Sharing Might Actually Help You Live Longer

Home-sharingUndoubtedly, you've heard of "share a ride" but how about ‘share a home’!

An unhappy albeit inevitable part of aging is that we lose friends and family; whether by divorce, death or simply a long planned move to warmer climes, seniors find that their circle of friends and family declines the longer they live.  For many, this is just a fact of life even as the loneliness and isolation that follows erodes their health and quality of life.  However, more than a few seniors are no longer willing to live their golden years like this.  While there are a plethora of Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) that seem to spring up everywhere of late, this living arrangement might not appeal to everyone.  This has given rise to the concept of home-sharing.  

This concept was actually the brain child of Maggie Kuhn, a Gray Panthers activist who rented out rooms in her Philadelphia home to students for a reduced rent. In return, these students performed services for her such as food shopping, rides to doctors appointments, light housekeeping, and yard maintenance. Today, there are home-sharing agencies in more than 20 states that help seniors in myriad ways to explore this arrangement.  Whether the idea of home-sharing means taking on a housemate or two or establishing a joint investment in a home that suits every owners' needs, the idea of home-sharing is definitely catching on.  Here are some tips to make this arrangement a success. 

  • This arrangement is basically a barter system. Be sure that you adequately disclose the care and help you want and need. "The seeker enables the sharer to stay safely in their home while paying a more manageable amount of rent" says Margo Fochs, coordinator of Independent Living's Home Share program.
  • Personal interviews are a absolutely must, as are background checks. Be sure to get at least 3 verifiable references.
  • For the seeker, be sure to voice your expectations, not only of the space you will be renting but what constitutes 'shared' space and what is 'personal' space.  A visit to the prospective home is an absolutely must.
  • If this is your first foray into home-sharing, it is a good idea to use one of the professional agencies out there that have successfully navigated these arrangements for a multitude of other seniors.  They have the means to match home seeker with home sharer; they are more likely to use unbiased surveys and questionnaires rather than let their intuition help them make a successful match.
  • Written contracts following a trial period are important.  As renter in your home, you will need to override your state's rental laws in these contracts or you could potentially find yourself in the very uncomfortable position of having to offer notice only then to have to wait until that notice period has elapsed before you can ask the seeker to vacate. 
  • Accept that while this option may be the only way you can remain in your own home, it is not for everyone – no matter how dire the consequences of not sharing your home may be to you now, another arrangement may be the better plan.

It seems inevitable that as baby boomers continue to retire, that new solutions to many of the problems of aging with manifest themselves.  At an age when we tend to resist change, change may very well bring better and happier solutions than ever before. As with most things, this is likely not a DYI project since there are legal and tax consequences than must be identified and resolved for all the parties.  An experienced estate planning attorney is the ideal professional to help establish the parameters of this type of arrangement. "We can help you with that".

References: https://www.bankrate.com/finance/retirement/home-share-programs-benefit-seniors-1.aspx#ixzz4I5Wpnvyy

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment


We have a LOT more where that came from!

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

Call Now ButtonCall Us Now https://jsfiddle.net/7h5246b8/

Request a free consultation

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.