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How hard is it to make friends after er and a move.
Old 02-23-2015, 01:38 PM   #1
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How hard is it to make friends after er and a move.

As DW and myself ponder when to retire we(more me) worry about making new friends to share our free time with, particularly if we move from our longtime home in socal to a lower cost area. As much as work causes me way too much stress I am surrounded by people I have known and mostly liked for 25 years. I assume, with the exception of my closest friends, most of that will go away when I retire even if we stay in socal. Any words of wisdom as to what we should expect socially when we move into this next phase of our lives?
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Old 02-23-2015, 01:45 PM   #2
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I am a little in the same situation, because I am soon retiring and have work friends of 25+ years. However, I'm not sure how much I will see them after I retire, because I don't want to hear all the stories of how stressful it all is at work. That's what I'm trying to leave. I think we will find some new friends when we have the time to visit, get to know neighbors, travel and join some groups that we have wanted to join for some time. We aren't moving, but just having the time to talk to people socially will make a difference.
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Old 02-23-2015, 01:53 PM   #3
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get a golf or social membership at a country club - worked great when we relocated here 4 years ago
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:00 PM   #4
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I moved around the time of ER and I worried about that too. However, I was fortunate to hear about a social group for people new to the area. Within the umbrella of the group there are many activities, including sports, cultural activities, site visits and informal get togethers. As a result I now have more friends than I know what to do with, and many of them are ER. Had I not moved, I never would have had this opportunity and would be relying predominantly on existing friends, many of whom I met at work.

In my opinion having a well run welcoming group of this sort in the community is a major asset when considering a retirement location.
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:20 PM   #5
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All my work life most of the people I knew were either close neighbors or people at work. None were really "social" friends. I always thought I was too busy to commit to "social" friends. Now I am retired and I have realized (and accepted) that I am just not the sort of person that people gravitate to "socially". I would rather the opposite were true but .... there you have it.
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:28 PM   #6
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Would you like to meet yourself and be your friend?

I meet people all the time. I end up going out to lunch or dinner with them and doing other activities as well. But I am not shy at all and will talk to anybody I meet even if they do not speak the local language.

Do you have a good-looking and well-behaved dog? Such a dog and a guitar will have people begging to be your friends.
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:43 PM   #7
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I wouldn't plan on sticking around somewhere just to be near work friends. From my own experience and many of those who post here, it seems most work relationships dry up rather quickly. I keep in touch with one guy pretty regularly (once every few months plus online comms), but everyone else kind of moved on.

Our common bond was work, and chatting about kids, travel, making money, etc were something we mostly did to fill the time between the drudgery.

With the internet, it's easier than ever to find folks who you might share a common interest. Sports, leisure activities, outdoor recreation, music, the arts, crafts, tech user groups, etc.
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Old 02-23-2015, 03:26 PM   #8
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As DW and myself ponder when to retire we(more me) worry about making new friends to share our free time with, particularly if we move from our longtime home in socal to a lower cost area. As much as work causes me way too much stress I am surrounded by people I have known and mostly liked for 25 years. I assume, with the exception of my closest friends, most of that will go away when I retire even if we stay in socal. Any words of wisdom as to what we should expect socially when we move into this next phase of our lives?
For the most part, people at work are "acquaintances" not friends. Doesn't matter how long you've "known" them. Friends are people that you do things with. They come to your house, you go out to lunch/dinner, you call them on the phone, you go with them to events. Friends know your kids names plus the dog and cat's name. When you retire (and move) join clubs, go to fun night time classes at the local college (night time because day time classes are full of 19 year olds). Not that there's anything wrong with 19 year olds. For the past few years I've developed a friendship with a couple of them and we do metal working together and meet up at a local coffee club where one of them plays in a group. My work hours aren't all that crazy where I can go to school at night, do volunteer work on the weekends and join clubs. So many people that work don't do anything but work.
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Old 02-23-2015, 03:27 PM   #9
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Wow. So my concerns are pretty normal. Guess I shouldn't find it surprising. Probably most of us with careers that monopolize most of our time and energy have the same concern. Like most things in life thinking about this change is probably scarier than the experience will be once I pull the trigger.

LOL good news. I have THAT DOG. Bad news I have no musical talents. On the social curcuit side DW makes friends real easy. Me probably average to a little bit reserved but am very devoted to any real friends I make.

Unfortunately my golf skills are humorously bad. Suspect that would make me enemies more than friends, particularly with anyone that lived on a golf course.
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Old 02-23-2015, 03:35 PM   #10
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We moved into a 55+ community 5 years ago, and there are a lot of new people making friends and a lot of activities. Then there is a larger birder/nature enthusiast/photographer community in the area as it is a primo area for that kind of thing. Lots of activities at all the state, federal and municipal nature parks that can be joined at a moments notice. Quite active Facebook groups for all the local nature happenings too.

There are a lot more people around here we could easily meet and make friends with if we weren't full up already.

Figure out what you like to do most, and go do it, or move to an area where you can do more of it if you need to, and you'll find plenty of peers into the same things.
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Old 02-23-2015, 03:44 PM   #11
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I wouldn't plan on sticking around somewhere just to be near work friends. From my own experience and many of those who post here, it seems most work relationships dry up rather quickly. I keep in touch with one guy pretty regularly (once every few months plus online comms), but everyone else kind of moved on.

Our common bond was work, and chatting about kids, travel, making money, etc were something we mostly did to fill the time between the drudgery.

