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Sunday 14 July, 6:15pm
We look forward to retirement all our lives and dream about things well do when we have all that extra time, free from the pressures of work. However when you get there it can be a daunting prospect, and hard to know where to start. There is all that extra free time, but maybe you need some new friends to do these things with.
Many women suddenly realise that the friends they have spent time with are those they made through their now grown up children or through work, and suddenly they seem to have less in common. As you think about taking up new interests or rekindling old ones it can almost feel like you need a new set of friends who share those interests, or are perhaps a bit more adventurous and want to try out new things. For some people retirement is a time of reinvention and they want to grow a new social circle that matches that.
There is also suddenly a lot more unstructured time to fill, you may have a partner who is still working or you may be alone, or it may be that you want some new friends to get away from a partner who is now at home a lot more!
Our members have found new friends in the following ways:
1. Taking up a new hobby, or one that you havent had time for recently.
Whether this is singing, writing, bowling, crafts or something more unique, joining a club is a good way to meet people and you already have something in common. There are also online forums for nearly every interest to make some online friends.
2. Volunteering or mentoring
You have a lot of experience and expertise that many charities would welcome with open arms. This may be volunteering in a shop, helping out at a community cafe or being on a board of trustees. You could also see if your professional body runs a mentoring scheme, so you can pass on your knowledge to the next generation.
3. Look online
These days lots of activities are advertised online. You can use Twitter to follow people and areas of interest. Meetup and Eventbrite are online platforms where you can search for local events and interest groups. Or try togetherfriends Â we connect women over 50+ to women with similar interests in the same area who are all in the same boat and looking to make new friends.
Finally heres some advice from one of our members:
Sitting in that coffee shop, on the first day of my surprise retirement, I had a very "end of term" feeling as I thought of all the freedom which lay ahead and everything I wanted to do.
Retirement has been a good thing for me: it gave me the push to set up my own business and freed me from work conditions which had become intolerable.
To anyone who is about to retire, I would say "do all the things you've always promised yourself you would do,but above all, enjoy having the time to get back in touch with yourself again and become your own person, after all, you've worked long enough for it."
If you have just retired and would like to make some new friends, take a look at togetherfriends - It's a great way to meet like minded people who live nearby!