Diminishing Friendships in Retirement?

I was listening to one of my financial podcasts, Stacking Benjamin’s, and on one of their recent shows, and their guest was talking about early retirement and issues that many folks don’t think about. One of the more interesting ones (and one that I have thought about a lot as I get closer) is the social aspect of work, and how that might leave a hole when a person retires.

For most folks it is the people at work who form their social circle (outside their immediate family). These are the folks they see every day, talk with at the coffee machine, and discuss last night’s TV show or game. You get to know their families, trials and tribulations, and life stories. These people are the “village” you have to live in for 8+ hours a day – and it is often the thought of leaving these folks (and moving to another “village”) that keeps people in the same job for years. I know that is one of the major things keeping my sister-in-law still working.

It has been noted that folks often have a hard time getting new friends (or keeping old ones) as they age. People drift apart, both geographically and in their interests. Men often have a particularly difficult time of this, and sometimes have no friends they can turn to in their later years.

I’ve joined several organizations (outdoors, woodworking, professional society) in order to try and get out. As I look to achieve financial independence, I know I am going to have to work hard to be more outgoing, and seek stronger friendships with folks in my interest groups. It won’t be easy – but it is a challenge worth the trouble.

How are you folks preparing or working on this?

Other similar links:

Money Logue: how to deal with the emotions of retiring alone

Mr. 39 Months

2 thoughts on “Diminishing Friendships in Retirement?”

  1. This is a really good question and I wish I had a better answer for you.

    The only thing I ever missed after I FIREd was the people at work. I’m an introvert so I don’t need a ton of socializing, but I do need some.

    I often piggy-back off my wife’s socializing so that I can interact with people. We both belong to Philly Runners, but we do it for different reasons. She does it because she’s a serious runner and I do it to socialize with club members. I run also, but it’s not my passion.

    Starting a blog also helped because I can interact with other bloggers.

    1. Yep, I’ve got a woodworking guild I belong to, an outdoor club (backpacking, kayaking, etc.) and a professional society for engineers. Still, I get over 40+ hours of interaction with folks at work that I’m going to have to replace a little.

      I’m glad you’ve been able to finds some folks in Philly. Great blog, by the way. I try and read it 2-3 times a week.

      Mr. 39 months

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