cons. Tax implications. How to find a match. Pets? Tobacco use? 

Research indicates that 43 percent of older people surveyed felt lonely. Loneliness is different from depression. Loneliness is a predictor of functional decline and death. Perhaps home-sharing may be in your future. Even with the companionship and reduced expenses that home-sharing can provide still comes the concern about long-term care needs.