Editor's note: This is a transcript of the audio file.
You can look at having roommates in retirement as a sorority house for seniors. But it's not just friendship bringing people together under one roof.
Shared housing also benefits the bottom line. I'm Janet Stauble with your Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.
The cost difference between sharing a home and renting a small apartment can be significant. With pooled money, tenants can often live in a great place in a better part of town. And things like maintenance and pet care costs can also be shared.
Aside from money, avoiding nursing homes is another major driver of senior's interest in shared housing, especially among single, widowed and divorced women.
Roommates should be on the same page about what they want from the arrangement. Will you guard each other like family? Or will your interactions be more casual or businesslike?
Safety is key in these living situations. Home-sharing programs that match roommates should do thorough screening, criminal background checks and require character references.
Want to learn more? Log onto Bankrate.com. I'm Janet Stauble.