5 Unexpected Places to Meet New People in Retirement
There is such an abundance of free time in retirement that it is easy to feel unsure of how to restructure your day so that you can remain just as productive as you may have felt pre-retirement.
Fortunately, your time is your own now, and you have ample opportunities to make the most out of your new-found freedom.
These days there are so many opportunities for retirees to stay active, mostly because this is precisely what they want to do! Such high demand to remain working has paved the way for retirees to embark on encore businesses, travel or pick-up new hobbies more than ever before.
While some people may know exactly how they want to spend their retirement years, others may just want to stay social within their communities.
So how do you find interest groups or meet new people outside of the job structure? Luckily, technology has made finding events in our local communities that much more comfortable. So here are just a few suggestions to get your search started!
Volunteering for a local business or non-profit organization is a great way to meet new people while also giving back to your community. It’s no secret that volunteering makes us feel good. Unquestionably, there is something about giving back that warms the heart and inspires others to do good as well.
Luckily, in some cases, you don’t have to wait until you retire to start! For a long time, hectic work schedules and family demands made volunteering next to impossible.
However, the number of benefits volunteering brings on both the individual and the community has made many companies to reprioritize volunteering within their business model.
Many have started programs that will enable their employees to use volunteer hours as work hours so that they are sure to have time to give back.
So, whether you’re retired or not, volunteering can be a great way to get out in the community and meet new people all while helping others!
Local Meet-up Groups
Checking out your local newspaper, circular or website is a great way to learn about all your local community’s upcoming events. Typical hot-spots for events are regional art centers or main streets, the local library or school campuses and senior centers.
Even if you aren’t sure exactly what you are looking for, finding a local coffee chat group or book club is a great way to meet new people who may be able to put you on the right path to finding the perfect event for you!
Create your Own Group
Who says you should wait for someone else to create a group? There are bound to be people within your community that are looking for the same activity as you! Not sure where to start?
Facebook is a great platform for creating free events. Another option is to head over to your local coffee shop to ask if you can put up a flyer!
Of course, be careful not to give out too much of your information. I suggest creating an e-mail account specifically for the meet-up group purposes, and use that as your contact information rather than providing a phone number or personal e-mail.
This will also allow you to better track how many people are interested in joining or learning more about your event.
Through the expanding world of technology, many of us have joined online communities to meet and connect with others. Take the Sixty and Me community as an excellent example!
Margaret Manning has created such a welcoming and positive space for women all over the world. It’s a place where women can go to meet new people, find advice and tips, or share their own story or journey.
These days, there are online communities for just about any topic of interest you can imagine. A simple Google search of your favorite pastime is sure to lead you to others who are interested in similar things. That makes it an excellent tool for finding and e-meeting new and like-minded people.
Invest in Your Future
Maintaining a social circle in retirement is fun, but it can also be good for your health! Reuters reported that participating in social groups has been linked to longevity and can even help with decreasing chances of depression later in life.
A broad social network could also decrease our risk of isolation as we get older. Having a system of trusted companions or close family nearby means there is a more likely chance of someone always popping in to make sure we are okay!
Ensuring you find the right group for you is important. Joining a group for the sake of socialization doesn’t always work, you want to make sure the team has a positive effect on you and doesn’t stress you out while you are there.
How do you want to spend your time in retirement? What is your favorite way to meet new people? What types of social groups do you enjoy participating in the most? Please share your experiences and ideas below!
Molly LeGrand has cared for older adults living with dementia for over ten years. She is a recent graduate of the Erickson School, UMBC where she received her M.A. in the Management of Aging Services. Her blog Upside to Aging is dedicated to sharing an alternative and more positive side to aging.