The Lonely Side of Retirement: The One Thing Most People Don’t Consider

Most people in the workforce have probably thought about retirement at some point, even if they’re decades away from it. The idea of no longer working and getting to do whatever you want—travel, sleep in, try new hobbies—sounds lovely.

Some people are so excited about retirement, they’re doing it early. The average retirement age in the US is 62 years old, according to recent research. And if you were to ask people between the ages of 25-40 when the ideal time to retire is, they’d say around 59.

Of course there are factors to consider, like whether you can financially afford to retire early. But a new report shows there may be one reason to keep working as long as you can.


Retirement Woes

As part of a larger study from Harvard on happiness, researchers found that retirees don’t miss working. Instead, they miss the people they worked with.

Anecdotal evidence from the study participants showed they missed the connections and friendships with coworkers. Others found it hard to stay in touch after retirement.


Work Place Friendships

It’s natural to crave human contact. Being around your coworkers on a regular basis provides an easy way to connect with others. It’s not just the intentional acts of going out to lunch that fills that void. Even the simple day-to-day interactions, conversations and overall bonding can make you feel engaged.

For individuals whose social life revolved around their careers, it can feel especially lonely after retirement.

Loneliness in Older Adults

A study out of the University of California, San Francisco found 43% of people surveyed who were 60 and older reported feeling lonely.

Loneliness is a growing problem amongst older adults. And loneliness and social isolation can lead to other health problems.


Be More Socially Engaged

The solution to loneliness is to put yourself out there, even if it’s a little scary at first.

Here are some tips to stay socially engaged after you’ve retired:

  • Volunteer—this can help build sense of purpose and community
  • Join a club or organization—find people with similar interests
  • Take classes—if you’ve always wanted to learn how to paint, now is the perfect time
  • Call, write or visit with a friend every day—be intentional about staying in touch
  • Find low-key part-time work—it might be wrapping presents at the mall during the holidays or working at the library for a few hours a week.


About Advena Living

A long-term care or assisted living community offers a natural environment to foster relationships. But sometimes residents need a little encouragement.

At Advena Living, we want to help our residents live their best lives and connect with their neighbors. Whether you prefer to be outside, you like to watch game shows or play cards, we’ll tailor our activities at all of our communities to your interests.

Part of our guiding philosophy is that we honor choice. We believe that residents should always have a say in how they live their lives. We will work hard to accommodate what you want your schedule to be every day.

Advena Living specializes in skilled nursing, long-term care, rehabilitation and assisted living services throughout the state. We have locations in Bonner Springs, Cherryvale, Clay Center, Clearwater, Rose Hill, Topeka, and Wichita.

Our name “Advena” means newcomer. We welcome newcomers seeking a senior living environment where they may continue to enjoy a full life.