The Odd Couple: Baby Boomer and Millennial Roommates

Renting rather than buying can be financially beneficial. Having a roommate eases the burden even more. But, what if you can’t find a roommate? Many people are stepping outside their friend circle, and their generation; intergenerational living is a new trend gaining popularity across the country. So, what exactly is it? What are the perks? And how do you get in on it?

What Exactly is Intergenerational Living?

Intergenerational living is a fancy term used to describe roommates from different generations. It’s pretty brilliant, actually. Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age and finding they don’t have as much in savings as they would. The cost of living continues to climb, meanwhile their income stays the same. And then there are the Millennials. This demographic is slated to make less money than their parents, many are burdened with student loan debt, and unpaid internships have taken the place of entry-level jobs.

People, ever resourceful, have come up with a solution; match these two demographics up.

The Perks

For most, saving money is the driving factor when it comes to getting any roommate but, there are other benefits specific to this age gap.

If you’re open to it, this arrangement can be a mutual learning experience. Are you having trouble getting your Instagram set up? I guarantee a Millennial can help. The flip side being, Baby Boomers have more life experiences and life skills than Millennials. Teach each other! It’s easy to dismiss the other generation as drastically different but, when it comes down to it, we are basically the same.

Maybe you’re financially set and don’t need a roommate to help with finances. Okay, consider taking on a roommate to help around the apartment. In lieu of rent, your younger roommate can commit to keeping the place clean, picking up groceries, doing the cooking, etc. The possibilities of a trade agreement are endless. As with the teaching experience, bartering is mutually beneficial. Millennials are broke and, unfortunately, likely to stay that way. The job and housing markets are not what they once were. Exchanging housework for room and board is the perfect solution.

Choosing Your Roommate

Finding the right match can be a daunting task. But, it is a critical step. According to a New York Times article on the subject, more and more cities are offering services to help screen potential roommates. Ask around; your community center or senior center may offer such services. Maybe you have a friend or family member who knows a college student in need of cheap housing. However you choose to find your roommate, be sure you have someone, a child or trusted friend, help you make the correct decision.

Protect Yourself

Even if you find the perfect roommate, it’s important to protect yourself. Draw up a contract clearly stating the terms of the arrangement, inform your landlord or property manager and, lastly, make sure you have renter’s insurance on your things; you should do this regardless of your roommate situation. For more information on why you need renter’s insurance, like, yesterday, click here.

Intergenerational living may seem like a bizarre idea but, if you approach it with an open mind, you may find it’s right for you.