How to Make Friends in Retirement (2023 UPDATE)

Leaving the workforce opens up many opportunities to spend time with friends and family and explore new hobbies that you’ve always wanted to try out. Many take on this exciting time in life with an adventurous spirit, but may find there are some challenges that come along with the transition into senior retirement. One such obstacle that seniors may face is making new friends to spend time with.

Leaving your job means that you are also leaving the connections you made during your time of employment, including co-workers, managers and clients. While not all these people were necessarily close friends, you might find that you miss the face-to-face interaction with them on a daily basis. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 6.5 million seniors are affected with symptoms of depression due, in part, to the social transition that comes with retirement. When you suddenly move into retirement, the change can be a bit jarring, which is why it is important to stay actively social throughout every stage in life.

Hobbies to make friends in retirement

One of the best parts about leaving your job for retirement is the amount of time you will have to dedicate yourself to your hobbies. Whether it’s wood-carving, knitting or gardening, there are a million ways to keep yourself busy all day. Additionally, having a hobby that you are passionate about can also be a great way to meet others with similar interests. While some hobbies are more solitary, it can be easy to find activities to do with others, such as joining a walking club in your neighborhood. If you enjoy reading, you might like being a part of a book club that meets regularly. This is a great chance to meet people and build friendships with people after establishing a connection.

If you don’t have a hobby just yet, start spending your time in a way you think you might enjoy. For instance, if you’re not particularly active and new to exercise, you could go to a senior yoga class for some light stretching and muscle building exercises. Trying something new is one of the best starting points toward finding your passion and meeting other people.

Making friends after moving

If you decide you want to move when you retire – either to an area with a lower cost of living or warmer climate – it can be difficult to be new in town. The first thing you should realize after moving is that you can easily make friends by being approachable and active. You may think that your fellow seniors already have enough friends and aren’t looking for more, but that simply isn’t true. People of all ages want or need to make friends, and seniors are no different. When moving to a new area, seek out places that boast an active senior lifestyle and where your senior health insurance plan will be easy to use.

Instead of spending all your time on the telephone talking with friends and family from your hometown, seek out opportunities to meet others in your new place of residence. While it can take some time to build relationships into strong friendships, spending time within your new community will help. Volunteering is one suggested method for deepening your roots in an unfamiliar neighborhood.


Believe it or not, seniors are some of the most active travelers. With time off and no work commitments, you can try traveling to new places and exploring foreign cultures. If traveling sparks your interest, you’re not alone. There are many senior travel groups who want to explore the world. You can find these groups online easily and meet up with others who are interested in seeing the same sites as you. Just be sure to invest in travel insurance before you leave so you don’t waste money if you suddenly can’t go on your trip or if your plans are interrupted from weather or cancelations.

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