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Retirement- do you need friends
Old 02-17-2010, 12:32 PM   #1
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Retirement- do you need friends

Interesting article- do you agree

Secret to a happy retirement? Friends. - Feb. 17, 2010
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:39 PM   #2
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Just read that and couldn't agree more. At least, for my personality I do. Being a total extrovert, being alone ALL the time would bore me to death--although I do love to bury myself in research alot I admit which is surely a solitary pursuit.
When I am thru with my eldercaring duties, I plan to settle somewhere and make so many friends as I can. Having no family really makes it almost necessary for me.
Anyway, I like to laugh and have fun alot with others of like mind....I'z just a good time gal I guess. And having relationships with others has been statistically proven time and time again as helping to extend your life. So, yup, I agree with the article.
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:46 PM   #3
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That article is dated today, but I've read it before. Maybe it was in the last print issue?

Anyway, I do agree. I can't imagine any kind of long-term existence without a circle of close friends. In importance, I rank good friends above good finances and even with good health.

I'm sure some personality types would disagree, though.
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Old 02-17-2010, 01:11 PM   #4
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Yes I agree with the article. I love to hear from my friends and on occasion spend time with them. I get tickled when I get a pm from a friend on this forum...it's like getting a letter (well, I received letters in the old days).

Right now I don't have a close female friend that lives in my area. This fact makes me a bit sad, but it might not always be this way.
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Old 02-17-2010, 01:11 PM   #5
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I totally agree . When I retired most of my friends were still working so I had to make an effort to find new ones . I'm not an extrovert but I do need a mix of time alone and time with friends . My SO is my best friend but I still need a few woman friends to hang out with .
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Old 02-17-2010, 01:27 PM   #6
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Guess I'll truly be the odd one, in this conversation.

I didn't want/need friends before I retired. I feel the same, even though I've been retired a few years.

And to set the record straight, I'm not anti-social. I do have people I see on an on-going basis (volunteer work) and converse with them, but I would not say I have anyone (other than my DW) whom I wish to share my dreams.

I'm sure it's all due to my upbringing (dysfunctional family), where I learned early on that I was the only one that I could count on.

Guess you can say that I'm my own best friend...
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Old 02-17-2010, 03:04 PM   #7
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wasn't it Thoreau who said you are lucky if you have one true friend ?
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Old 02-17-2010, 03:09 PM   #8
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Guess I'll truly be the odd one, in this conversation.

I didn't want/need friends before I retired. I feel the same, even though I've been retired a few years.

And to set the record straight, I'm not anti-social. I do have people I see on an on-going basis (volunteer work) and converse with them, but I would not say I have anyone (other than my DW) whom I wish to share my dreams.

I'm sure it's all due to my upbringing (dysfunctional family), where I learned early on that I was the only one that I could count on.

Guess you can say that I'm my own best friend...
You aren't the only odd one.

I do enjoy the occasional social gathering; and, I do have one friend whom I trust completely. But, I actually find myself craving solitude much more than social interaction as I age. In fact, the opportunity to spend days alone in the mountains or along a river back is the thing that it most likely to pull me into ER (vs. the office insanity that is pushing me that direction).
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Old 02-17-2010, 03:16 PM   #9
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I didn't really find the article that interesting. Why? Because the article states, "The study found that retirees who are very satisfied with their number of friends...are happier."

This isn't exactly an eye opener. It is just like saying that people who feel secure about how much they have saved are happier in retirement, regardless of how how much money they have saved.

People will certainly feel less secure and unhappy if they have less friends than they would prefer. For some people, all they want is one true friend, for others, they want to have more friends than they can even remember. It is all about feeling secure about your circumstances.
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Old 02-17-2010, 03:35 PM   #10
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The article is spot on.
Left to my own devices, I tend to be a loner. I have become comfortable with my own company over the past 5+ years, and even more so in FIRE status. I do have several close friends locally and long distance, and cultivate those long term friendships very carefully.
I can be quite the social butterfly with general acquaintances if I choose to.
Lately, I am learning to filter out the negative people and strive to stay connected with positive ones.
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Old 02-17-2010, 05:29 PM   #11
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I agree, but then I am a very sociable individual, and I also need to meet new people to tell my old jokes to
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Old 02-17-2010, 06:00 PM   #12
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Friends? Who needs friends? And get the he11 off my lawn!
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Old 02-17-2010, 07:07 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by rescueme View Post
Guess I'll truly be the odd one, in this conversation.
I didn't want/need friends before I retired. I feel the same, even though I've been retired a few years.
And to set the record straight, I'm not anti-social. I do have people I see on an on-going basis (volunteer work) and converse with them, but I would not say I have anyone (other than my DW) whom I wish to share my dreams.
Not so odd; I feel the same way. In fact I'm married to another person who shares our sentiments.

I can't think of any new posters who've said "I'm financially independent and sick of work, but I'm not going to retire because these are the only friends I have!"

What bothers me about this type of deadline journalism is that the author (the working author) of this retirement article has no idea what he's talking about-- but that won't keep him from filing on time! At least Scott Burns has the decency to call his efforts self-employment and to admit that he'll probably never retire.

