Under One Roof

For single elders, home sharing offers savings, security, helping hands--and often friendship too

Five years ago, when Janice Rensch, a sales manager for Paychex, bought a house in a pricey neighborhood in San Mateo, Calif., she could afford the mortgage, but the monthly payments proved to be a stretch. Fifty-two and divorced, she did what young people have done for years--she took in roommates. "It's like college without the beer parties," says Rensch of life with her two female housemates. "We all have our own lives, we pass each other coming and going, we chat when any two of us are around, and we just feel more secure at night knowing someone else is...

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