All the women over 50 I know are strong and independent. It just seems to be in our blood. We do things our way.
And as we’re moving into what Suzanne Braun Levine calls our “second adulthood,” we’re flexing our self-determination muscles again – by creating shared housing arrangements with other over-50 women. This is a trend that’s growing fast. One third of women over 50 live alone either by choice or by circumstance and one sixth have no children. Growing numbers of them are reinventing their solo home lives by choosing to live with one or more boomer women roommates. And they’re finding that this choice is a liberating and empowering change. Having a roommate to share the chores, the expenses, and to simply be there insures their independence and maximizes their social lives as they look forward to the best that life has to offer in the years ahead.
It’s especially good that this trend is growing, because living alone is literally not good for your health. Studies have documented the fact that men who live with a female partner, live longer. Women who have close girlfriends, live longer. Whatever it is that we women do when we’re together, our presence in each other’s lives benefits our health and extends our years on this planet. Maybe it’s just that we stay better connected to the people in our universe, and we have more fun in our lives.
I found an interesting phenomenon recently as I began to run a series of ads to promote the launch of Roommates4Boomers. I found that the ads that addressed financial concerns or loneliness didn’t get much response from women over 50. But ads that emphasized the fun you can bring into your life when you share your living space got a strong response. And, even stronger, was the positive reaction to the ad with the headline, “Do A Different Life.” Under that headline was this marvelous quote from Gloria Steinem: “Women may be the one group that grows more radical with age.”
Just as we declared our independence and forged our own paths in our college years and our early adulthood, clearly we’re continuing to live on that high-energy level into our later years – with a positive attitude, a generation-wide desire to connect with each other, and a commitment to stay independent on our own terms, having a helluva good time along the way.
Karen Venable is the founder of Roommates4Boomers, the roommate-matching website exclusively for women over 50. Roommates4Boomers matches compatible roommates using detailed profiles and a sophisticated sorting algorithm, very similar to dating websites. Says Karen, “I want to help women find their perfect roommate matches who will not only share finances and chores but add friendship and fun to their lives.”