Financial advisors are taking up this topic more often these days; the who, what, and how of financial arrangements when older adults plan to live together as roommates. We’ve talked a lot in this blog about the health benefits and social benefits of living with a roommate, and we’ve discussed issues such as getting along, managing space, and combining kitchens. Wells Fargo brings our attention to the nitty gritty financial aspects in their newsletter Beyond Today.
How many of us have witnessed our college age or older children dealing with the frustrations of roommates who won’t be fair about paying for electricity, gas, and internet – or who fail to pay the bills that they’ve agreed will fall under their responsibility? It’s good to address these concerns first, and iron out very clearly who will pay for what when it comes to services for the household. Add to that a discussion of what each of you considers to be reasonable usage. Do you believe in running the air conditioner whenever the temperature rises above 80 degrees – or would you rather open the windows and save the extra electricity charges unless it’s truly sweltering outside? Issues like that can cause real conflict. Be honest now, and make agreements that you can live with.