Independent Living − How to Stay in Your Home
Your home may be one of your biggest assets when you retire. But you don’t have to sell it to get value. Homesharing may be a way to gain extra income and take care of personal needs at the same time.
Some reasons include:
- Shared expenses
- Complimentary abilities or interests
- Help with home maintenance or chores
Can you handle it?
Follow these suggestions from The National Shared Housing Resource Center when considering homesharing.
1. Define your needs and preferences
- How much income do you need from a housemate?
- How much personal space do you need?
- Are you willing to share common areas, or do you prefer to more privacy?
- Do you have medical conditions that need to be considered?
2. Weigh the pros and cons
- Would homesharing improve your present situation?
- Are there other solutions that don’t require as much of a lifestyle change?
3. Will it help you?
- Are you willing to offer a student or young couple a place to live in exchange for household chores that you aren’t able to do yourself?
- Could you stay in your home longer if a housemate could cook for you or provide transportation?
- Do you worry about living alone?
4. Take a trial run
- Invite potential housemates for a week or two trial
- Talk honestly about how it went before you decide to make it permanent
5. Consider your family and friends
- Will this arrangement also affect the people who are most important to you?
- Ask if they’ll support your decision
- Ask them to meet your potential housemates to get a second opinion about suitability
- Ask a trusted advisor for help with a background check or formal legal agreement
Making it work
Everyday annoyances can get in the way of a successful arrangement. Avoid problems by clearly defining expectations for things like phone usage, guests and household chores. Specify household items you’re willing to share and what’s is off limits.
What works for you?
Homesharing is just one way that owning your home can help in retirement, but it’s definitely not for everyone so consider all aspects carefully.