Roommates in Retirement: Pros, Cons & Sample Roommate Agreement
Includes a Downloadable Roommate Agreement!

Roommates Seniors

If you’re in retirement and you’ve been thinking about getting a roommate, don’t worry, you’re not alone! There could be plenty of reasons why having a roommate may be a good idea for you – whether it’s for financial reasons, to combat feelings of boredom or loneliness, or to share the responsibilities of running a household. Whatever your reason may be, know that you’re not alone in this decision.

It could be that you’re just tired of living solo in your golden years and feeling like the party’s over. Well, maybe it is time to bring in a roommate and spice things up! Sharing your home with another person may seem daunting, but it can be a real hoot! Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of having a roomie as a senior.

Pros of Having a Roommate

First of all, let’s talk about the good stuff. Having a roommate means you’ll never be bored again! You’ll always have someone to share a laugh with, binge-watch shows with, or grab a cup of joe with. No more feeling like a lonely old cat lady (or man). Plus, they can be a huge help with everyday tasks like cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping.

If you’re going through a tough time, they’ll be there to offer a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. And let’s not forget, they’ll be your built-in emergency contact, which can be especially helpful if you don’t live close to any family members. The right roommate might even help with managing finances, which can be a relief if you’re on a fixed income.

Cons of Having a Roommate

On the downside, sharing your home with another person can mean a loss of privacy. It can take some time to adjust to having someone else around all the time, so it’s important to respect each other’s need for alone time.

There may be conflicts over common spaces and different sleeping schedules, which can cause friction. So, it’s important to have an open and honest discussion about how you’ll share common areas and establish ground rules about noise levels and visitors.

For simplicity, here’s a quick basic pros and cons table:

Pros of Having a RoommateCons of Having a Roommate
CompanionshipLoss of privacy
Help with household tasksPotential for conflict over common spaces
Emotional supportDifferent sleeping schedules
Built-in emergency contact
Assistance with managing finances

Finding the Right Roommate

When looking for a potential roommate, it’s important to find someone with similar interests and habits. It’s also important to have open and honest communication and to establish ground rules early on to avoid any misunderstandings. And always trust your gut, if something feels off, it’s probably best to keep looking.

Where to Find a Good Roommate

There are several ways to find a good roommate as a retired senior. One way is to ask friends and family if they know anyone who is looking for a roommate. Another way is to use online platforms like Craigslist, Roomster, or Roomie Match. You can also check with local senior living communities or retirement homes to see if they have roommate-matching programs. And, don’t be afraid to put an ad in your local newspaper or bulletin board in your community center.

Having a roommate in your golden years can bring companionship, help with daily tasks, and emotional support. However, it’s important to consider the potential downsides and find someone you are compatible with. So, don’t be afraid to shake things up and bring in a roomie, it could be the best decision you make! Just make sure to set some ground rules, have open communication and have some fun!

Here are some common questions and answers regarding having a roommate in retirement plus a sample Roommate Agreement you can use!


FAQs on Having a Roommate in Retirement

How can I ensure that financial responsibilities are handled fairly?

It’s important to have an agreement in place about who will pay for what before moving in together and to establish a system for keeping track of expenses. Consider setting up a shared budget and regularly discussing expenses and bills to ensure that everything is fair and transparent.

How can I maintain good communication with my roommate?

Establishing open and honest communication from the start can help ensure a positive roommate experience. Set regular check-ins to discuss any issues or concerns, and be willing to listen and compromise when necessary.

How can I be considerate of my roommate’s privacy?

Respect your roommate’s need for alone time and personal space. Knock before entering their room, and be aware of their schedule and habits.

How can I be a good roommate when it comes to shared spaces?

Be mindful of shared spaces and try to keep them clean and tidy. Establish ground rules for using shared spaces such as the kitchen, living room, and bathroom.

How can I be respectful of my roommate’s sleeping schedule?

Try to be considerate of your roommate’s sleeping schedule and establish ground rules for noise levels and lights off at night. Avoid hosting overnight guests frequently, and try to schedule any loud activities during the day.

How can I be a good roommate when it comes to guests?

Establish ground rules for hosting guests, such as how often and for how long guests are allowed to stay. Give your roommate a heads up when you’re expecting guests and try to be considerate of their schedule and preferences.

