Do You Value Your Friends in Retirement?
I recently came across an article about having Friends in Retirement that I thought worthy of mentioning here. Most retirees probably appreciate the value of friends in retirement. We realize that good friendships keep us healthier, happier and more involved in life. However, a recent study indicates that most retirees mingle less than in earlier life stages. Many of these causes for less mingling are insidious; they creep up on us without a conscious decision.
The article, “Kids, Phones and Other Reasons You Might Have Fewer Friends” states that older individuals may experience a 5% drop in social engagement. The cause, they believe is that life situations can conflict with budding friendships. Some of the situations we may not be able to change. However, being aware of them can help us make a conscious decision to nurture our important friendships.
Conflicts to Having Friends in Retirement May Include:
You’re Caring for your Mom and Dad
Our parents are living longer than previous generations. However, while it is truly wonderful to have their presence in our lives, that may require a fair amount of your time.
You’re still working
Many of us are still working. Whether by choice or by need, we may find ourselves surrounded by younger co-workers with different interests than ours.
Your children are living with you—again
The economy is making it more difficult for Millennial adults to find secure jobs and living wages. Definitely, it’s wonderful to have them around. However, their presence does consume more of your resources and makes it more difficult to spend time with your peers.
You’re always on your phone
Social technology is replacing some ways people used to engage face-to-face. This is one area we can have control. Text a friend and arrange to meet for coffee.
In the past most retirees spent these years where they had lived many years—in the presence of longtime friends and other family members. A move may make it difficult to meet new people with similar interests and backgrounds of experience.
What To Do About These Situations
1. Commit to a certain amount of time to be with friends and/or volunteer somewhere to meet people with similar interests.
2. Evaluate how much time you actually spend on the phone or technology. If it’s too much, vow to reduce it.
3. Establish guidelines with your resident off-spring that require their participation in the care and maintenance of the home.
4. If you are new to an area, find organizations where you can learn something new and/or volunteer. This will help you bond with others who participate in the same meaningful activities.
5. Consider reading the following articles:
How to find friends and fight Lonliness after 50
Friends in Retirement
Here’s to increased friendships that help you and your friends experience the joy of retirement. Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section.