You are the “GOLDEN GIRLS” of our time.
Due to the surprisingly high singles rate and the expense of residing alone, sharing a place with others can completely transform your life while offering many benefits. You remember the TV show called the “Golden Girls?” This is what I call Platonic Cohabitation and it has the potential to be a life saver on a number of different levels.
Since we are the first generation to live a long time in retirement, social accommodations that meet our needs tend to lag behind. That means we need to anticipate and plan for ourself accordingly. The many benefits of cohabitation are:
ECONOMIC: This most obvious of benefits cuts your expenses of rent and utilities in half. It can reduce your mortgage payment or become an income stream if your home is paid off.
HEALTH: Others help alert us to remembering our medications or being aware of problems that are not apparent to us at first. Your roommate would be the first responder if you get hurt or need help.
SOCIAL: Having people around stops some primary problems in old age like loneliness and isolation. We know this can led to depression and early death. So, being social is part of the key to better mental health and longevity.
PERSONAL: Having someone to discuss personal matters with is a very important part of being involved and connected to life. The degree of bonding that occurs with roommates can be very profound and long lasting. It’s quite likely that needed friendships will flourish in this setting.
When I worked my way through college, I needed to have roommates for many years. Besides a form of economizing, it was an experience at meeting new and diverse people. I actually met the group of college buddies that became lifelong friends for over 41 years as roommates. When I purchased my first house, I offset the expense by having a roommate. This person also turned out to be a lifelong friend. Consequently, the best friendship bonding in my life has occurred as a result of having roommates.
Many of us may have not had a roommate since college and may have mixed feelings about it. But, we should not let past memories cloud our judgement about what we need in the future. I always recommend that you start with someone on your social network, so you already have a level of comfort. If no one on your network needs to share right now, there are a number of websites that are roommate finders. All my roommates were unknown at first until they became lifelong supportive friends. L.J.
More at: www.creativeretirementforwomen.com