Seniors Revert to Roommates to Relieve Economic Pressure

According to a survey from Go Banking Rates, more than 30% of Americans age 65 and older do not have any money saved for retirement.

Paul Covington, an 81-year-old retired man, needed help paying his mortgage. Covington was relying exclusively on social security funds without any savings. That’s when Jim English, a perfect stranger to Covington, moved in.

“I’m paying less than what I would if I was on my own by at least a few hundred,” English said.

After five months of English contributing to the mortgage and utilities, Covington was able to save $3,000.

When asked if Covington felt more comfortable living with a roommate, he replied, “It’s like a step into heaven. In terms of being relieved of – you know, the economic pressure.”

Typically when thinking of roommates, one may imagine younger individuals living together while attempting to build financial independence. But now, the idea of living with a roommate is becoming more attractive to those of older ages.

The idea of seniors living with a roommate is a growing trend.

In 2016, 70% more seniors lived with roommates than a decade before that.

Covington and English say that the benefits of having a roommate go beyond their bank accounts.

“It’s nice to come in – you know, not to an empty place. I think people should be more in contact, and something like this, I think, would work for a lot of people. So I would recommend it strongly,” English said.

There are several organizations that will help pair seniors up with roommates. Covington and English used the non-profit New York Foundation for Senior Citizens to make their match.

Go Banking Rates asked participants in their survey that had no money saved for retirement, “Which of the following is the main reason you don’t have any retirement savings?”

Interestingly, 9% of respondents with $0 in their retirement accounts said that they won’t need savings in their later years.



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