When we are immersed in the work force and raising children, we have plenty of opportunities for social interaction -- work parties, social gatherings with coworkers and parents, sports games, recitals and neighborhood gatherings. These, along with all of the other performances and activities we attend when our kids are young, surrounds us with people we consider friends.
But what happens when we retire? For many of us pre-retirement, our social connections are centered on family and work friends (which we may not even realize until we retire.) Upon retirement, the kids are grown and the parental relationships associated with their activities are gone and now even those workplace activities and conversations can come to an abrupt halt.
One of our homeowners, a retired teacher, realized that while she had many friends at work, when she retired, the age differences and “busyness” of her teacher friends meant that those friendships went by the wayside over time. It wasn’t due to any one reason; just a change in life. Can you relate?
One of the conversations we have with prospects when they are considering the purchase of a luxury ranch condominium in Liberty Grand in Liberty Township, Ohio centers around the community. They ask us about what there is to do within our community itself, what is nearby, how active are our homeowners, and so on. Luckily, we can state with confidence that our community is a fantastic place to make new friends and have plenty to do! But, this got us thinking about some suggestions to help you create an amazing social life in retirement!
Now that you’re retired, are you finding that those social interactions involving work and family referenced earlier have dried up? Now is the time to find people in your community that have some common interests and develop those relationships. Start by volunteering, join a club or civic association, meet your neighbors at a planned social event, and begin to cultivate social connections with others.
Many of us wanted to volunteer more when we were part of the work force or when we were raising our kids, although we lacked the time do as much as we would have liked. Do you have a skill that can benefit others? Find an organization where you can put that skill to work. Being part of a volunteer organization not only provides a needed service to others, it’s also a perfect way to meet people that might have common interests. As a bonus, volunteering will keep you active!
We love talking with grandparents that have forged great friendships with their adult grandchildren or adult children. Find common interests with your spouse, your kids and grandkids. Cultivate time and experiences with your family. And definitely laugh and play with your younger grandchildren!
With the days of texting and social media, we sometimes forget to pick up the phone and call! Sometimes just calling that friend you haven’t spoken with in a while can do wonders for you. Make it a point to share, listen and make time to get together!
If you created great friendships with coworkers, try to keep those relationships active when you retire. If you move, this can become more problematic, but if you’re still in the area, make it a point to talk, email, text, and find times to get together. Life happens and this may be harder than it appears to be. When you don’t see these people every day at work, it’s going to take more time and energy to stay connected.
Now that you’re retired, you have the gift of time. How will you use it? Find something new to try, get out and chat with new neighbors, host a party, join a group, volunteer, start a new job, take some classes (many schools offer classes for older adults for free or at reduced costs), exercise, or travel with friends. The more you put yourself out there, the easier it will be to have an active social life.
You plan for retirement financially, but have you planned for retirement socially? When you were working, you had deadlines, a sense of purpose, and many social connections. Now is the time to make some fun choices, develop new relationships, work on those that have dwindled away, and keep occupied socially! We love seeing our homeowners in Liberty Grand take time to walk together, share meals, join volunteer organizations, and host parties. You’ll really be part of an active community when you move to Liberty Grand in Liberty Township, Ohio!