Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Power of Friendships

In spite of all the careful planning we did for our after work lives, I never really considered one of the most important requirements for happiness…the potential for new friendships.  Ron and I are each other’s best friends, but there are other people that are important in our lives.  Many of them are far-flung geographically, and we don’t get to see them much.  We interact via telephone and internet, and see them when we can.

There are studies that show that friendships rank right up there with good health and finances as the factors most likely to boost happiness among retirees.  Friends become an extension of the support system that often is anchored by family.

When we bought our home in this community in Prescott, little did we know what a big part of our happiness would be provided by the wonderful friendships we have made.  Our friends “come out to play” with us on the golf course, hiking trail, and during events at Talking Rock Club.  They provide sympathetic ears, laughs, entertainment, and ideas for new activities.  These generous people have opened their homes and invited us in for dinners, parties, informal gatherings, and holidays.  We, in turn, have opened our home to them.  This is all what makes our neighborhood a true community, and what fosters the development of meaningful relationships.

Fortunately, we blindly stumbled into the best living situation we can imagine.  Our friends have introduced unexpected companionship, caring, fun and love into the fabric of our lives in colorful heaps.  They have banned the possibility of boredom and added a new richness.  We gladly share this phase of our lives with them all.

Please don’t overlook the important goal of enhancing your social life in a meaningful way after retirement.  It needs to be a consideration in your planning.  I hope you will be as lucky as we have.


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