House sharing can bring financial security for seniors. The sharing economy has opened an income window for older homeowners. Instead of being forced to sell their home because they are unable to afford the costs, they are able to stay put, thanks to online services that help renters and homeowners connect.
Many seniors are facing a shortage of retirement savings, which is forcing them to look at other options to bring in retirement income. More than half of all retirees do not have the savings they need to replace their income in retirement and are often unable to pay the expenses of maintaining a home. So renting out a room or two in their home can provide a big boost in their monthly income.
There are two ways to approach house sharing. For maximum monthly income, many homeowners use a sharing app like AirBnB.com to rent out rooms on a short-term basis. Because rates are higher for a night or a few weeks, homeowners can earn more than simply renting the same room by the month.
To find typical rates in your area, visit AirBnB. For example, a private room in your Boise, Idaho home should bring $231 per week, while a similar room in Seattle, Washington brings $360! AirBnB charges a modest 3% service fee for each reservation, and provides insurance for you at no extra cost.
For seniors who prefer a year-round renter, services like silvernest.com can help find the perfect long-term roommate.Much like a dating service, they help find a compatible renter, based on your preferences, do background screening on your choices and create a rental agreement for your new tenant.
As one delighted senior homeowner said, after finding two compatible roommates who also became good friends, “This is like a retirement home for three!”
For some seniors, money is not the primary reason for renting an extra room in their home. Instead, they need help around the house with everyday chores they are unable to do, and renting to someone who can offer that is a bigger motivation than money.
In fact, a recent AARP survey found 43% of those surveyed valued help above money when thinking about renting a room in their home.
If you’re considering house sharing, be sure to spell out what you expect, such as house cleaning, transportation or other help, in the rental agreement. This can help prevent any mis-understanding between you and your new tenant.
Silvernest.com provides a sample lease agreement you can modify to meet your specific requirements. You can also find rental agreements online … just do a quick search for “free rental agreements.”
Research has shown that retired folks that stay in their home live longer than those who don’t. Often just a few hundred dollars a month can make the difference in affordability, so consider sharing your home to boost your retirement income so you can stay home and live longer!