By Tom Blake
As more seniors become single, a new concern is emerging: the cost of living alone.
In the past 10 days, two South County women in their 60s emailed me to say they have a room to rent in their homes. They need to increase their income. Both asked if I knew of any senior singles seeking a place to live.
One has a two-bedroom home in Rancho Mission Viejo and the other a two-bedroom apartment in the Dana Point Town Center.
And it’s not only women who are finding the increasing cost of living challenging. Larry, age 74, a friend of mine in Florida, informed me that his girlfriend of three years had moved in with him. He said financial considerations were part of the reason.
Wayne, 70, an Orange County friend, recently wrote, “I’m starting to think about my declining cash account, as unexpected expenses have occurred. Special condominium assessments and inflation in the last few years are the reasons.
“I’m weighing my options … maybe a major change in my lifestyle in SoCal or moving out of state. But I’m not excited about either option.”
I asked Wayne about getting a roommate.
“That’s a thought,” he said, “but I’ve lived alone for 12 years, and my place isn’t that big. I’m sorting this out, but I’ll have to address this soon.”
Another buddy of mine, Ray, 83, moved to Laguna Woods a year ago. He was happy living alone. I figured that his living arrangement wouldn’t last long, considering the number of delightful senior single women living there. I was right.
A Laguna Woods woman a year older has moved in with him. Were there financial benefits? Yes, and other pluses as well.
Is moving in as easy as just handing over a key to the front door? Of course not. There are many considerations. For example, what if the person who owns the home passes away first? What happens to the roommate? Will he or she have to find another place to live?
Moving in isn’t solely a decision between two seniors who love each other. Many roommate situations are non-romantic. Regardless, a living-together written arrangement needs to be drafted by a lawyer to protect both the property owner and the roommate.
If the person who owns the home has children, you can bet the family is going to be very curious about the arrangement with the roommate. The kids will be understandably concerned that their inheritance won’t vanish.
How is that dealt with? Hopefully, it will be agreed upon between the two people before the move-in.
A few months after Greta, my life partner of 25 years, passed away, I decided to try online dating. Shortly after posting my profile on a dating site, an attractive woman from Oceanside said she wanted to meet me. She was 23 years younger.
We had two one-hour dates walking in Dana Point Harbor. Then, she emailed and said she’d like to move into my Dana Point home with me. She added that with such a large age difference between us, I’d likely pass before she passed.
And when that happened, she wouldn’t want to be tossed to the curb. Hence, she would want my estate plan altered to leave the house to her, before she moved in.
I was appalled. So were my beneficiaries. When I said no, she said “goodbye.”
If any readers are looking for a room to rent, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will forward your information to those two lovely women mentioned above.
Oh, my, the challenges of senior dating.
Tom Blake is a retired Dana Point business owner and resident who has authored books on middle-aged dating. See his website at findingloveafter50.com. To comment: email@example.com.