The popular ‘80s sitcom “The Golden Girls” centered around a group of senior women who lived together. Now, as it turns out, reports Clare Trapasso, senior news editor of realtor.com, more seniors are finding themselves in similar living situations as housing prices across the nation continue to rise.
There is a surge in demand from the young and old alike to move into the spare rooms of lonely and often lower-income elderly homeowners, according to senior housing organizations nationwide. This provides the homeowners with the money and companionship they need to maintain and manage to stay in their homes, instead of moving in with family or into a nursing home.
In 2015, there were about 703,000 households in which someone lived with a non-relative over the age of 65, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Only about 1% to 1.2% of the population over the age of 50 has lived with roommates over the past 15 or so years, according to AARP, a Washington, DC–based nonprofit and lobbying group for older Americans. But the group anticipates that percentage could rise as more baby boomers, a much larger generation than its predecessors, retire.
That makes sense, as the median income of those over 65 was just $20,600 in 2014, according to the most recent data available from AARP. It was significantly lower for women, who often outlive their husbands, at $15,800.