(Check out this great Boommate interview from the Today show)
A new trend has caught the attention of baby boomers, and it’s drastically improving their quality of life: Shared housing. You might find yourself scoffing at the idea, worried about your precious privacy and personal space, but the benefits seem to heavily outweighing the sacrifices.
There are many reasons for the recent influx of “Boommates” as they have come to be called. According to the National Center for Family & Marriage Research, one out of three boomers will probably face old age without a spouse. This is in part due to the overall divorce rate doubling for those 50+ since 1990. Couple this with adult children living further away, and the need for living companions is clearly growing. Oh, and don’t forget the recession, rising health care, expensive housing, and improved longevity – all issues that can be tempered by splitting the rent check.
Many Boommates are simply happy to have a companion in the house. On top of lowering their cost of living, boomers have offset the loneliness experienced by years spent living alone. Annamarie Pluhar, a shared-housing consultant and author of Sharing Housing: A Guidebook for Finding and Keeping Good Housemates, explains, “It’s also having someone say, ‘How is your day?’ and having a social connection that feeds the soul.” Residents can also split household chores, improve their feeling of safety, and live independently into older age.
If this sounds like a helpful solution for you, check out the following home sharing resources that are connecting Boommates every day:
- The New York Foundation for Senior Citizens
- The Foundation’s free Home Sharing Program helps link adult “hosts” with extra private spaces in their homes or apartments with appropriate adult “guests” to share their space. One of the match mates must be age 60 or older.
- Roommates 4 Boomers
- This company uses an algorithm similar to online dating sites to match women over 50 with their ideal roommate. It is free to search for roommates using the site, but costs $29.99 to contact a prospective roommate.
- Stitch helps link you to other adults over 50 years old in your neighborhood who have the same interests as you. And the rest is up to you! To register for free, click here.
- Boommates (Coming Soon)
- Roommate matching service designed specifically for Baby Boomers
Whatever you’re reasons for seeking a roommate, these resources should be able to help. If you think having a new living companion would enhance your third stage of life, you’re only a few clicks away!
Do you know anyone who has found a new roommate later in life? Have you ever considered changing your lifestyle in this way? What is holding you back? Share with us!