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Co-Living in Older Age - Would You Like to be a Real Life Golden Girl?

By HERWriter Guide
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The Golden Girls is, and always has been, my favorite comedy. I loved it as a young teen and I love it now. I love the women – hardworking, cultured, vibrant, sexual, intelligent (even you, Rose!) and they were everything women could and should want to be when they reach their golden years. What I loved most is how the show tackled topics decades ahead of its time: abortion, homosexuality and gay marriage, sex, health issues like chronic fatigue syndrome, death, work issues, ageism, AIDS and other great subjects that still makes the show so relevant. And of course, they were funny as hell! I'm very much a Dorothy, with a small dose of Blanche thrown in for good measure!

I always thought a living arrangement like this would be great, if my husband happened to die before me --and we all know there are far more widows than widowers. What if I’m in pretty good health but getting older? I’d have mad adventures like the Girls in Miami, laugh all day long and all my problems would be solved in 22 minutes over wisecracks and cheesecake. Okay, not really. But I’d have company, I wouldn’t be lonely or feel invisible, my living costs would be lower and perhaps I would not need to depend on my own adult children for help. We all know that good companionship and an active social calendar help us live longer and better, so this kind of co-housing scheme is a great idea for women (or men) who wish to live together, but independently and with lots of privacy options.

The New York Times recently profiled two women, both named Nancy, who did just that. One single, one divorced, they sold both their homes (at the height of the boom, lucky girls) and purchased a spacious home together in New York state with plenty of personal space (each one having their one bedroom, bathroom and study, and plenty of communal areas for visiting friends, children and grandchildren. They have their own lives but also enjoy each others company – eating together most nights and working on their garden. Most importantly, they are there for each other and save an estimated 20 percent of their living costs due to sharing a home.

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Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

Thanks, Susan, this was really interesting. I had the pleasure of meeting all of the actresses from the Golden Girls when I lived and worked in Los Angeles, and I really enjoyed the show.

The concept sounds interesting, and somewhat glamorous. Reality is another matter. The economic trend over the past 10+ years in the US has forced many people into living situations that they never expected, including losing their homes. I think many people are going to be forced into co-habiting arrangements in the future, and there will be Golden "girls" and "boys" finding ways to live together and stretch their monies together. Hmmmm. Maybe that could be a reality show of some sort. :-)

November 9, 2010 - 6:53pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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