No need to be lonely

How can you maintain a social network without your work mates once you retire?

No need to be lonely

One of the many benefits of working is the social aspect, which is why many people fear becoming isolated once they retire. But retirement doesn’t have to spell the end to the friendships you made at work. However, it does mean that you may have to be the initiator – the one who suggests meeting up for coffee or lunch on a regular basis.

Retirement is also the time to explore ways of meeting new people. What have you always wanted to do, but have never had the time? Maybe you want to take up golf or tennis. Perhaps you’d like to join a bridge club or a craft group. You might be someone who is more interested in community groups, such as Probus or Rotary, or the Lions Club. You could consider becoming a volunteer with the SES, Meals on Wheels or at your local hospital.

Also, there are many social groups, such as ‘meetup’, that regularly organise different outings – e.g. bushwalking, movie nights and wine tasting. Google is your friend on this one – just type in social groups in your local area and see what comes up. You’ll see that our communities are brimming with people who want to stay connected and be involved. Your job is to find them.

Many of the activities I have just mentioned have regular meetings or events so you don’t need to put in much effort – just turn up and participate. Creating friendships, however, takes a bit more work. Once you have met a few people with whom you click, suggesting a catch-up outside thewider group is always a good way to get to know someone better.

Developing friendships is the same at any age. We need to go a little outside our comfort zone and open up about ourselves. Slowly divulging more and more about yourself allows others to get to know you and deepens the relationship.

Post-retirement doesn’t just mean maintaining the relationships you made during your work life and forming new friendships. It’s also a time to reconnect with people with whom you’ve lost contact. If you haven’t already, try joining Facebook; it’ll help you to look up old acquaintances, people about whom you’ve often thought and find out what your best friend from high school is up to these days. You’ll be surprised how delighted most people are to be found after so many years. It can be as if life has stood still and you are just picking up right from where you left off.

How do you stay socially connected in retirement?


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    East of Toowoomba
    29th Oct 2015
    Some good suggestions here. I like.
    29th Oct 2015
    All the suggestions are good, but not accesable to poor people. you need transport money, clothes money.
    29th Oct 2015
    Aggie. I.v been on pension for years, first disability then aged. I have always focused on people worse off than me. Love the Meetup club
    mentioned. They have loads of groups mainly close to home with emphasis on budget activities. Some are for 50+. Volunteering makes you feel better about your own problems, give it a go
    30th Oct 2015
    If you try to maintain friendships with people still in the job, you will soon start feeling like an outsider. That bus is moving on and you are no longer on board. The best part about retiring is finding new friends who share your interests and passions, not the drudgery and office gossip. Congratulations you are now eligible to join your local U3A (University of the Third Age) and learn new skills or share your skills with others. Its cheap, they will welcome you with open arms and if they don't have the course or interest group you want, they will help you start it. They keep a low profile but they are all over Australia. If you don't have a local U3A you can start one.
    4th Nov 2015
    On retiring my wife and I took up Old Time and New Vogue dancing. It is a wonderful form of gentle exercise, made very many friends and when we travel we go to dances at many different venues and make even more friends. Its a wonderful activity for retirees.
    21st May 2016
    Soon after retiring, I joined the local National Seniors club, which has meetings and bus trips.
    Then a local seniors club which has indoor bowls and short concerts and bus trips.
    Then another which I couldn't relate to, so I left.
    Then another which has a wide range of events on 6 days a week.
    Then another which has indoor bowls only, once a week.
    And finally, the local Probus club.

    In every case, I found the members friendly and welcoming, and the fees were not too expensive.
    My point is there are heaps of friendly and welcoming seniors clubs, so there's no need to be lonely.

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