How to Stay Connected… Socially in Retirement!
July 20, 2016 | NO COMMENTS
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and other sites offer new opportunities. Do you know about the “If you grew up” Facebook pages? We started following “If you grew up in Indianapolis” and not only reconnected with some old friends, however you can develop entirely new friendships with Indy natives you’ve never met but who have been anchors in rough times and co-celebrators in successes and those of your family. You may also discover that your own neighborhood has a Facebook page, and develop more new friends and engage more with your community in the past 18 months than in the previous 20 years. Many of these are friendships with much younger people, which greatly expands your world view and pop culture knowledge! A 40-something young couple in the group may start setting up monthly meet-ups at local restaurants and bars throughout your neighborhood; each event expands your social horizons. It has also led to volunteering in local projects, providing real satisfaction in giving back to a community that you may love.
So how will you stay socially active in retirement, whether that is today or five years down the road? Joe Udo blogs at Retire By 40 states that social interaction is what people miss most about work when retirement comes. What are the strategies that will keep you connected and engaged in your retirement years?
- Stay connected to co-workers, those still working and those who have already retired
- Get reacquainted with a spouse/partner, embrace the freedom of an empty nest or revel in grandparenthood whether two or four footed
- Volunteer for a favorite cause; as Baby Boomer retirees we are moving from the “me” generation to the “we” generation with a renewed commitment toward improving the world around us
- Join a social group
- Take a class; many universities offer special opportunities for older adults
- Try (or expand) using social networking sites; find new friends around the world
The thought of retiring several years earlier than had planned, sounds horrifying. However, deep down, we feel it’s the fear of loneliness after 41 years of close working relationships with wonderful people that sounds terrifying. We used to joke that we spent more time with our co-workers than with our families. In reality, renewed opportunities to engage with cherished friends from youth and work years while at the same time meeting new people and expanding your footprint in your community is the most rewarding. Were you a Girl Scout? We were. The old Girl Scout song is one that will stay in your mind forever…and it is as true today as it was when you first learn it around:
Make new friends, but keep the old…one is silver and the other’s gold!
Remember staying connected during retirement is not something that needs to be terrifying…you can remain connected during retirement! You simply have to be willing to connect with family, re-educate yourself, join a hobby, participate in community service activities, volunteer, join clubs, build a new network, stay in touch with ex-colleagues, foster relationships with your spouse, connect with family, and create meaningful relationships.