Let’s suppose you own a large home. The children have long moved away and you are well into your retirement and want to stay in your home. The only problem is that with those extra rooms, it’s a bit of work and wouldn’t it be easier if you could turn those spaces into something that earned a little money? Well, you can!
Probably the easiest way to create some cash flow from those empty rooms is to rent them out. I’m not talking about turning your home into a bed and breakfast, either. I’m suggesting renting to another senior who may not have as large a home and has possibly just downsized to the point they want something less than their own home and are still fairly active and years away from assisted living.
What you will be doing is creating a different kind of seniors housing by renting extra rooms to fellow seniors who would rather have less responsibility than owning a home and all the chores that come with that. You may also find some seniors have retired to the point where they have not much more than a small apartment full of belongings, travel in a recreational vehicle for part of the year and just need a small place to call home the rest of the time.
Depending on the size of your home and the number of available rooms, you could also establish what is known as a co-housing opportunity. Co-housing is an affordable alternative to senior housing where a number of seniors essentially become full-time roommates in a large home sharing in all the chores related to living there. For some this living arrangement brings back memories of college dorm life and depending on where you went to school, is quite similar to that minus the wild parties and the term papers. Well, the term papers for sure.
There are actually a number of housing developments all across the United States where neighborhoods in cities and towns have combined a number of private homes into co-housing communities. Some of them, such as Elder Spirit in Abingdon, Virginia and Wolf Creek Lodge in Grass Valley, California, are built or retrofitted with amenities specifically designed for older seniors. That being said, if all you have is one or two spare rooms available for rent, let’s just focus on that.
There are a number of ways to reach out to your community in order to find renters. The traditional method is through classified advertising in your local newspaper or online at craigslist.com. If you are specifically looking for another senior, it wouldn’t hurt to contact the local seniors association, unless you are already a member, and let the other seniors know what you are doing. You may also benefit from spreading the word in any of the other senior circles you frequent from the golf course to bowling or the book club.
You will be providing more than a room for a fellow senior when you find a renter. You could end up forging a new friendship and discover many mutual benefits to that arrangement.
True Story – Golden Girls Network
After a 2008 divorce left Bonnie Moore living alone in a remodeled five bedroom home, she searched for and found four roommates to fill the empty bedrooms and the group became fast friends. The experience was so positive that Moore wore a book titled “How To Start A Golden Girl’s Home,” and began a new career dedicated to helping older adults ease their way into shared living. You can purchase the book at Amazon.com, and visit her site, www.goldengirlsnetwork.com to learn more about the possibilities.