Buddy System

More folks are making their closest friends a priority in their retirement scheme

They were a tight-knit group, these friends from Sands Point, N.Y. They had moved to the exclusive Long Island community in the late 1940s and early '50s. The husbands commuted to Manhattan; the wives raised the children, did volunteer work, played golf and tennis, and met every Friday for lunch at the Manhasset Yacht Club. They spent 40 New Year's Eves together. And then, about two years ago, when most were in their 80s, they all sold their houses and retired.

So, was that it? The end of the lunches, the shared holidays, the bonds of friendship? Not at all. The...

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