Chapter 8. A Family of Our Own Choosing

Introduction

You know who your real friends are as you age because their pictures end up on your refrigerator. For a person in midlife or older, friends are family. As people age, they seek the company of people they care about, focusing their attention on those with whom they have honest and reciprocal relationships. After you lose your parents to illness and your kids to college, your family is the person you walk your dogs with. They are the people programmed into your cell phone.

I call this phenomenon “the family of our own choosing.” Having a closely held circle of friends is of major importance to boomers who aren’t always geographically—or psychologically—close to their kin. The global economy has ...

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