Seniors Turn to Airbnb to Supplement Retirement Funds

UPDATED 1/25/21

Saving for retirement is no easy feat. Not only are people now living longer than they did in the past, but most seniors end up underestimating how much they’ll need. Seniors who own a home and have the space to spare are starting to get a bit creative by embracing a side hustle many younger generations have already discovered: renting out their spare rooms on Airbnb.

In the U.S., the average age of retirement is 63. And according to a recent report conducted by Airbnb itself, the company’s fastest-growing group of hosts is seniors aged 60 and above. This demographic has actually grown by 60% in the last year alone. Around two-thirds of those hosts are women, some of whom are going so far as to converting the extra space on their property to be more suitable for short-term guests.

In Ohio, more than 800 seniors across the state have brought visitors in through the Airbnb platform, raking in $4.6 million total. They’re centrally located in Columbus, where many seniors earn $10,000 a year on average just by renting out their spare rooms.

Airbnb spokesperson Ben Breit told Columbus Business First: “…Seniors in Ohio say this is a supplement to their retirement or it just adds to their income so they can go on vacation, pay off their mortgage or bills,” he explained. “A lot of times empty-nesters have an extra bedroom from a kid. It would collect dust or be a storage room — now they’re making a profit off it.”

In North Carolina, senior hosts make up only 21% of Airbnb’s listings — but many are still able to bring in a significant profit. While some charge only $70 to $80 a night in certain areas of the state, Airbnb research says that the typical North Carolinian host can earn around $6,000 total as a result of their efforts. That’s substantial when you consider the costs of living, including healthcare, for many senior residents.

Michigan-based seniors are making some big bucks, too. Airbnb reports that more than 1,300 senior residents are opening up their homes through the platform, earning $8.5 billion last year in combined supplemental income across the state. They come highly recommended too, earning five-star reviews at a 90% rate, which puts them far above hosts of any other age range in Michigan — despite the fact that senior hosts on Airbnb make up only 20% of that entire community.

And while there’s a considerable amount of money to be made, that may not be the only motivator for senior hosts. Many have said they also enjoy getting to know all kinds of people who come to stay. That said, some municipalities are placing limits on short-term rentals and may require homeowners to obtain permits, pay additional taxes, and jump through other legal and financial hoops to be approved for such arrangements. Some homeowners associations may further regulate short-term rentals, and hosts sometimes face backlash from neighbors who want to ensure their communities stay safe.

Still, many seniors hope their good luck with Airbnb continues. In some cases, the amount they make from the platform actually exceeds their retirement benefits. If this option goes away in the future, seniors (and others who engage in the so-called gig economy) may have to be even more creative to bring in extra income.

Housing Options for Seniors

As people grow older, they may need assisted living. Elderly health home care is beneficial as it helps with daily activities like eating, bathing, and dressing. Elderly home helpers help the elderly adapt to changing needs. There is no need to maintain a home when you find senior caregivers; they take charge.

Did you know that elderly health home care typically costs less than a nursing home?

Caring for the elderly requires a lot of commitment and dedication. Before getting help for the elderly, it is necessary to look into a few factors like the house’s state. Ensure everything is working correctly, including the smoke detectors. Install grab bars to help with the movement.

The toilets and bathrooms should have grab bars to prevent slipping and falling. Look into all safety aspects that may affect the care of an older person.

Seek a caregiver who is passionate about taking care of the elderly. Such a caregiver is committed to duties related to elderly home healthcare. Ensure the individual is observant and has the necessary training to take care of the elderly appropriately.

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