Nothing like a catchy phrase to get attention. And the idea of women of retirement age living together is getting more attention. Seniors sharing housing is a movement on the rise.
A Coming Idea?
In July of 2011 a blog post showed up on Rueters Wealth. (Now archived and off the web.) It’s the fourth unique piece since winter. I’ve commented on two. (Golden Girls in SmartMoney (no longer on line), Decades of Friendship: How the Nancys Retired). Then there was the Tampa Bay Online and Good Morning America. All these stories have been picked up by other bloggers and news outlets. And there are groups of volunteer community activists who are meeting and talking and hoping to find a way to encourage more people to consider sharing housing as a means to “age in place.” I met a pair of dynamic activists and organizers working in Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts. I encountered a press release call for a meeting in the Minden Times of Ontario, Canada.
The Reuters article cites data from an AARP study that indicate there are 480,000 retirement age women living with non-related women to making up 130,000 Golden Girl homes. There are many, many more women who, if given an informed choice, might opt for this style of living .
2010 Census Data
Using census data and arbitrarily deciding that the ages 50-69 are right for “golden girls” (though there are many plus 70s who would do fine) I calculate that there are 9.5 million single women (widowed, divorced, separated and never married) who are eligible for “golden girl” living situations. Subtracting the 450,000 women the AARP study cites who are already sharing housing and there are potentially 9 million woman who could become “Golden Girls.”
Let’s have many more articles about this way of living. Let’s include men. Let’s promote the idea of sharing housing so that it becomes a mainstream choice about how to live.
Let’s tell stories about people living in this way. We’ve been telling those stories since this original post. Check out the category, Real People Sharing Housing. or go directly to some stories like this one about two friends who fell into living together, or Kara’s story. Know anyone? Invite them to tell their story here.
August 2018 Update—the Men
Many people ask me about the men. Are they not also candidates for shared housing? Sure they are, but they aren’t as interested. I think that there are a few reasons for this:
- they don’t live as long
- they want to get married (and have more choices… )
- they have more money due to pay disparities and life decisions.
Last Updated on March 10, 2019 by Bob Sherwood
Do you have any new info? Am thinking about starting a house.
Good for you! I strongly suggest you do read Sharing Housing, A Guidebook for Finding and Keeping Good Housemates and then use the worksheets to get clear about what you are looking for. Also sign up for our newsletter so that you get the most recent news. How else can I help? Notice that if you buy the book on Amazon and send me the receipt I’ll give you fifteen minutes of free coaching.
I live in Westmoreland county, PA. I love this idea of Golden Girls housing. It just makes sense to me on so many levels.
I would like to start a place like that. However, here is my concept:
There are probably a lot of Golden Girls out there who, like me, are big pet lovers. The idea of getting shared housing but having to give up a beloved pet to do so is just unacceptable to me and a lot of Golden Girls probably feel the same way.
So, how about the idea of a mobile home community where all the expenses are shared equally (utilities, prop. tax, etc.) yet each Golden Girl has her own independent place where she can keep her beloved pets?
I thought of a mobile home community just because they are around. But a Tiny House community would work just as well.
It’s a great idea. You aren’t alone in thinking of mobile park/tiny house as one way to go. But I’m not sure why you assume that you’d have to give up a pet to live in shared housing? Obviously it depends on the situation and the pets.