I was speaking with a colleague before the holiday and we were discussing the value of friendship and the various Friendsgivings we had attended over the years. The conversation reminded me about an article I had saved about seven middle-aged Japanese women who had pooled their resources to buy themselves the ultimate retirement home. We agreed that that was the ultimate “friendsgiving.”
According to the article in the Shanghaist, it all started as a joke among a group of seven good friends who had known each other for 20 years or more. They pledged that they would all retire together. In 2018, one of them found an old 700 square meter house in suburban Guangzhou, roughly 70 kilometers away from the city center. The group of friends pooled their resources and raised 4 million yuan ($580,000) to buy and renovate the house into their dream retirement home. The result is a beautiful three-and-a-half story house set in the hills, with glass boxes overlooking paddy fields. The ground floor features a large communal living space, while the upstairs rooms are all separate from each other.
They decided that each of them would learn a different skill that would be useful to their lives in retirement. So, one of them is the chef, one is the gardener, while others have learned to play music, studied traditional Chinese medicine, etc. We do hope that someone studied plumbing!