Here are 3 things to consider before getting a roommate in retirement | Lifestyles


Being home alone is a retirement reality for many. According to government data, more than three in 10 women and two in 10 men at least age 65 live alone. For women, the odds of being solo increase with age, thanks in part to longer life expectancy; in 2018, 44% of women at least age 75 lived alone.

Anyone living alone — and who worries about having the retirement income they need to enjoy themselves — should at least consider having a roommate. Sure, it’s way outside the box, but before you dismiss the idea, consider how it might enhance your retirement. Here are three things to think about beforehand.

Living alone can be expensive

Even if you’ve polished off the mortgage, there’s still property tax to pay. In pricey markets, that’s likely going to eat a chunk of retirement income.

Or maybe you’ve got your eye on a retirement relocation, but your top choices seem out of reach. A $600,000 townhouse or $1,400 monthly rent might be more in reach if there’s someone to share costs with.

Been wishing you could move into a bustling city, where you can ditch the car and walk more? Maybe that becomes more realistic when the cost is shared.

Then there’s the potential payoff from having some company. Maybe that’s not front of mind now, but as you age, you may find your energy to go out to see friends and attend events slows a bit. Studies have shown that social isolation is a health risk — at any age — and it may also lead to an increased likelihood of developing dementia.

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