The Trick To Keeping Friends As We Get Older (Retirement Insights Series Part 2 of 3)

“More and more recent research is finding that our friends and social interactions are essential to our medical, psychological, and social well-being as we age. Which is a challenge for retirees, in particular, as they age, as everything from reduced mobility to the outright death of friends can shrink our social circles and opportunities to engage with them.

In turn, this makes it all the more important to figure out how to create opportunities and structure to be more engaged with friends and socialize as we get older.

Some tips include:

  • create “containers” of time that are dedicated towards opportunities for getting together (e.g., a set time, three times a work, to go to the gym and work out, or a dedicated lunch on the third Thursday of the month with a group of friends that is a standing commitment);
  • be prepared for the possibility that friendships may fall by the wayside over time, but that it’s OK to then try to re-engage with those friends (i.e., be flexible, and be ready and able to forgive in order to patch up a prior friendship that has fallen by the wayside);
  • be prepared to “re-pot” a relationship (like re-potting a plant in gardening), where the context of the relationship must be changed in order for it to sustain (e.g., a “work friend” is no longer a work friend after retiring from work, and may need to become a golfing buddy or a fellow photography enthusiast instead);
  • or try to focus into areas where you can gather around common interests, from engaging in a religious community (e.g., church or synagogue), or around a hobby that has a wide range of engaged people (e.g., fellow musicians).

On the other hand, one of the benefits of getting older is also getting more comfortable in pruning friendship that are no longer fulfilling, and our ability to better focus our time on the relationships that bring us the most joy may actually be why our general sense of well-being tends to rise once we’re over age 50.”

Article providing insights:

The Trick To Keeping Friends As We Get Older (Diane Cole, Wall Street Journal; subscription required) 

Quoted from Michael Kitces of Nerd’s Eye View at, as part of Michael’s weekly compilation of information for planners; source , which [I’ve edited] for a public audience for clarity and emphasis where needed.

Time Allocations and Self-Reported Happiness Of Retirees  (Retirement Insights Series Part 1 of 3)

The Four Transitions Of Aging (Retirement Insights Part 3 of 3)

Photo by Austin Neill on StockSnap.

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