‘When we’re old lets all build a village and retire together’. This is an idea my girlfriends and I regularly joke about, usually after a couple of wines or a disagreement with our other halves. It’s a wonderful idea for sure, but for most of us this retirement living dream remains just that – a fantasy.
But for 7 best friends from China, this dream is now very much reality. What started as a joke amongst friends came to fruition last year, when the group of friends clubbed together to buy a 700 square metre property in a dilapidated condition, in the suburbs of Guangzhou.
The ladies have known each other for over 2 decades, first as colleagues, then as friends, and now they describe themselves as closer than siblings. They say they’ve dreamed of their retirement home for over a decade and were planning on waiting until they were 60 to put the wheels in motion, but managed to achieve their goal earlier than expected. With a combined pot of 4 million yuan ($580,000), they were able to buy the property and carry out extensive renovation works.
The groups new dream home is an hour away from the nearest town and surrounded by beautiful hills and forests. It features a shared living space on the ground floor and separate bedrooms on the upper floors. There is also a beautiful glass extension designed for tea ceremonies – or a good girlie gossip.
In the gardens there is a further tea pavilion connected to the house via a boardwalk – perfect for afternoons spent chatting, sipping tea, and feeling smug about pulling off such an inspired retirement idea.
So how will the ladies keep themselves busy? “We’ll probably cook together, barbecue in the fields, sing and collect food from the village” they say. “We joke that each of us should practice one skill so that we won’t be lonely or fight with each other ten yers later. Some of us cook beautiful food, some know traditional Chinese medicine, some play instruments, and some grow vegetables”.
Well, that’s my mind made up. How about the rest of you ladies out there? Where would you want to retire in together? Let me know in the comments below!