TODAY

TODAY   |  November 26, 2013

More baby boomers living like ‘Golden Girls’

Jane Pauley reports on three women who have lived together for nine years, and how they’re redefining the meaning of “home.”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> back at 8:41 with our series life reimagined today. jane pauley is working with aarp that produced these reports.

>> good morning, savannah. as thanksgiving nears we think about home. well, some bombers are changing the meaning of home. this story from pittsburgh is about three women, one house, and a lifestyle reimagined.

>> hello.

>> hey, jane.

>> reporter: this is jane's house and also louise and karen .

>> who really owns the house?

>> all three of us.

>> whose name is on the mortgage?

>> all of us.

>> reporter: pooling their money they bought a large brick house .

>> oh, i'm in love.

>> reporter: the patio, living room and dining room are common areas for eating, reading, and enjoying each other's company and they have for nine years. it was karen 's idea. she was still in her 50s but thinking ahead.

>> i had just finished renovating a really beautiful little white cottage that i loved, but i began thinking when i was in my 70s, retired, that would be a rather solitary and perhaps lonely way to live.

>> reporter: but it was such a good idea, they decided, why wait?

>> we could save so much money, have a really fun time and support each other living in a little community.

>> why not now?

>> why not now?

>> i have saved way more for retirement than i would have been able to do if i were still living alone .

>> so none of you were then retired.

>> oh, we're not retired.

>> gene is a registered no, sir. karen a corporate consultant. louise is a clinical psychologist. she has the biggest room because she didn't need an office. gene has a suite on the third floor and karen 's two rooms are separated by a bath.

>> end table, coffee table, the corner cupboard, the antique table back there. this is my lamp and all the pottery is mine.

>> that painting we actually bought together.

>> reporter: but blending three households wasn't as easy as it looks. they have written a how-to book.

>> what if somebody wants to leave? what if you want somebody to leave?

>> we have it covered legally.

>> what happens if one of you died?

>> we each have life insurance policy with the other two as the beneficiaries. we knew we had to be prudent. so we did cover all the ugly possibilities we could think of.

>> no guest will stay longer than seven consecutive nights or more than 21 total days in a year.

>> reporter: co-owning, intentional communities, cooperative living. it's a growing phenomenon.

>> i like to say the boomers are the innovators of the generation. people are healthier, happier, live longer and live better when they live with other people. so the longer that we can live on our own happily, safely.

>> takes three to change the light bulb .

>> how great to come home and know there's someone there.

>> absolutely and the lights are on. little things like that.

>> reporter: that make a house a home. there are a growing number of online resources and home sharing networks to find people who might -- you might want to live with and who might want to live with you. and there are a lot of big houses just sitting on the market now. the reality check. you'll need some lawyering and good adds advivisors before you start decorating. join me and tell me what you think of cooperative housing at 55.

>> i think it's a great idea. how fun would that be?

>> that would be great fun if they wanted -- i got the good housekeeping award in college and they were kidding.

>> i was going to say this is my way of asking you. maybe we can be roomies later in life. i think we could have fun. i'm not the best at cleaning but it's fine.