Quote:
I'm not suggesting that you should address lifestyle issues with the same precision you do your finances by, say, allocating 40% of your time to health matters, 35% to friends, and 25% to spirituality. But it can help to approach nonfinancial matters in a somewhat similar manner. [...]
One way to expand your connections is by joining groups dedicated to causes you believe in, or by volunteering. Retirees who volunteer are about 15% more likely to be very satisfied than those who don't, according to Urban Institute research.
Retirees don't have to "expand our connections" or "network" or "socialize" or any of the other speed-dating techniques used when you're spending 40+ hours a week at work and don't have any time left over for living.

Instead you can pursue your interests on your own schedule and... sonofagun... eventually you'll run into like-minded individuals who share those interests. You don't even have to recreate your workplace environment join groups or volunteer. You just do what you want and the socializing opportunities appear on their own for you to take advantage of-- or not.

Amazing how that works out. It's like letting kids go out to play without joining a community league or an after-school program.

The tone of his article rang a bell and it took me a while to figure out the memory. He's yapping away about socializing in much the same manner that extroverted people can't bear to be stuck alone with themselves for more than a few minutes without external stimulation. Wonder if he's ever read "Caring For Your Introvert"...
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Old 02-17-2010, 07:56 PM   #14
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There are a lot of people that I interact with on a fairly regular basis, but there none that I'd really consider a close friend. I've always been that way....from when I was a kid 'til this day, and plan to keep it that way!

My jobs have always been 'solo' gigs. I was a meter reader for a few years, then transferred into another department on straight afternoons for over 15 years, and was the only one in the entire facility, and absolutely loved every minute of it! The solitude! When I came off the straight afternoon thing, I moved into the lab...all by myself! And I thoroughly enjoyed the solitude there as well.

Now that I'm retired, I enjoy my time alone in the gardens or in my workshop, MUCH better than being around people! There are many times that I have no contact with other human beings, and relish those times! There are many things that tend to bring fullness and contentment to my life, but for the most part, people are among those things!
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Old 02-17-2010, 08:07 PM   #15
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This may be an age thing. When I was in my 50's, friends and social life were not much concern. Now in the late 60's they are much more appreciated. Also, it may explain the popularity in 'The Villages'. A couple of nights a week a group of us get together for card, drinks and conversation. It is something DW and I look forward to. Before retiring this would not have appealed to us.

I also think not having kids in the house may make a difference. Kids change your interactions, and those around you.
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Old 02-17-2010, 09:51 PM   #16
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I would have to say DW and I 'are' relatively antisocial. We make no effort to find and cultivate new friends. We are quite content to just live in each other's company. I had a few very close friends from childhood into my early 20's, but most didn't survive very long past that. The last one died a few years ago, somehow at only 54 I've managed to outlive them all. Most of my current 'friends' are the musicians I make music with on the occasional weekend day when we get together to jam. DW has one friend that she talks to on the phone and we take out once every few months, but I believe that is more for her benefit the DW's as this woman is totally alone.

We are basically hermits and proud of it. We do have a trio of Irish Wolfhounds that we find mostly more enjoyable to be around than humans...
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Old 02-17-2010, 11:29 PM   #17
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From the article linked to in the original post,
Quote:
(Money Magazine) -- My wife is always chiding me that I spend too much time working and not enough keeping up with friends. "You'll be sorry when you retire and don't have anyone to do things with besides me," she warns. I hate to say it, but she's right. It's easy to assume retirement planning is all about the bucks, but nonfinancial issues matter too.

A Pew Research Center report shows friendships rank with sound health and finances as the factors most likely to boost happiness. The study found that retirees who are very satisfied with their number of friends were nearly three times more likely to be happy than those who are worried about relationships. A comparable gap exists between those who are very confident in their finances and those who aren't.
I do agree that retirement planning is not "all about the bucks", and nonfinancial issues matter. This covers a lot more than those issues addressed in the article.

Also, I am not surprised that retirees who are very satisfied with their number of friends were happier than those who are worried about relationships. One could say the same for those still working, or for school children.

My personal experience so far in retirement is the same as before retirement. I don't feel any need for more time with friends than before retirement.

However, should I end up alone as I grow older, I might want to know more people. It would be nice if someone would check on me now and then at that age. Nobody wants to be the topic of an AP headline, "Grisly discovery: Decomposed body of elderly woman found in her home six years after death".
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:42 AM   #18
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I would tend to agree with the article. Would say we have a fair number of friends and enjoy their company on a regular basis. One thing I have noticed though is that we seem to have gotten a little "pickier" in recent years. Don't suffer fools or ignorant people as much as we used to. We have the most fun with people who share our values. So more quality and less quantity I guess.
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Old 02-18-2010, 09:08 AM   #19
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Instead you can pursue your interests on your own schedule and... sonofagun... eventually you'll run into like-minded individuals who share those interests. You don't even have to recreate your workplace environment join groups or volunteer. You just do what you want and the socializing opportunities appear on their own for you to take advantage of-- or not.

..

Absolutely true , I met my new friends at the gym .We all take the same class and on Friday's we go out for lunch and gossip .
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Old 02-18-2010, 09:49 AM   #20
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I have a "friend" who keeps telling me about all her kids and grandkids who run in and out of her house and all their activities. It took me awhile to realize that she assumes--since I was in sales, am extroverted basically and was raised as an only child--that I really would be envious of that. She doesn't realize that--even tho I enjoy being in the company of others--there are many times I wish to be alone and study. I see all those people going in and out of her house all the time as distruptive and somewhat of a nuisance myself.
Even alot of extroverts don't want a steady stream of people-people-people...geesh!
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