Renting and Roommates: how Baby Boomers are saving money

Baby Boomers took a pretty big hit in the last recession; losing their 401ks, their jobs, or both, and finding it difficult to return to the workforce. Because of this, homelessness in the Baby Boomer demographic is on the rise. The financial burden of owning and maintaining a home in conjunction with the increasing costs of living and healthcare is overwhelming. The solution may be to start thinking about renting rather than buying or even taking on a roommate.


Financial Relief.

One of the biggest incentives to rent rather than buy is definitely the financial savings. When you rent, you can replace your home owner’s insurance policy with a much more affordable renter’s policy. Utilities in an apartment are less expensive than a home. Generally, all the major appliances are provided. And, probably the best part, you no longer have to worry about maintenance. If something breaks, you make a phone call. No more replacing hot water heaters, cleaning out the gutters, or finding someone to mow the lawn. It’s all taken care of for you, making renting less expensive and easier.


Golden Girls vs. Intergenerational Roommates.

The Golden Girls are not only icons, they’re also trendsetters. These four single ladies had the right idea. Share the expenses. Share the housework. Share the cheesecake. This living arrangement is not only a huge financial relief, it’s great for companionship and quality of life. Whether your roommate is in your demographic or you hop on the intergenerational bandwagon, having a friend to share your space and your day with can stave off loneliness and boredom.

Intergenerational living is a relatively new phenomenon that’s taking hold. Older people who have extra rooms in their apartments are taking on Millennial roommates. This arrangement, though it may sound odd, can be mutually beneficial to both parties. Millennials, those in the 18-35 range, may not have the income or credit required to rent a place on their own. These kids are often in college and, as we all know, those entry-level jobs their parents and grandparents were lucky enough to have are now unpaid internships; leaving them with very little income. Enter the Baby Boomers.

Most Baby Boomers are relying on a fixed income. Taking on a younger roommate allows them to have a little walking around money. And, the great thing about intergenerational living is, each generation can learn from the other. Do you have a new phone or tablet you aren’t sure how to use? Want to start paying your bills online, but you aren’t sure how? Ask your roommate. Then maybe you can pass on some life skills to them. Since the age difference is so drastic, there really is a lot to be learned from both sides.


Set some ground rules.

When it comes to taking on a roommate, no matter their age, setting some ground rules is crucial to peaceful living. If you are considering rooming with a stranger, please do a thorough background check, write out the terms of your agreement, and have a third party help you with a vetting process. Also, before taking on a roommate, check your renter’s policy to ensure you aren’t breaking the terms of your lease.


Easing the burden by renting rather than buying or taking on a roommate is a big step. But it may be exactly what you need.