With the internet, it's easier than ever to find folks who you might share a common interest. Sports, leisure activities, outdoor recreation, music, the arts, crafts, tech user groups, etc.
Agreed. What you may find is that your w*rk "friends" may develop some resentment to your ER status because the main thing you had in common - w*ork - is no longer a shared existence. Likewise, you will also resent many of your w*rk friends because they don't have the time or energy to do the things you want to do.

Just think about it this way. If you ER to a lower-cost area filled with retired folks, it is your shared retirement status that will bond you together, much like your former w*rk life.
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Old 02-23-2015, 03:50 PM   #12
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In my military years, I did lots of moving around and as a result I had many, many friends. For the most part, the closest ones from high school are still the best of friends today..all 3 of them. Also, I have LOTS of casual friends but I would count my "best of friends" to less than 10. On Facebook, I have less than 100...and most of those were good flying buddies from my AF days. I have found that no matter where you move, you will meet folks with common interests and things will click. I wouldn't sweat moving too much...
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:08 PM   #13
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All my work life most of the people I knew were either close neighbors or people at work. None were really "social" friends. I always thought I was too busy to commit to "social" friends. Now I am retired and I have realized (and accepted) that I am just not the sort of person that people gravitate to "socially". I would rather the opposite were true but .... there you have it.
I can dig most of that. I did have social type of friends back when I was younger but I suspect it was based on a "foxhole" mentality common at that age. We're all in this together. We need a life-line etc. Over the years I have gravitated away from entangling alliances and others have gravitated away from me. Not being an alcoholic seemed to have a noticeable affect on how accepted I was in most settings. Later on, not having kids or choking on debt likewise had negative social effects.

Oh well. The money will always be there. The friends, not so much.
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:10 PM   #14
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Do you have a good-looking and well-behaved dog? Such a dog and a guitar will have people begging to be your friends.
Glittering generalities. Got 'em both.
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:35 PM   #15
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Would you like to meet yourself and be your friend?



I meet people all the time. I end up going out to lunch or dinner with them and doing other activities as well. But I am not shy at all and will talk to anybody I meet even if they do not speak the local language.



Do you have a good-looking and well-behaved dog? Such a dog and a guitar will have people begging to be your friends.

I think this is good advice but I'd like to stick up for the dog population. I have known some pooches that, at first glance based on looks, made me think, "yow! What the heck is going on there?". But they were so sweet and friendly it was impossible not to want them to be your friend. People can learn a lot from dogs. And dogs' lives don't revolve around computers (or if they do, it's when I'm not looking).
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:38 PM   #16
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We left a wonderful neighborhood where we had lived for 15 years and counted the neighbors as good friends, so I relate with your fears. With no job, no kids or pets, and no religious affiliations, the usual avenues weren't available to us. But....

I think much depends on you. If you're outgoing and make the effort, you can make friends. The internet - especially a site like meetup.com - helps a lot. We met our first few friends in Denver through a meetup group, and then widened the circle over the last 3 years. We like our new neighbours too, but they're so much younger than us, that we haven't been able to replicate the deep friendships we had before. But, we feel very much at home here with the friends we have made in the city and surrounding areas.

When we were first going for meetups and exploring different parts of the city, we felt like we were dating again. If you let it, it can be an invigorating experience.

All the best.
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:49 PM   #17
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A really nice feature of retirement is having much more time available to engage in my myriad hobbies. Most hobbies have some sort of local club or organization where you can meet others with the same interest. A very natural way to make friends wherever you live.
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:59 PM   #18
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A really nice feature of retirement is having much more time available to engage in my myriad hobbies. Most hobbies have some sort of local club or organization where you can meet other with the same interest. A very natural way to make friends wherever you live.
I notice new neighbors doing this when they arrive in our neighborhood. They leverage off of other neighbors to tap into the clubs, etc. of interest available in the larger community. Very efficient!!!
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Old 02-23-2015, 05:14 PM   #19
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All my work life most of the people I knew were either close neighbors or people at work. None were really "social" friends. I always thought I was too busy to commit to "social" friends. Now I am retired and I have realized (and accepted) that I am just not the sort of person that people gravitate to "socially". I would rather the opposite were true but .... there you have it.

No Tadpole, I doubt it is you at all. The synergy of people's lives continue on even though yours has changed. Your work friends general will fall away. When I was retiring one of my underlings asked if I was going to miss being around all my friends. Being one who studied and planned, I already knew what would happen. I told her, these people I like, but they are work friends not social friends so I doubt I see them much anymore which is true.
My regular friends continue on and we meet when we can, which is fairly regularly, but I am sensitive to the fact they have family and still work.
You have to actively seek friendships through activities and/or organizations.
I actually have learned to enjoy my alone time, while sprinkling in time with GF and friends.


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Old 02-23-2015, 06:29 PM   #20
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We're talking about moving to a college town a few hours away from us - we have season tickets to several sports there, and are hoping that by joining the local booster club we'll be able to find other couples with similar interests. It's a big change, but it seems to be energizing both of us - it's giving us something to look forward to. DH likes to shoot, so I told him to check out the local shooting range/clubs, and he already found three. I'm a little nervous about it, but am hoping some of it comes naturally in the new neighborhood, which will be a big jump for us from where we're at. Our current neighborhood is in decline and it's time to move on.


Great thread - I'm reading all these with much interest!
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