Are you wondering where to live in retirement? Are you thinking about finding a roommate after 60? Then, this video interview is for you!

Margaret:

I have a question about the phenomenon of women living together. I was thinking back to the time that I was in college. I actually lived with a group of women. That was how we did lived, back in those days. There was a communal feeling.

Do you think that this is one of the reasons that boomer women today relate to the Golden Girls Network?

Enjoy the show!

Bonnie:

I think so. One of my secrets is that I lived in a commune when I was younger. I was a bit of a hippy. I think that because we have had those experiences, it’s easier to accept the idea of living with someone else. People older than us never lived in a shared-living space. So, it’s a bit strange for them.

Those of us who are 70 or younger have already tried it. We know the benefits of living with other people.

Margaret:

It’s interesting when you think about it. The things that motivated us when we were younger are the same as the things that motivate us now. We want to save money. We want to feel like we’re a part of a group. We want to find people who share our values.

Bonnie:

Having someone to talk to at night is really important. I’m not coming home to an empty house. If I just need someone to talk to, my roommates always help me out.

Margaret:

I think that’s really interesting. Throughout our lives, we moved away from that kind of lifestyle. Many of us got married. All of us got caught up in our work. Perhaps we felt that we didn’t need people as much.

Bonnie:

Those of us with children had a house full of people. Now our kids have grown up – and what happens to mom?

Margaret:

A lot of women didn’t get married. In fact, many people who are listing to this may be very happy living by themselves. At the same time, there are many women who had a full house for most of their lives. Now that it’s ended, they feel like there is a gap in their lives.

Do you feel like many of the women in your community feel lonely or isolated?

Bonnie:

I think that it would be natural for a woman to feel a bit depressed when her life “slows down” and she is suddenly alone. You’re used to nurturing and taking care of people. When you don’t have people to take care of, you feel lost.

Two of my grandchildren came to visit me this summer. I got to play mom for the week – and it felt good.

Margaret:

We all know that exercise is essential to a long life. Well, social interaction is also really important.

Bonnie:

Actually, social isolation is a major factor for longevity.

Margaret:

Do you have a lot of women in your community who have lost their husband?

Bonnie:

We don’t have many widows in your community, but, we have quite a few divorced women. Divorce among our age group is a big issue now and it didn’t used to be.

Margaret:

I think that we are going to see many more divorces as our generation ages. All of a sudden, men and women are realizing that they have 20 or 30 more years to live. These people are questioning whether they are really with the right person.

Bonnie:

Many of the women who join our community are divorced. Certainly, divorce is expensive. Perhaps you don’t have the funds that you were expecting for retirement. Even the recession had an impact. It was devastating to many women our age.

Margaret:

That’s one of the things that we try to do with Sixty and Me. We try to help women to reinvent themselves. You can find work after 60. The problem is that many women don’t have the support that they need.

Bonnie:

Women of our generation are still very young. We’re still trying to build out networks. We had our first Golden Girls picnic this year. We had it at my house and it was a lot of fun.

Margaret:

That is really cool. I think that you mentioned to me that you have about 1000 people in your community. That’s pretty good because you’re just one year old. Your website is www.goldengirlsnetwork.com. In fact, you have a special offer right now that allows women to join for free.

So, most women in your community are interested in friendship, financial security and emotional support. Do people feel strange about living with other women?

Bonnie:

Some women tell me that they would ever live with another women. In my opinion, this is a dated attitude. Those of us in our 60s and 70s are pretty accepting of people. Most of us just think, “Who cares?” I have 5 women living in my house. I really don’t care what other people think.

Margaret:

That’s one of the best things about being 60. You still want to be accepted by society. At the same time, in your heart of hearts, you really don’t care what other people think.

Bonnie:

It’s like the women who wear the red hats. After all, who cares?

Margaret:

Well, I think that you’ve done a great job with this. I think that it helps to know the kinds of women who are in your community. I really appreciate you taking the time to explain this to us. Is there anything else that you want to add?

Bonnie:

Many women are nervous about living with a stranger. As I always say, they’re only a stranger for the first day. You do your best. If it doesn’t work out, you move on. If it does work you, you’ve got a great situation.

Margaret:

Women are great communicators and most of us have good instincts. We’re going to talk in another video about the specifics of how to find a roommate. For now, I hope that this video has given people something to think about.

Why do you think that more women over 60 are looking for a roommate? Would you consider getting a roommate? Why or why not? I’d love to know what you think! Please join the conversation.

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