Making new friendships can be difficult at any age but when employment ends it can often seems as if an entire social network has disappeared. Staying connected with old friends and making new friendships should help to ease the transition into retirement.
Staying Socially Connected during Retirement
Having a wide circle of friends not only opens up social opportunities but helps to keep the mind and body healthy. Getting out of the house, taking part in clubs and social activities, and even holidaying with friends should be a big part of retirement life. Work friendships needn’t end simply because work has and there are still plenty of opportunities to make new friends during retirement years. The trick is not to let opportunities pass by and to keep an open mind when a new friendship does appear.
Don’t Say Goodbye to Work Friendships
The end-of-work retirement party should not mean that work friendships are forgotten about. No doubt there will be some work friendships that have crossed over into social friendships, and these won’t take much effort to maintain. But keeping up with previous work colleagues may mean arranging a night out once or twice a month or weekly lunch dates. Many companies have their own social clubs for employees and previous employees, and this is a great way to keep friendships going. It only takes one email or phone call to an old work friend to keep the lines of communication and friendship open.
Finding New Opportunities for New Friendships
One of the pleasures of retirement is having extra time throughout the day that was previously filled with work. There are more opportunities during retirement than ever before to make new friends. Social clubs, educational classes, sports clubs and taking part in local community events are all great ways to meet new friends. Becoming involved in local fundraising events and charity work is another way to give something back to the community and meet new friends. There is no need to be nervous about trying new activities, and existing friends can always join in the fun.
Volunteer at Local Charity Shops
Volunteering is an excellent way to become more socially involved in the community and meet new friends, and can be an enriching experience. City centres will usually have plenty of charity shops that are looking for volunteers to help out for a few hours each week. Retirees with skills such as teaching can often find volunteer work at community centres that can allow them to stay involved and pass on their skills. Checking the volunteering and help wanted sections at internet sites such as Gumtree should bring up some interesting opportunities.
Get Online and Widen Your Social Circle
The internet has made it easier than ever to make new friends and reconnect with long lost friends. Joining social networking groups that have members with similar interests and hobbies is a great way to connect with new friends. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace are the most popular methods to find old and new friends locally or from around the world. It can only take a few mouse clicks to reconnect with an old friend from school or previous employment companies. A huge number of people have met old and new friends simply by getting online and registering with social networking sites.
Other Ways to Find Friendships during Retirement
Making new friendships during retirement will be easier by getting out and about in the local community and beyond. Other ways to join in and make new friends can include:
- Take specialised holidays designed for groups of retirees both individually and as couples
- Take part-time work using recruitment websites that specifically recruit older workers
- Join a gym and enrol in their additional keep fit classes
- Check local newspapers for activities and clubs in the community
- Don’t wait for invites, be the one inviting people to a dinner party or barbecue
- Join clubs that will promote good mental health and make new social contacts such as book groups or chess clubs
Making new friendships during retirement shouldn’t take a lot of effort as long as new opportunities are met with an open mind. This is the time to jump in and enjoy the freedom that has been earned after years of hard work. Make a small effort and the retirement years can open up a whole new world as far as social contacts and experiences are concerned.