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Old 09-22-2014, 03:24 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by EastWest Gal View Post
So what do you do for a social life now?

I 'm just starting this ER process, so I'm interested in what works more than what doesn't work.
I'm getting with my former co-workers less and less. Spending more time with my sister and some old friends. Making new friends from church and Meetup. It's a process.
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Old 09-22-2014, 04:17 PM   #42
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I'm one year into ER. Good thread. I'm definitely struggling with this a bit. I have 4-5 very close friends from work that I try to meet with as regularly as possible. But we are inevitably drifting in different directions. I was such a workaholic that I never had any close friends outside of work. I do enjoy doing things by myself, especially riding my bike, woodworking, and playing guitar. But I know I need more social interaction. My kids and in-laws live close by, so there's always activities on weekends. But DW is still working and the weekdays are starting to get rather dull and repetitive. I have plenty of opportunities along the lines of suggestions in this thread. It's really just a matter of taking the initiative. And I haven't done that yet.
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Old 09-23-2014, 11:23 AM   #43
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There seems to be an underlying theme to many of the comments. That being the lack of opportunities for social interaction during the traditional work hours. Now, that would make sense when you consider the modern lifestyle of working M-F or as David Cain puts it in Raptitude, "Your Lifestyle is already designed for you". I wonder if that will change for retirees once the more than half of the baby boomers pass 65 which based on my knowledge of that the demographic would be in about 5 years or so. There is a book aptly named, "When the Boomers Bail" by Mark Lautman. While I have yet to read it, I understand one of his premises is that when the bulk of the Boomers step out of the workforce, the labor market will get tight for a long time. There is more to the book, but if you believe he is right and you look at the unemployment rate going down but the labor participation rate is going down, also. Is it possible the Boomers are beginning to bail. If so, the Boomers will become a force to be reckoned with as retirees and there may be whole lot of social opportunities in a few years.
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Old 09-23-2014, 08:18 PM   #44
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[QUOTE=Corporateburnout;1496083]
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I've been retired since June and I am taking two courses at an OLLI program (Osher lifelong Learning institute) at a local university that unlike a community college program the courses are tailored for the mostly retired 50+ age group. The first couple of classes have been engaging and mind stimulating and some members meet after class for lunch or dinner to discuss common interests. Not sure if there is a program near you.
I started going to OLLI classes as soon as I RE'd 3 yrs ago. I've also organized 4 science classes for our OLLI and that has given me the opportunity to interact with all the campus professors and students that I recruit as speakers. I serve on our OLLI curriculum committee and participate in the OLLI summer lunch meet ups. So that fills in most of my social needs.

I also have monthly dinners with a couple of college buddies. I also lunch with my former co-workers every couple of months. We've gotten to the point where they don't even talk about work that much.

I found a book club that I attend 4-5x per year. I found this club through meetups.com

For the past 15 yrs I've been salsa dancing 2-3x per week so that is another obvious social opportunity for me too.

During the day though, I mostly do things on my own. Today I rode my motorcycle into the city to try out a new lunch spot.
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Old 09-24-2014, 08:56 AM   #45
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I am the quiet sort but over three years of retirement have built up a group of friends and activities. I started with several adult ed courses at the local community college, added a pool exercise class which also provides a lot of social contact, and have a monthly book discussion group as well. I have maybe four good friends who I can talk with for hours, but I find very little happens unless I do something to make it happen.
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Old 09-24-2014, 09:16 AM   #46
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I went ahead and rejoined meetup.org. I am going to sign up for one thing in the next month, take it easy. I can't see my hub wanting to go, but that is OK. I noticed there are a couple "easy" hiking clubs. There are also some dining out groups of different types. I would love a retired group but don't see one.
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A New Social Life after RE?
Old 09-24-2014, 07:14 PM   #47
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A New Social Life after RE?

DW and I are basically introverts. We travel in our RV, and meet people around the country, but enjoy our time together. She retired a year before I, and spent time at the local community center with exercise classes, and spent a great deal of time reading. When not traveling, we work on the house, since we'll probably sell it before long, and she is getting into photography a bit. She's an excellent assistant lol.

