Remember that little ditty that began “Make new friends, but keep the old…”?
Those words take on extra meaning when you’re facing retirement. Fear of losing one’s work friends is one of the biggest reasons people tend to put off retirement or refuse it altogether.
Never fear! Keeping “old” friends is easier than ever thanks to social media and the instant gratification of texting and Instagram. Before you accept that gold watch (does anyone even get those anymore?), make a pact with your co-workers to meet for lunch or TGIF cocktails once a week after you leave. Create a former staffers page on Facebook so you can keep up with company business and happy gossip like weddings and arrival of grandkids. Join forces with other recent retirees – even if they weren’t in your department – to form a bowling league or golf group.
Making new friends is more difficult for many of us. But, this story in U.S. News offers some good ideas for getting started. If you’re relocating, check out the local Welcome Wagon or Newcomers group. These organizations offer all kinds of special interest clubs and activities (check locally), and they won’t kick you out after you’ve lived there for a while.
With a little bit of effort, you can keep your old friends, make new ones, and enjoy a rich and rewarding social life in retirement.