Planning to: Make friends in retirement

Updated: Mar 8

Social isolation is commonplace amongst retirees as retirees have fewer opportunities for interactions outside of the workplace and more time on their hands. Social isolation can lead to loneliness and poorer mental health due to the lack of human interaction that stimulates the mind. Retirees should increase their socialisation with friends and family after retirement. However, it can be difficult to make new friends and companions when one is no longer part of the working crowd. Here are 2 ways you can develop friendships in retirement.

As everyone has different interests, picking and joining an interest group can bring you closer to people you have things in common with.

University of the Third Age (U3rdAge) hosts a knowledge cafe called Seniors-Meet-Seniors (SMS). While some of you may not be seniors yet, meeting and interacting with seniors can help you learn from their experiences. SMS is a place for conversations and like-minded people to discuss a variety of interesting topics at each meeting. Check out their website here.

National Library Board (NLB) also hosts various interest groups for those aged 50 and above. Interests can range from book clubs, to learning ukulele, to exercise groups. It is easier to make friends when you are able to connect through your interests. Check out their website here.

WINGS, an organisation that aims to empower women to age well, offers fitness classes for women above 40 who are looking to improve their physical health. Meeting and making friends while exercising will encourage you to maintain your fitness and go for classes regularly. WINGS offers Yoga, Pilates, Cardio and Toning classes for $10/session. Check out their schedule here.

Doing good with others can form friendship bonds as strong as the positive effect you are having on society. Different people and personalities will fit different charities and volunteering opportunities, therefore it is important to do some research and test out a variety of charities that you think will suit you. Here are some non-profit organisations in Singapore that have a larger group of senior volunteers.

RSVP Singapore is an organisation of senior volunteers with over 1,000 volunteers and 1,500 ad-hoc volunteers. They serve over 200,000 beneficiaries each year through their community service programs, focusing on the mentally disadvantaged, at-risk children from low-income families, and socially isolated seniors. Some volunteering opportunities that they offer include “Cooking with Inmates”, “Foodbank Singapore”, and “Chinatown Walkabout with wheelchair-bound Residents”.

SGCares’s volunteering website shows an array of various volunteering opportunities. These opportunities can be divided into its causes, skills, and agencies.

For example, if you would like to volunteer based on your interest in a cause, you can choose a volunteering opportunity from their “Causes” page, which shows causes such as the Environment, Education, and Youth.

If you would like to volunteer based on the skills that you can provide, you can choose an opportunity from their “Skills” page, which shows opportunities that require skills such as Counselling, Dialect-speaking, Web Design and even Accountancy!