During the late 1980s, the television sitcom “The Golden Girls” enjoyed a seven-year run that resonated with Americans. The main characters consisted of a mature woman, her retired mother and two close female friends all living under one roof.
This practical living arrangement enabled both the sharing of expenses and having friends to talk to on a daily basis, with ensuing drama and laughs that emanated from the household integration of four adult lives.
More than two decades later, the show remains popular, in part because many of today’s baby boomers can relate to what it’s like to live the single life. One in three members of this generation are currently single; some widowed, some never married and others part of the increasing divorced population of people age 50 and up.
In fact, 25 percent of American divorces are among couples over age 50.1 As a result, yesteryear’s Golden Girls living situation has grown quite popular.
If it’s hard to imagine living with other adults you’re not married to, compare it to the potential alternative of living alone. Given the fact that so many boomers experienced income, home equity and retirement savings setbacks over the past decade, cohabiting with peers offers numerous advantages.
For example, coming home from work and having someone to talk to about your day. Sharing household chores and yardwork. Splitting the costs of housing and utilities. Many roommates share common interests and/or have been friends for many years. After respective spouses pass away, friends moving in together can make sense both from a companionship and financial perspective.
One enterprising divorcee shared her five-bedroom home for years after her divorce. She learned so many lessons about what to do and what not to do in a mature roommate scenario that she started her own company. The Golden Girls Network offers a national database of potential roomies age 40 and older that helps homeowners and home seekers find each other.
Here’s to Making the Golden Years – Golden!