In the latest installment of our Experts in Aging interview series, we spoke with Annamarie Pluhar, author of Sharing Housing: A Guidebook for Finding and Keeping Good Housemates. For over 20 years, Pluhar has focused her career on providing tips, resources, tools and guidance to people considering bringing someone into their home or renting a space in someone else’s. We spoke about the financial impacts of aging, how increased life expectancy is changing our culture and how homeowners are finding the right housemate.
A Taboo Problem, a Smart Solution
Pluhar’s career in homesharing began when she received a phone call from a friend worried about making ends meet. With such a tight budget, her friend knew that a single mistake or unplanned scenario could send her finances into chaos. What Pluhar instantly understood was that her friend was not the only person in facing money troubles—not by a long shot. Millions of Americans at or near retirement age are grappling with a problem that no one wants to talk about: being financially unprepared.
Pluhar reminded her friend that she did own one valuable asset: a house. She encouraged her friend to use the house as an income generator and helped her friend think through how much rent to charge, how to set boundaries inside the home, how to select the right roommate, and other concerns. She also began outlining these ideas in what would eventually became her book, Sharing Housing.
What would you want to know before welcoming someone into your home? What issues would you want to discuss with potential housemates, and what issues do you feel are not important? Have you seen anyone struggling with finances who might benefit from homesharing?
Community Leadership Program
To learn more about how you can get involved in important conversations like this one, check out the Silvernest Community Leadership Program.