Airbnb Reports Increase in Senior Citizen Hosts in DC

An increasing number of senior citizens are using Airbnb to help make ends meet in retirement.

About 360 hosts in D.C. are 60 or older, according to a report from Airbnb, and they made $5.5 million last year. The typical senior host made more than $10,000.

Carol Daugherty, 72, renovated the basement of her Brookland home a few years ago, intending to move downstairs if her daughter takes over the home one day.

"As we got going with it, though, everybody was saying, 'You know, you could probably rent this out if you wanted to,'" she said.

She took the advice and rents the space on Airbnb.

“I say i am semi-retired,” she said. “Airbnb is one of my jobs."

The extra income helped Daugherty repair her 100-year-old home without having to dip into retirement funds.

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"That's why I really enjoy the income that comes in, because it allows me to do it when I need to do it."

The extra cash also gives her the financial freedom to travel.

“I do at least two big trips a year," she said.

And being an Airbnb host brings other parts of the world to her.

"I've gotten people from all different countries in Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, Russia,” she said. “It's a real interesting mix."

Airbnb said many seniors are also using the extra income to cover the rising costs of medical care.

A lot of older residents in Maryland and Virginia are also becoming Airbnb hosts.

Airbnb said 19 percent of hosts in Montgomery County are 60 and older. In Prince George’s County, the number is 12 percent. That number is 14 percent in Fairfax County. And in Arlington County and Alexandria, it’s 9 percent.

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