Expand your social life now!

After a lifetime of hard work, you’ve made many close friends along the way. If you’re anxious about losing those connections when you retire, you’re not alone! Planning now to connect with others who are in the same boat can help you prepare to take the plunge. But, don’t forget to stay connected with your current colleagues.

Why not start by planning weekly lunches with your work friends and continuing the routine after you retire? And, consider taking some time off work to start building new relationships.

The opportunities to make new friends are limitless. Start by identifying how you like to connect with people. Do you like working toward a common goal or participating in a competitive sport? Or, do you enjoy more leisurely activities like traveling, playing cards or sharing a meal? Maybe you like it all!

Next, identify your interests and make time before you retire to get involved. Take up a new sport or spend more time enjoying the one you love. Join a travel club and go on vacations with people you’ve never met. Volunteer at church or at a favorite charity. You might even sign up for a dating service or connect with people of similar interests in your town through Seniors Meetup: seniors-social.meetup.com.

Most of all, get involved with people! Research shows that older adults who feel isolated and unhappy are more likely to lose their ability to take basic care of themselves. And, people with strong social networks have the slowest rate of memory decline – less than half of those who are isolated.

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