The importance of social connections in retirement.

The transition process into retirement is a lot more complicated than people realise. Many baby boomers spend little to no time at all thinking about how they will transition into retirement this can be dangerous as retirement is a huge change in a person’s life and can without proper planning they can find themselves at a loss. At Transition Planning Australia, we have identified five key things that need to be satisfied in order to enjoy a happy retirement. These are;

financial security,
physical health,
mental health,
social connections, and
a sense of meaning or purpose in life.
Each of these keys is an important ingredient to a healthy and happy retirement. In this article we will be exploring the importance of social connections.

Social connections; why retirees need social engagement

For those us who have spent much of our lives working, many of our social connections and relationships will be tied to that work. Psychologically you’re going to miss the daily interaction that work provides.

A Merrill Lynch report confirms that the value of social relationships to mental and even physical health has been shown through numerous studies. Retirement can disrupt or alter our social connections and friendships, especially in one’s daily routine. While pre-retirees say that what they expect to miss most from work is a reliable paycheck, retirees report that it is the social connections that are their greatest loss.

People who have strong positive relationships with their family and friends outside of work are more likely to find the transition to retirement easier. Those who do not have as positive relationships outside of work may want to concentrate their efforts on further developing and focusing on these relationships.

It is also helpful to seek new relationships with those who will have more in common with you now that you have retired. For example, if you like golfing, you might want to join a golf club and organize regular meetings with some fellow retirees and golf fans. If you like to play music, maybe you can get a band together to meet regularly with likeminded people and be socially engaged via a shared interest and hobby.

It is natural for our network of relationships to change throughout our lives as we grow and change, however, our need for connection and relationship never changes. It is important to consider how your social needs will be fulfilled in retirement.

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