Making friends in retirement

Monday, November 11, 2019

New to retirement living? How to make friends and battle your social anxiety.

Making friends as a kid is easy – just playing next to each other in the sandpit means you’re best buddies! And as we get into our twenties and thirties, we find our friendships through our careers, or through our children.

But what happens when you reach retirement? Studies show that many older people are lonely and are also socially anxious, as a result of health problems, losses and major life changes.

It doesn’t have to be this way! In fact, a recent study from the UK noted that maintaining friendships as you age can have an impact on your life expectancy – put simply, good friends can help you live longer. Here are our top tips for easing into retirement living and meeting new people.

We all feel lonely - it’s ok to admit it

The first step can be simply admitting that you feel lonely. We all feel this way sometimes and almost everyone feels like they’re the only ones worried about striking up a conversation in a new environment. So just relax, it’s perfectly natural to be a little bit anxious. At Tranquil Waters we make it easy to join in and meet new people.

Have confidence in yourself

You’ve successfully had a career, or raised children, or both. You have plenty to offer. Think about the positives of retirement living; after all, isn’t this what you’ve been working towards? Say goodbye to home maintenance, say hello to some freed up capital and an improved lifestyle.

Try something new

The basis of many good friendships is shared experiences. Join a club, find a hobby or volunteer for a cause you feel passionate about. Now is the time in your life when you can finally devote yourself to whatever it is you love – try gardening, a new sport or help out your chosen charity. Simply by stepping up and joining in, you’ll find other people with similar interests and values to you. At Tranquil Waters Village, there’s a range of activities for you to try, making it easy for you to meet new people. Start by introducing yourself to your neighbours and then have a go at mahjong, bingo or canasta. There’s also bowls, snooker and shopping trips, as well as regular movie screenings and happy hour on Fridays.

Make a plan

Most of us make a financial plan for retirement, but fail to plan what we’re going to do with all this free time. Sit down and think about how you’d like to spend your days. And while you’re making all these new friends and enjoying your new lifestyle, why not embrace technology and keep up with family and old friends wherever they may be with Skype or social media. That way, you have the best of both worlds.