retirement

Drafting a roommate agreement for seniors

Retirement » Senior Living »Drafting A Roommate Agreement For Seniors

Don TaylorDear Senior Living Adviser,
I am in my 60s and single. My girlfriends and I want to go all "Golden Girls" and live together to share expenses. We are concerned about coming up with a roommate agreement spelling out expenses. Can you help us decide how to budget?

Thank you.
-- Becky Budget

Dear Becky,
You've latched onto a hot topic in senior living: getting a roommate to share expenses. You're right to think through the financial aspects of the living arrangements before you start living together. There are a host of non-financial issues too, such as keeping the place clean, shopping, cooking and guests.

Cast of The Golden Girls

© Walter McBride/Corbis

You don't want to be like Sheldon in "The Big Bang Theory" with a roommate agreement that runs hundreds of pages and spells out every conceivable situation, but you do want to sort through financial responsibilities and chores.

Having a written roommate agreement is a good idea. Sites like Nolo.com offer sample roommate agreements.

Are you moving into a friend's home or signing a lease on an apartment together? The lease is a lot less tricky because there are no issues about whether your rent check should buy you any equity stake in the home's appreciation over time. That doesn't mean that one of you being the landlord can't work -- just that it adds a wrinkle to the mix.

On the financial side, I'd say that the roommates should split the bills equally, but there are always going to be grumbles about paying premium cable service, agreeing on where to set the thermostat, etc. If one of you can't live without HBO, and it's not important to the others, then reflect that in the budget. Preferences come with a price. Don't let that price be your friendships. Spell things out.

Get more news, money-saving tips and expert advice by signing up for a free Bankrate newsletter.

Ask the adviser

To ask a question of Dr. Don, go to the "Ask the Experts" page and select one of these topics: "Financing a home," "Saving & Investing" or "Money." Read more Dr. Don columns for additional personal finance advice.

Bankrate's content, including the guidance of its advice-and-expert columns and this website, is intended only to assist you with financial decisions. The content is broad in scope and does not consider your personal financial situation. Bankrate recommends that you seek the advice of advisers who are fully aware of your individual circumstances before making any final decisions or implementing any financial strategy. Please remember that your use of this website is governed by Bankrate's Terms of Use.

advertisement

Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us
Assisted Living Costs

Let us help you compare

  • Pictures
  • Pricing
  • Options
Zip code or City, State

Get Help Now

advertisement
CD & INVESTING NEWSLETTER

Learn the latest trends that will help grow your portfolio, plus tips on investing strategies. Delivered weekly.

Blog

Dr Don Taylor

When to take out a reverse mortgage

With retirement savings lacking, a reverse mortgage may help seniors delay receiving Social Security benefits.  ... Read more

advertisement

Senior Living Adviser

How do I earn money fast, easy?

Dear Senior Living Adviser, I'm a 63-year-old single woman who lost everything in the housing bust. I went bankrupt about 2 1/2 years ago and had to file early for Social Security benefits. I make $800 a month and I live...

View more Bankrate Advisers »

Partner Center
advertisement

Connect with us