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Making friends in retirement

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Friends are great! They keep us active both physically and mentally, share memories with us, create new ones and help us in times of need.

As we get older, we start to value true friendship and the thought of making new friends can seem strange, but retirement should be a time filled with new experiences and the opportunity to meet new people and forge new relationships.

Retiring from work can often mean leaving one group of friends behind, so you might find there’s plenty of room for new ones. Here’s our guide to making new friends in retirement…

Find a new hobby

Finding a new hobby can be a great way of meeting people who are interested in similar things and there are plenty of places to start. Whether you want to challenge yourself physically or mentally, there are lots of things you can get involved with to meet like-minded people.

Fitness classes are a great way to stay in shape and meet new friends, while community groups and organisations can be a great source of knowledge. Take a look at some of the projects our bloggers have been involved with, including Project Dirt and Men in Sheds. There’s bound to be something similar in your local area that you can get involved with.

Head back to school

Leaning a new subject or skill can also be a great place to meet new people. Not only will it keep your brain active, but it’ll expand your social sphere immediately. The University of the Third Age and the Women’s Institute are great places to start. Whether you’re interested in philosophy, history, or music appreciation, arts and crafts or cooking, U3A and the WI are bound to have something to pique your interest.

Consider mentoring

Friendships don’t always have to be with someone a similar age. Mentoring can be a really rewarding way of meeting new people and putting something back into the community. There are several organisations that are looking for mentors including CSV – the UK volunteering and social action charity.

Work part-time

While the world of full-time work might be behind you, there are benefits that come with working part-time and the opportunity to make a new group of friends is one of them. Part-time work can be a great way to ease yourself into retirement.

What tips do you have for making friends in retirement? Have you tried any of the above? What were your experiences? We’d love to hear from you so please feel free to share your comments with us below.

This article has been commissioned by retiresavvy and any opinions voiced are the author's own.

Back to ‘Keeping busy in retirement

Comments

I retired on 4 July 2008 which seemed appropriate to start my independence and in my teens I played tennis but only knocked around with friends after that and I saw the local tennis club was encouraging new members so I joined up. After a session with the coach to brush up my technique and the purchase of a racquet I was good to go. This is great fun as several times a week during the day they have social tennis when everyone mixes in to play doubles matches and you get together afterwards for a chat and most people are in the 50-75 age group. The LTA website has details of your local club.
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