Could you share your home with another over-60?

If you can't afford to go it alone, then shared housing might be the retirement housing option you need.
The Golden Girls all lived together in a share house... could you live with an over-60 in a share house? Source: YouTube

Imagine four older ladies living in a house together?

It sounds familiar because it’s basically the plot of the hit sitcom The Golden Girls, but it’s also the newest trend in retirement living.

In your younger days before you were married, chances are you might have had room mates or lived with friends.

And now in your older days that could be the way to live again.

For single pensioners and retirees, cost of living pressures are increasing and housing affordability for both home buyers and renters is becoming one of the single biggest issues in Australia.

With that in mind, an increasing number of older retirees and pensioners are moving in with each other to share costs and make housing more affordable.

It’s a trend that’s really taken off in America, and in Australia it’s about to become even more popular.

Amanda Graham from Seniors Housing Online told Seven News that share housing for seniors freed up an under utilised resource in the community.

“It provides affordable accommodation for people,” she said.

“It is all about people finding the right sort of compatible house hold for their interests or lifestyle.”

Meanwhile, over in America, the American Association of Retired Persons has also sung the praises of shared housing for seniors.

In 2013, AARP figures showed there were four million women over the age of 50 were living in households with two or more women over the age of 50.

Director of Liveable Communities for the AARP’s Public Policy Institute Rodney Harrell told The Mercury News shared housing was a good option for seniors who are open to the idea.

“This kind of living arrangement will be growing in the future,” he said.

“The baby boomer population is obviously getting older and living longer. This is really an untapped potential. More people should be doing it.

“It can provide companionship, save costs, provide a feeling of security having other people in the home.”

So, could you actually live with another over-60, especially a stranger you’ve never met before?

If you could, then the big challenge facing you is finding room mates that you can trust.

Thanks to the Internet, finding room mates is easier than ever before.

If you’re looking for people to move in with you, there are numerous websites to use.

In the US there are popular websites such as The Golden Girls Network for finding a room mate over-60, while in Australia there are websites such as Senior Flat Mates that can help.

So once you’ve found a room mate, it’s a good idea to establish some rules and draw up an agreement to make sure you and your room mate/mates are on the same page.

A Place For Mom suggests you use “extreme caution” when looking for a room mate to make sure you don’t get sucked into any scams.

The website also suggests talking about your expectations and rules with any prospective room mates, particularly when it comes to household duties, parking, pets, privacy, bills and other costs.

Of course, it also pays to educate yourself about the residential tenancy legislation in your state or territory, as the rules tend to differ between states.

Depending on who you are and what lease agreement you’re entering, you could be categorised as a tenant, landlord, head-tenant, sub-tenant, boarder or lodger.

So, could you live in a share house? Do you have room mates over-60? Tell us about your experiences.

  1. Pamela  

    I have shared the home of a friend I met on line about seven years ago. We did meet a couple of times over 18 months, then I was diagnosed with cancer and could not get adequate treatment in rural area where I lived. He invited me to share his home and acted as my carer as necessary over the subsequent years – cancer recurrence after the first, broken arm, abdominal surgery, full hip replacement, both eyes with replacement lens for cataracts.

    Our sharing means he can afford to keep his home and our expenses are in some cases halved and most reduced significantly.

    Suits us both, and I recommend it to all who can find trustworthy people to share with.

  2. Tina  

    I would not mind, but my visitors might mind me! My mother in law being welsh always described me as that foreigner, (I am dutch born) and suggested I was totally wrong! But I married her golden boy and seem to be okay to him!

  3. Indeed this is a good idea. My website is dedicated to helping people realize that they can do this and my book, Sharing Housing, A Guidebook for Finding and Keeping Good Housemates is full of info about how to find a good one.

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