What should I do if I have a problem with my roommate’s lifestyle or habits?

Communicate your concerns respectfully and try to find a compromise that works for both of you. Remember that everyone has different lifestyles and habits, and it’s important to be open-minded and respectful. If the problem persists, consider discussing the issue with a neutral third party, such as a mediator or property manager.

How can I foster a positive and friendly relationship with my roommate?

Get to know your roommate and try to find common interests. Show interest in their life and be willing to help them when they need it. Show appreciation for their contributions to the household, and try to make an effort to hang out together outside of the home.

How can I prepare for the end of the roommate agreement?

Discuss the end of the agreement with your roommate in advance to ensure a smooth transition. Make sure to give proper notice and return any shared items or security deposit in a timely manner. Keep communication open and respectful to maintain a positive relationship.

How can I handle having guests over without causing discomfort for my roommate?

Establish ground rules for hosting guests, such as how often and for how long guests are allowed to stay. Give your roommate a heads up when you’re expecting guests and try to be considerate of their schedule and preferences.

How can I resolve conflicts with my roommate?

Communicate your concerns respectfully and try to find a compromise that works for both of you. If the problem persists, consider discussing the issue with a neutral third party, such as a mediator or property manager.

How can I create a balance of common and private space in the shared living space?

Establish ground rules for shared spaces and respect each other’s need for privacy. Have an open and honest discussion about how you will share common areas like the kitchen, living room, and bathroom.

How can I ensure that chores are shared fairly among roommates?

Establish a chore schedule or assign specific tasks to each roommate. Have a discussion about expectations for keeping the shared living space clean and tidy and make sure that responsibilities are shared fairly.


Sample Roommate Agreement (Click here to go to the printable/downloadable version)

  1. Trial Period: We will have a trial period of 60 days to assess whether living together is a good fit.
  2. Quarterly Review: We will conduct a quarterly review to discuss how things are going and make suggestions for improvement.
  3. Financial Obligations: We will split all bills and expenses equally, including rent, utilities, and groceries. We will also establish a shared budget and regularly discuss expenses and bills to ensure that everything is fair and transparent. Rent and utilities will be split according to the number of roommates, and any other expenses such as groceries will be split according to usage or by mutual agreement.
  4. Grounds for Ending Agreement: The following behaviors or issues will be grounds for ending the agreement:
  • Persistent failure to pay bills or contribute to shared expenses
  • Persistent violation of the house rules or agreements made in this agreement
  • Persistent loud or disruptive behavior
  • Persistent failure to maintain cleanliness or hygiene
  • Persistent disrespectful or aggressive behavior toward the other roommate
  1. Mediation: Should any issues arise that cannot be resolved between us, we will seek the help of a neutral third party, such as a mediator, to help us come to a resolution.
  2. Notice: Any of the roommates may terminate this agreement upon 30 days written notice to the other roommates.
  3. Severability: If any provision of this agreement is held to be invalid or unenforceable, such provision shall be struck and the remaining provisions shall be enforced.
  4. Waiver: Any failure to enforce any provision of this agreement shall not be deemed a waiver of future enforcement of that or any other provision.
  5. Entire Agreement: This agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties and supersedes all prior agreements and understandings, whether oral or written.

We have read, understand, and agree to the terms of this Roommate Agreement.

Note: This is just a sample agreement and it’s important to consult with an attorney or legal professional to make sure that your specific roommate agreement is in compliance with local laws and regulations. This agreement is not a substitute for legal advice. It’s also important to make sure that all parties understand and agree to the terms outlined in the agreement before signing. It’s also important to keep a copy of the agreement for future reference and to review it periodically to make sure that it still suits the needs of all parties.

Remember to be clear and specific about how rent, utilities and any other expenses will be split in order to avoid confusion and conflicts down the road. And don’t forget to have an open and honest discussion about any concerns or issues related to finances as soon as they arise, so that they can be addressed and resolved in a timely manner.

You can print this Roommate Agreement by clicking on the little printer icon below. Or download it by clicking on the little down arrow!

David Goldstein
David launched Boomer Buyer Guides with his wife Alice to provide Baby Boomers with trustworthy, well-researched information about products and services that Baby Boomers buy. Learn more about David Goldstein