Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, January 31, 2019

The ‘Golden Girls’ Trend Could be a Golden Opportunity for Retirees Facing Isolation

GoldengirlsInstead of living with their younger family members such as children and grandchildren, retirees are deciding to become roommates with fellow individuals in similar circumstances. "I found myself getting increasingly depressed because I didn’t have any contact with people my own age,” Jane Callahan-Moore, 69, said after she moved in with Stefanie Clark, 75.

The neighborhood they reside in has easily accessible restaurants and stores, so the fact that neither own a car is no issue. As older people lose the ability to drive, many find themselves trapped in their homes, unable to run errands or meet with friends. This unfortunate situation can lead to isolation, loneliness, and depression.

Living with a roommate or housemate can also lower the burden of bills while on a fixed income. “In the broader population, shared living in the last decade has exploded, especially in cities where housing costs are quite high,” said Gary Painter, professor in the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy. With the older population growing rapidly, so is the number of older individuals sharing homes. According to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies this number increased by an amazing 88%, making the 'Golden Girls' lifestyle more and more commonplace. 

See Adina Solomon, The ‘Golden Girls’ Trend Could be a Golden Opportunity for Retirees Facing Isolation, Washington Post, January 24, 2019.

Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.


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