Here are 3 things to consider before getting a retired roommate | Lifestyles: Food, Home, Health

The time of dreams

Carla Fried,

Being home alone is a reality in retirement for many. According to government data, more than three in 10 women and two in 10 men aged 65 or over live alone. For women, the likelihood of being alone increases with age, partly due to longer life expectancy; in 2018, 44% of women aged 75 and over lived alone.

Anyone who lives alone — and is worried about having the retirement income they need to have fun — should at least consider having a roommate. Sure, it’s way off the beaten path, but before you dismiss the idea, think about how it might improve your retirement. Here are three things to think about beforehand.

Living alone can be expensive

Even though you’ve paid off the mortgage, there’s still property tax to pay. In expensive markets, this will likely eat up some retirement income.

Or maybe you’ve got your eye on a retirement move, but your best choices seem out of reach. A $600,000 townhouse or $1,400 monthly rent might be more affordable if there is someone to split the costs with.

Do you dream of being able to move to a bustling city, where you can ditch the car and walk more? Perhaps it becomes more realistic when the cost is shared.

Then there is the potential gain of having companionship. Maybe it’s not on your mind now, but as you get older you may find that your energy for going out to see friends and attending events slows down a bit. Studies have shown that social isolation is a health risk – at any age – and can also lead to an increased likelihood of developing dementia.

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