Making new friends in your retirement years.
For some people, retirement means golden years with plenty of everything – from leisure time, grandchildren, 401k benefits, Social Security, endless vacations, and more. But for some others, retirement could mark the start of a journey of loneliness with no close friends or family. This is especially true for those who may have experienced major family changes, such as divorce or the loss of a loved one.
If you haven’t read the article “Helping my Mom Make Friends,” it is a must-read, full of humor and great ideas. You definitely want to read the article for a good laugh and heartfelt amusement. Monica wanted to help her mom Veronica make friends in California and so she decided she was going to arrange playdates for her mom. But, the way she did it was very unconventional. She decided to advertise her mom on Nextdoor.
Monica posted this on Nextdoor with this photo of her mom, “My Mom Has No Friends. (But it’s not her fault.) Veronica, who’s a total smoke show at 80, moved here to Hancock Park less than a year ago during the peak of the pandemic. She’s hilarious and loves Steely Dan, museums, jewelry making, coconut cake, big accessories, hip restaurants, dancing the hustle, and “strong, like bull” cosmopolitans. Oh and she’s originally from Brooklyn, so she has opinions — lots of opinions. Does she like long walks on the beach? Probably not. But trust me, this widow is fun and loyal, and curious and will make you laugh over lunch. If you’re a woman interested in meeting up with Veronica or getting a group of “ladies with experience” together, please post below. (I am happy to organize. I love my mom and you will too.)”
It worked, and Monica started setting up playdates for her mom, Veronica. I know you might not want to do this exactly, but there are definitely ways to meet people in your area with similar interests.
Retirement and friendships
When you retire, business partners, co-workers, and colleagues who were part of your day-to-day work life will slowly fade away, leaving a huge gap in your life. Furthermore, when you are not part of the working life, you have the opportunity to spend your time pursuing hobbies and passions, but doing all of this alone might be difficult, or just less fun! Taking up a hobby with someone who shares a similar interest would be much more fun (at least for some of you). While this is normal, dealing with loneliness and social isolation in your older years can be very challenging. Where do you make new friends in your 60s and 70s if you don’t want to be advertised on NextDoor?
You’re invited to a paint and sip event
If you live in or around Woodstock, GA and are a single lady (*cue music – “All the Single Ladies”) in your 50s or older, and are looking to make friends or meet new people, we are hosting a FREE event. It will be a PAINT and SIP party at our Woodstock office on Thursday, March 30th from 6:00-8:00PM (it’s ok if you stay a bit longer) You must RSVP as spots will be limited to 12-15 people. You will get the opportunity to learn to paint from a local and talented artist.
SIP, CHAT & PAINT
Thursday, March 30, 2023 @ 6pm
Your SELF – willing to get creative on canvas! All you have to do is come with a smile and an intention to meet some new people and have fun!
We will be serving Vino & Appetizers to share.
Please RSVP to Tara @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Ways to make new friends when you are over 50?
Some fun activities can be found in this article titled, “Fun Classes for Seniors to Take”. The article shares about classes focused on art, fitness, and cooking. If you live in Woodstock, GA there are cooking classes weekly at the Leaning Ladder. You can check out the Cherokee Senior Services events calendar which updates monthly by city and provides both in-person and virtual events. Some other ideas are to attend a community group at your local church. You can also look for a local Facebook group that shares similar interests as you. Or find a travel group who you can travel with to see the world.
The importance of friendship
A reliable network of friends and family can make the transition to retirement easier to handle. They can provide support and encouragement, which can help enhance the quality of your life during your golden years. Unless you have an extended circle of relatives, or you are married and your spouse is in good health, 1 out of 3 seniors ends up living alone. Studies by Pew Research Center, Harvard University and the US Census Bureau all point to a third (or more) of all seniors living by themselves. That’s close to 14 million seniors aging alone.
Moreover, living in isolation is never a good idea as it can cause loneliness and attract a lot of health issues. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that Americans over 50 years old that are socially isolated have a 50% increased risk of dementia, a 29% increased vulnerability to heart disease, and 32% increased risk of strokes. The same data also indicates increased risk for mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Which means that, if you’re going at this alone, it might not feel like the golden years you planned and dreamed of. So, what can you do?
How Does Community Living Provide Positive Health Benefits?
Community living plays a significant role in building our mental health and social well-being. Here are a few important ways in which living in community can benefit you.
Important social connection and engagement
Social connections and interactions are essential for you to feel happy and healthy, especially in retirement. As mentioned earlier, loneliness can trigger various health conditions – both physical and mental. Unfortunately, many seniors find themselves in isolation more than young adults. Seeking a sense of community offers many benefits, including a feeling of belonging, purpose, and support, which are all vital to mental health.
Did you know that surrounding yourself with younger, healthier people is another way to increase your vitality? This is why older people benefit from being around the energy of children. This stems from the law of nature, the Principle of Transmission.
Combat loneliness and have more fun
You will never feel alone when living close to family and friends who truly care about you. They can provide the care, comfort, and compassion you need to thrive. Human connection with friends with whom you share the same interests is the key to finding joy in your older years. You need people you can laugh with and talk about things that the younger generations just won’t understand. (like the long, puffed “bubble” sleeves that seem to be coming back into fashion now, or childhood games like Tiddliwinks, Shoots and Ladders, or Ludo, or just the good ol’ days when life seemed simpler)
Whether your perfect retirement plan includes enjoying your children and grandkids, hiking, traveling, crafting, playing golf, or finding a romantic partner, having someone to share life moments with is very uplifting. Even if it is as simple as someone who will go to the movies with you, or sit on the porch and share a bottle of wine. If you’re relocating in your older years to be closer to family, trying to put yourself out there and make new friends can be tough, but it will be very rewarding once you find even one other person with whom you enjoy spending your time. If you can’t find ways to meet new people, you can always get creative and put an advertisement on Nextdoor (ha ha), or come to our Paint and Sip event!
In addition to living in a supportive community, it’s also important to plan your finances so that you don’t add unnecessary stress into your life. Goodwin Investment Advisory can help you to create a financial plan, manage your wealth, or even just help you understand Social Security and when to take your RMDs (Required Minimum Distributions). Meeting with one of our advisors can help you set goals and reach them during your retirement years. Schedule a call today to share a bit of your story and goals with us, and we can share how we can best guide you.
The information provided is general in nature and is for information purposes only. Please contact us for any questions relating to the content above, or to discuss your specific situation.