My frugality is so deeply ingrained that I get a thrill not only from saving myself money but also from saving other people money. In fact, I started this blog when Friend-of-Frugal-Son asked me to help him save money on groceries. Well, said friend was premed and didn't have time to read the blog. He's a doctor now, by the way, and working at Walter Reed in Washington DC.
We recently hosted a Roommate-of-Frugal-Son. He was a guest at a wedding in our town. I suppose he lamented the $200 a night hotel rate and Frugal Son offered up our house. Happy to do it! I told him that in addition to saving him (a young fellow in his 20s) $400 for the two nights, I had made a deposit of $400 into my karmic savings account.
We enjoyed having our guest. He was not around very much for one thing. It was nice to chat now and again and to hear about his adventures at the wedding events.
It occurred to me that a young guest--or even roommate--would be a cure for some of what ails many of the elderly. My own mother --an extreme extrovert without a lot of "alone" interests--has been miserable in her widowhood. She lives in a large community in Florida with many activities, but the activities are skewed to those in their early 60s--the age of my parents when they moved there. She is thinking of moving to an independent living community near my brother and his family. That is probably what she will do. However, that involves leaving her Florida cohort, which is, perforce, growing smaller.
I suggested that she think of moving in with one of her children (with the houses modified for separate quarters). She was horrified. A roommate? That would be even more out of the question. I think these things are coded "poor" for members of that generation.
Of course, if you present the issue of a lonely elder to someone of Asian, Serbian, or XX (the list goes on) descent, he or she looks at you in astonishment. Of course!
And of course when we told our guest that fancy weddings (rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, service, shuttle buses to reception, with various luncheons in the interim spaces) were a relatively recent "tradition," he was shocked.
Like many people my age, I'm thinking about retirement living in all its senses. What the new "traditions" will be. At the moment, it seems easier to keep working.