In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
Interview with Karen Venable
Venable runs a roommate finding business especially for women over 50. This
service is called
Roommates4Boomers. If you are a single, widowed or divorced female, you
might want to read Karen's guest post,
Living with a Roommate Could Just Save Your Life and take a look at the
Lifestyle.com: Karen, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Karen: I’m a business
woman who’s owned her own business enterprises for a number of years. After
receiving my MBA from Tulane University in New Orleans, I became a Financial
Analyst for Portland General Electric. I left to form my own consulting business
working with energy companies internationally. I managed a Feasibility Study
for Private Power Development in Nairobi, Kenya, working with the World Bank,
the U.S. Department of Energy and the Agency for International Development. I
was then consultant to the Managing Director of Kenya Power and Light.
After the birth of my
second child, I began Venable Consulting in Portland, Oregon working with
startup businesses on financing and marketing and developing off-shore
manufacturing facilities in India and China. I then formed Oregon Display, which
manufactures custom displays for the whole foods industry, and I’ve owned that
company for a number of years. My goal now is to enrich the lives of Baby
Boomer women by making it possible for them to live in the company of others
with shared interests, through Roommates4Boomers.com.
REL: What gave you the
idea to begin your business, Roommates4Boomers?
Karen: A few years ago,
I found myself single and living alone at age 55. Like most women, I realized
how important women friends have always been to my well-being. Then it dawned on
me: What women my age need is a way to come together for friendship and support
in shared housing. My research uncovered very few housing/roommate-sharing
services for women of the Baby Boom Generation. I saw a huge void to be filled.
Many friends had already experienced success with online dating services and
agreed that a roommate matching service for women over 50 was a great idea.
That’s how Roommates4Boomers was born.
REL: How long have you
been in business?
Karen: I began
development of Roommates4Boomers a year ago. We launched the website in May
REL: Do you find that
your idea of finding roommates for women over 50 is a solution for many or
simply a niche market?
Karen: It’s most
definitely a solution for many. Every day 8,000 Boomers turn 65. One third of
today’s Baby Boomer women are single – divorced, widowed or never married. One
sixth has no offspring. There’s a huge – and growing – need out there.
REL: How do you find
compatible roommates for your members? What sorts of questions do you ask on
your “Build a profile” page?
Karen: We ask a whole
battery of questions that you would definitely want to know if you were going to
live with someone. Do you smoke? Are you a late-night person or an early morning
person? Are you loud or quiet? Neat and tidy or not so much? The questionnaire
is quite detailed.
REL: How do you vet your
members for safety concerns? Do you require a police report?
Karen: We do not
formally vet our members or run background checks or similar reports on them. We
do strongly encourage our members to do so before entering into arrangements
with prospective roommates, and we provide some good resources for this on our
REL: How is your price
structure worked out?
is absolutely free to join, to create your own profile, and to search profiles
of other members. When you find a potential match and want to contact her, then
the fee is $29.95 per month for access to contact information for your
REL: Living together can
be a sensitive issue. What if a roommate doesn’t work out?
Karen: We encourage all
women entering into roommate situations to sign a written agreement with clear
provisions for what to do, how, and when, if a problem arises.
REL: Do you offer your
Roommates4Boomers is for any women living in the United States, age 50 or over.
REL: Have you had good
response to your idea?
Karen: We’ve been very
gratified to have received a strong response after our launch. We’ve received
emails, comments on our blog, sign-ups, and we’ve been the subject of articles
in several publications. Some other organizations have actually contacted us
about collaborating – a result we didn’t expect within our first month after the
website went live.
REL: Who is your typical
client? Or do you have a typical client?
Karen: I’d say the
universal common factors among our clients are: women over 50, single,
independent, fun-loving, and open to change.
REL: How can women get
in touch with you to find a roommate or become one?
Karen: All they
have to do is visit
our website and click the “Get Started Now” button. If
they’d like to get in touch with me personally, they can contact me at
email@example.com , or then can visit the
contact page on our website.
About the Authors
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are
recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on
topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of
information they share on their award winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com,
they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since
1991. They wrote the popular books, The
Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your
Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website
Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
kind of person – the person who prizes their
independence, values their time, and who doesn’t
want to mindlessly follow the crowd.