One of the most common fears people have regarding retirement is the loss of friends to hang out with.
There’s no doubt that your social life can take a hit when you leave your career. Not only can you lose contact with colleagues and office mates, but with vendors, competitors, trade associates, and other auxiliary relationships you’ve built in your business life.
We recommend planning to sustain the most important of those old friendships by organizing regular lunches or happy hours, but you’ll want to establish new social contacts, too. But, how? Here are a few ideas:
1) Take a class. Enrolling in an art, exercise or continuing education course is the fastest way to meet new friends. Sit yourself down next to someone who looks interesting and start chatting them up (but don’t talk while the teacher is speaking.)
2) Use the grandkids as catalysts for friendships. Babies and children are great conversation starters. When taking your grands for an outing to the park or children’s library, find another grandparent in the same boat and compare notes. You could glean some great tips for activities for the kids and gain a friend for life.
3) Go online. MeetUp.com is an expansive social networking resource with organized meet-ups in nearly every interest area you can imagine: Hiking, cooking, marathon training, divorce, philosophy, freelancing and beginning bowling… just to name a few.
4) Volunteer. Sign up to work in a food kitchen or on a Habitat build. There’s no better way to meet generous people who care about the same things you do.
5) Take a seat at the community table. Grab a book or your laptop and seek seating at one of those large “community tables” in coffee shops and cafes. These tables are great for parties of one to share space with others flying solo, and compelling conversations often follow. (We’ve met some very interesting people that way!)
6) Follow up with newly-made friends. When you meet a new person you like via class, your grandkids, the internet, a volunteer gig or community table, make some kind of move to get together again. It may be as simple as friending them on Facebook or actually making a date (“I’ll be here next Friday, want to meet up at 10?”)
With a little initiative, you’ll have a fresh supply of friends to enrich your retirement in no time.
Find out what else you can do to make your retirement great, starting with our exclusive readiness assessment. Click here to take the survey today.