Most of my friendships are via the net. Topic specific forums allow me to have conversations with like minded people, and there's no need to be concerned when someone is working or not. A conversation may take days with hours between responses. Gives us each time to think before speaking lol. It also provides for an eclectic base of friends with different POVs to provide. Much to learn, and forces me to rethink my own POV, often. Even met a few well known people this way. One friend is a former UN worker, and the current situation in Syria and Ukraine have provided some lively conversation *grin*.

Fortunately, many people from other countries speak English, as I have no aptitude for foreign languages... Google translations are getting pretty good, as well.

So forums can be an excellent beginning for new friendships. Being retired, you also have the time to visit those you learn to trust. Age becomes irrelevant.


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A New Social Life after RE?
Old 09-24-2014, 07:15 PM   #48
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A New Social Life after RE?

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Originally Posted by BellBarbara View Post
I went ahead and rejoined meetup.org. I am going to sign up for one thing in the next month, take it easy. I can't see my hub wanting to go, but that is OK. I noticed there are a couple "easy" hiking clubs. There are also some dining out groups of different types. I would love a retired group but don't see one.

Can't you start one? Make it a meetup group for active retirees...

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Old 09-24-2014, 08:20 PM   #49
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I am new to retirement... and like the OP - have school age kids at home.

I'm friends with some of the other parents of their friends... I was before - but now I have more time to be social with them. Some have home businesses or a SAHparent... so there are people I can call and they'll go for a walk with me, or for coffee. So I've kind of increased the depth of those friendships since we have more time.

I'm also taking a class at the local community college. The class is full of late teens and early 20's types... but surprisingly, I've made friends with a few other students... and the teacher as well. (She's about my age and has kids just a little older than mine.) It's surprising that I have anything in common with these kids - but they are delightful people (the ones I made friends with - not every student.) This was an unexpected social bonus.

I'm not a super social/outgoing person... but I hang onto my friends. My closest friends are people I've known since high school and college - some live in other states... but we still talk/email/text and that gives me a social outlet.

And I go walking with friends from w*rk. We did it at lunch when I worked there - and I meet them about 2x month to continue the trend.
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Introversion and Health
Old 09-25-2014, 10:26 AM   #50
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Introversion and Health

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I gave the hell up years ago. Fortunately I am one of those people who does not need associations with other people in order to draw any fulfillment or self-identity.

When I was working and well connected I found that most of what passes for "Social life" was people carping about their spouse, kids, or debt. I never fit into that demographic either.
This is very close to my own feelings on the matter. However, I am concerned about the long term health impacts (both mental and physical) of social isolation.

I was not able to find links to a good study with a quick Google search; but, I am guessing most of us have read synopses of various research pointing to such risks in the general population. There have also been a few small studies showing that lack of strong social ties can be almost as detrimental to introverts as to the population at large. (Again, apologies for not including links.)

So, I put maintaining social connections in the same category as monitoring my weight/diet and regular exercise, things I do primarily to maintain my health and long term well being.
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Old 09-25-2014, 12:12 PM   #51
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Can't you start one? Make it a meetup group for active retirees...
I am thinking about this. It comes with a lot of responsibility to set up events and such. I am going to poke around more first.
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Old 10-27-2014, 11:16 PM   #52
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After I retired, over 7 years ago at 50, my social circle changed from folks mostly around my age, to folks who are mostly 20, 30, or even 40 years older than me. However, my friends and I don't even think about the age differences. To us, what's more important are our mutual interests. And although our ages, backgrounds, and lifestyles may be quite varied and different, our mutual care and concern for each other is the same. We thoroughly enjoy our time together, and if someone isn't there, we not only miss them but call or go check on them. And I don't know how much, if anything, they learn from me, but I know I'm always learning new things from them! We love being together, drinking our coffee together, having dinner, talking, laughing, arguing, and just hanging out.

I've found over the past several years, that in my new social circle of older friends, we have way more in common than some may imagine. We all agree that it's true that age is merely a number!
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