These women will try retirement ‘Golden Girls’ style

Left to right: Louise Machinist (with Kali the cat), Jean McQuillin and Karen Bush.

Left to right: Louise Machinist (with Kali the cat), Jean McQuillin and Karen Bush.

The big four-story house in suburban Pittsburgh might remind you of the set of “The Golden Girls.” But unlike the hit TV sitcom of the late 1980s and early ’90s, the three women who live there are not in it for the laugh track.

Karen Bush, Louise Machinist and Jean McQuillin bought the Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania, home together in 2004, when they were in their fifties. They wanted to share living expenses, live a greener lifestyle and – most importantly – enjoy one another’s companionship. All are single professional women in their mid-sixties who are still working, but they expect to retire in their house, too.

Much has been written about retirement living arrangements that break the traditional mold. Some people have embraced co-housing, where people band together to buy land, build a cluster of homes and share some responsibilities. Intentional communities – Beacon Hill Village in Boston is the pioneer – are grassroots organizations that support residents who want to age in place by providing services and a sense of community.

The Mount Lebanon women call their arrangement a “cooperative household,” a legal partnership where all own, live in and manage the house. They’ve written a book about their experiences, My House, Our House: Living Far Better for Far Less in a Cooperative Household; learn more at Reuters Money.