I loved watching the Golden Girls when it was on years ago. Up until that time, I hadn't really thought about older women living together as roommates. It presented an option to me that seemed like a choice only girls too young to afford their own apartment made. Back then, I thought of midlife as a time when you just magically had the money and time you needed to live your life.
Funny how a television show can jolt you into a future reality.
More Midlifers Living Single
Today, people aged 65 and older make up one-third of those living alone in America. Many of those are women, who generally live longer than men and are also more likely to remain single as a matter of choice. But by choosing not to marry, some midlifers are also setting themselves up for economic instability.
Having enough money is a challenge for any midlifer and beyond, but it's especially important for single people. One study found that only 16% of single seniors were economically secure. So what's the solution?
Finding Ways to Live Financially Secure as a Single
The example of the fictional Golden Girls gives us one example of how seniors can save on living expenses. The show, which ran from 1985 to 1992, starred Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty, and focused on four fictional women who lived together in a Miami home. They began their living arrangement as a way to save money, but quickly became friends.
One way to avoid senior poverty is to follow this example. Living on your own is tough at any age, but midlifers sometimes have limited income, and a roommate can help ease the burden of things like energy, home, and food costs. Money saved on these expenses can then be put toward healthcare bills or retirement savings.
In addition, a roommate can help with feelings of loneliness and isolation. While you might not become best friends, you'll at least have someone nearby to talk with on a regular basis. Another person in the house can also ease the fear that some have of falling or needing help physically.
Some midlifers who choose to remain single also move in with their romantic partners. Many singles choose this situation after the ending of a long-term marriage. They enjoy the companionship they find with their partner, but don't want the legal and religious expectations of marriage. Saving on expenses becomes a side benefit to this arrangement.
Living together isn't for everyone, however. Some midlifers find it against their moral or religious values. Others just simply enjoy having their own time without answering to their partner. A Golden Girls type of living arrangement offers cost savings and companionship to someone whether they are in a romantic relationship or not.
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