Over 55s are renting their rooms out in a bid to combat the rising cost of living and stave off loneliness.

Is this something that you would consider doing in your midlife?

I can vouch for the benefits of doing this from personal experience. Quite by coincidence, a close friend rang me way back in August in a panic because a friend of his had become homeless quite suddenly. His friend, a woman in her 40s, had been given 48 hours to find somewhere else to live through no fault of her own. We came to a temporary arrangement. The woman came to stay with me for 3 nights in my daughter’s room.

I have previously spoken about being an empty nester.

Moving in with me was meant to have been a short term agreement, giving her time to find somewhere permanent. We got on incredibly well. She did find somewhere to live and moved out of my home but her new place was beyond her budget. After a few weeks it occurred to me that the most sensible option was to have her move back in with me. She agreed.

A serendipitous meeting has morphed into something quite enjoyable. At some stage she will move out because she needs her own space but, in the meantime, she’s great company and hubby gets on with her too. The rental income helps with bills.

According to this blog post:

Approximately one in three (30%) over 55s would consider a house share in later life

63% cite finances, whilst 40% say it’s to avoid loneliness

It’s mates’ rates over interest rates with a third (31%) open to living with a friend in retirement

Apparently sharing one’s home is fast becoming a trend with the reasons being a need to share costs and to be with like minded company. People have fears about their living arrangements in later life. Some are afraid of losing their independence and losing contact with friends and family as a result.

Lockdown life gave me a huge insight into what living as an older person on your own feels like. Whereas pre-lockdown I would make jokes about daytime TV, in lockdown I understood why the elderly rely on TV to fill up their days. If you are on your own the chips can feel down. Watching TV is a distraction but it still doesn’t take away the loneliness.

Lots of midlifers like me will have spare rooms. Here is a thought – rent it out and share your living space. It could prove to be an enjoyable experience.