roommateAfter I left home at 18, I had roommates for the next 22 years of my life. For some reason, a roommate is stereotyped as someone who is young and living life on a shoestring. Personally, I’ve never been a slave to stereotypes and I gladly let people live in my spare room until I didn’t have one anymore.

I’m married now—and have a roommate of another sort—but I completely get the new phenomenon of women of a certain age and with certain needs sharing their homes with other women in the same boat. The financial benefit is a no-brainer, but there are plenty of other benefits as well.

Here are a few other reasons to consider a late-in-life roommate (who may also become a great friend!):

A hand around the house. Having to do everything on your own—dusting, yardwork, painting, drain unclogging, cooking, etc.—can be a hassle!  It’s nice to have someone with whom you can share the responsibilities. However, you have to be clear about your expectations with prospective roommates upfront. But don’t expect a roommate to load the dishwasher or trim the hedges exactly like you do. The task itself is where your expectations should end.

Emotional support. Maybe you’ve just lost a spouse to death or divorce or your circle of friends has shrunk over the years.  A roommate can serve as a helpful shoulder or a sounding board when you need it, not to mention valuable companionship.

Built-in petsitter. If you’re a pet owner, you don’t have the flexibility to pick up and go whenever you please. But when you have someone sharing your home, there’s someone else there who may be willing to take care of your furry kids when you’re not around. That gives you a whole lot more freedom and could even save you money!

In case of illness or emergency. It’s comforting to have someone to make you food, pick up meds, take you to doctors’ appointments, or just be there when you’re not feeling well. She’ll also come in handy for those unexpected occurrences, such as a car breakdown, an injury or getting locked out.

Share the benefits of a roommate.

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