Posted by Dave on February 22, 2011
This is a guest post by Dave, who is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any. Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.
My wife and I were at a friend’s place over the long weekend for a tobogganing party. Temperatures in the last week made the tobogganing sub-par, but I was able to build a fairly good fort with the kids that were there (it was good igloo snow). My wife and I normally get together with this set of friends every 6 to 8 weeks to have some laughs, play some board games and just hang out. Some of these friends I have known for around 20 years, and we have stayed close the entire time.
My wife and I were talking about where we were going to live when we retired. I jokingly told a couple of my friends that I was going to put up a tiny house in their back yard. We talked about this for a little bit, with my wife still not really all that excited about this idea (or many of the others).
My friends kids are 7 and 3 right now, but we said that those ages worked out just about right to match our retirement date – we could move into one of their kid’s rooms. I wouldn’t say that this is a concrete plan by any means, and I wouldn’t say that these friends are particularly in favour of this living arrangement, but in general (to me anyways) this type of living arrangement makes a lot of sense for older adults. I can see the following as benefits:
Lower cost per person to live – Costs which are essentially fixed, like heating, property taxes, delivery charges for water, electricity and gas (which make up the majority of my household utility costs) would be significantly reduced.
More efficient use of space – Rather than having a total of 3,000 square feet of space for 4 adults in two houses, resulting in significant waste, both financially as well as space. I don’t need that much space and I think that generally speaking most people don’t – cutting housing down by half would limit this waste.
Easier social interactions – Much like University, it is much easier to hang out if you don’t have to travel a significant period of time (or at all) to do.
The problem that I can see in living with a bunch of adults is the same problem that came up during school with a bunch of people – there will be days that people will not get along. I didn’t really have any problems myself, but I saw what could happen between roommates, which did not always end very well.
Personally, I would prefer to have my own space in a Tiny house, but cohabitating is another option and would require significantly less cost and fewer resources.
Would you, or could you live together with friends? What could you see as potential problems?