Retirement is something most people look forward to after a lifetime of hard work and dedication. The ability to relax and explore new hobbies is exciting to most people, although many retirees find themselves losing contact with former co-workers they consider friends. Meeting new people and forming new connections after retirement is not difficult and can greatly enrich the day-to-day activities of any new retiree.
Make a list of your current friends and what they mean in your life. Taking inventory of the friends you have now will help you evaluate what your current friends have to offer and what to look for in new friends.
Write down the activities you enjoy and what you like about them. A list of your favorite things to do will help you decide what you want to focus your time doing and rule out things you don't want to spend time on. Rank your list from most liked activities to least enjoyable to give you a quick reference when planning your day.
Talk to your neighbors and see if you share any common interests. Many people are so busy during an average day that they do not take time to get to know their neighbors, and you may discover you've had friends all along right next door.
Volunteer at various organizations in your community that fit your interests. For example, if you like helping others, you can volunteer at hospitals and soup kitchens and make connections with new people. If you enjoy children, volunteering with a local branch of the Girl Scouts or Cub Scouts may be right up your alley.
Visit local restaurants and observe the customers. Many retired people often meet up once or twice a week at their favorite local place for good food and conversation and are usually more receptive to making new friends. Sit down and strike up a conversation with a few locals to see how well they meet your expectations for new friends.
Join a club that focuses on your interests. Target shooting clubs, for example, are good choices for people who enjoy guns. Book clubs can be found in nearly every city for people who enjoy reading. Club listings can be found in many newspapers and community bulletin boards, so check these sources often for newly formed clubs.
- Be open-minded when looking for new friends. Some retirees tend to fall into a reclusive lifestyle because they are not comfortable opening up to new people, but these hermit-like habits can prevent you from enjoying your time off.
- Don't get involved in any costly hobbies unless you are sure you can afford them. Many new retirees are excited to try new, expensive hobbies and do not realize exactly how much they cost until it is too late. Don't spend the money you've worked so hard for on expensive hobbies you can't maintain.