May 22, 2021

Golden Girls Should Keep It Simple

In the TV series Golden Girls, Blanche owns the home and the other widows rent a room from her and share expenses.  That is the least complicated way to share a home, since there is never an issue related to the homeownership itself.  If things don't work out, one of the renters just moves out.  While a home could be purchased tenants in common, that is a lot more complicated if one of the owners dies, or just wants out.  In the event of death, that person's share would most likely be left to her heirs.  That would mean that the other owners would have to buy out the heirs and or sell the home to pay off the heir.  

This is not the best situation, which is why the rental scenario makes a lot more sense.  Golden Girls need to keep it simple.  With millions of baby boomers turning 65 at the rate of 10,000 a day for the next 15 - 20 years, it is very possible that many will eventually either need to share living expenses and or once widowed will seek the companionship of living with others.  That is not a bad thing.  

Before doing so, there would need to be house rules to prevent misunderstandings.  So for example maybe no smoking and or pets.  Aside from monthly rent to the owner of the home, how will expenses be shared.  This would work best if each bedroom came with its own ensuite bathroom.  It could be that expenses would include a cleaning lady twice a month to deal with heavy duty cleaning chores.  How about having gentleman friends visiting and perhaps even staying over night.  This one could be awkward; but it is either allowed or not.  

Recently, I assisted my cousin with renting out a bedroom with bath for a 30 day period to a snowbird visiting Phoenix.  The rent included room and board, since whatever was in the refrigerator and or my cousin cooked for meals was available to her boarder.   It actually worked out very well.  Matter of fact, they have become great friends and still stay in touch.  We used a very specific lease to identify the rules.  I don't know if my cousin would do it again, but I think she really enjoyed having the house guest.  

The hit show Golden Girls continues to play on TV everyday.  The show was hilarious and still is very funny.  Communal living could be the wave of the future for many people in the next 20 or more years.  It could be the key to living a longer life because people who interact regularly with other people tend to be happier, which many studies show is the key to living longer.