A few people may raise their eyebrows when someone in their 50s says: “I am living with a roommate”. But not many. Shared housing is no longer an exclusive domain of the young. A growing number of women and men over 50 all across the US are moving in with roommates.
Forget about the traditional stereotypes and boldly go your own way. There is nothing wrong with living with a roommate at any age. It has become socially acceptable and is often preferable to living alone.
In this article, Shyft explores the benefits of having roommates in your 50s and beyond. Learn how shared housing can enhance social connections, reduce living costs, and provide companionship. You will also discover resources and strategies for finding compatible roommates.
Most people opt for shared housing after retirement because they do not make enough money to cover all expenses. It stands to reason to find a roommate and split the housing, electricity, water, and gas bills. But getting a roommate after 50 is not only about answering the ever-present question: how to reduce the cost of living?
Shared housing is often the best solution when children leave the nest, after divorce, or after moving to a new city. If you are sociable, you will probably prefer to live with a roommate, even if you can afford to live alone. People over 50 who live alone often feel socially isolated
Besides providing companionship, roommates are also invaluable for safety reasons. You can enjoy peace of mind knowing there’s someone to get help quickly if you, for example, slip on the wet bathroom floor.
If you are wondering how to find a roommate, there are many resources available to you for shared housing. Consider these ideas:
Ask around: Let your friends and family know you want to find a roommate. Someone might know someone who is in a similar situation.
Post a notice: The billboard at your local community center or church is the perfect place to post a “roommate wanted” notice.
Visit a roommate-matching website: Several online platforms are designed to help people over 50 find roommates.
Use social media: This is a good resource for making new connections. You may even find groups created to help people find roommates. Before committing, be sure to meet your potential housemate in person, even if they are a friend of a friend.
When you go for shared housing after 50, remember to ask the right questions during a face-to-face interview with your prospective roommate.
You probably know what kind of person (or persons) you would like for a roommate (or roommates). It is still a good idea to put everything on paper. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about personal habits and truthfully share your own. Smoker or non-smoker? Pet-lover or not? Chatty or quiet? Neat or (a little) messy? A morning person or a night owl?
Matching up with a compatible roommate is not about acquiring a friend. Screening prospective roommates for shared housing is more like a job interview than a bonding session. Your roommates may end up becoming your friends. Or they may not, and still be great to share a house with.
Be flexible in your search, and don’t limit yourself to your age group. You are just as likely to find a compatible person in a different age group. If you share a home with a student, they can help with daily living tasks. However, note that such arrangements are usually temporary because a young adult will probably leave in due course, leaving you to look for another roommate.
You’ve probably heard stories about best friends sharing a house and ending up hating each other.
The truth is, just because you are compatible as friends does not mean you will be compatible as roommates. After all, your friend might habitually roam around the house in the middle of the night. That will not bother you in the least - until you start living together.
Friends living together are likely to cross boundaries. Do not hesitate to set some ground rules, just as you would with a stranger. Pay special attention to everything and anything involving money. Nothing sours friendship faster than financial disagreements.
With ground rules defined and respected, sharing a house with a friend can be pure joy. Even mundane tasks such as cooking and grocery shopping are more fun when your best friend is with you.
Shared housing or simply moving in with another person, whether a friend or a stranger, presents unique challenges. This is especially true for people over 50 because we all become more set in our ways as we age. Be aware of that and be ready to make compromises.
Agree on rules beforehand or in the first few days of house sharing. The financial side should be straightforward and clear. All parties should know how much they will pay for the rent, utilities, and other expenses. Also, remember to cover all other aspects of communal living.
Problems in shared housing typically crop up when you and your roommate neglect to reach a prior agreement on potential issues, such as household chores, cleanliness, noise levels, or entertaining guests. Some people recommend drawing up a home-share agreement; others think that is unnecessary. If you feel more comfortable with a written list of house rules, be prepared to review it occasionally with your roommate to see what works and what does not.
In any case, communicate regularly to identify any problems early on and deal with them. Also, be tolerant. There will be things that bother you. There will be dirty dishes in the sink or muddy shoes in the corridor. If gentle reminders do not work, learn to live with such annoyances. That’s better than having to face a strained relationship day after day.
Remember that when problems occur in shared housing you can always seek sanctuary in your room. And if the situation becomes intolerable, call it quits and start looking for a new roommate.
With shared housing, discover a new level of moving satisfaction when you choose Shyft as your trusted partner. You can rest assured that knowledgeable professionals will handle your relocation, and you can focus on finding a roommate.
Shyft goes the extra mile by providing you with a dedicated Move Coach who will oversee your entire relocation process from start to finish. The Shyft team is available seven days a week, day or night, including weekends, and ready to address any concerns or questions.
Say goodbye to the hassle and stress of traditional moves. When Shyft organizes your relocation, everything is streamlined for your convenience. A simple video call is all it takes to create your moving inventory and receive multiple quotes. No more tedious research, quoting requests, or on-site visits.
As an added advantage, Shyft is proud to offer exclusive discounts of up to $250 for every move AARP members book.
It is easy to enjoy a stress-free move with Shyft. Visit AARP® Moving Services powered by Shyft and complete a brief form. Alternatively, you can contact Shyft directly at 1-888-501-3181.
You'll be prompted to download the free Shyft Next app on your iPhone or Android device and schedule a video call with a dedicated Move Coach from Shyft. Your Move Coach will video-call you at the appointed time and conduct a virtual survey of all the items you plan to relocate.
Simply walk around your house, pointing the camera on your device at the belongings you wish to take with you. At the same time, you can discuss your options and ask any questions you can think of. Shyft’s handy moving checklist will help you get an overview of everything a move entails, so be sure to download it.
Approximately 30 minutes after the video call, you will receive an inventory list that is typically 95% accurate. Make any necessary adjustments to ensure it is 100% accurate.
Your Move Coach will submit the approved list to the secure Shyft platform, where reputable moving companies will bid for your business. This ensures that you get competitive pricing. By booking your move through Shyft, you can save money and time while enjoying exceptional service.
Your Move Coach will present at least three top quotes from different moving companies. When you accept a quote, it becomes locked, meaning the price is fixed and cannot change as long as you don't modify the specifications or fail to book the move before the expiration of the quote.
Shyft prides itself on its transparent process and unwavering commitment to excellent customer service. Your Move Coach will ensure that your belongings are handled with care and that your move is as stress-free as possible. If you have any questions or concerns about your move, the Shyft team is available day or night, even on weekends.
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