Chances are you will not miss the work, but you will miss your work friends. In the worst workplace situation, there is a feeling of camaraderie, that helps you survive. This loss of community is real and if it is not addressed early in the transition period, it will become more difficult to revive. The people who are still working are busier than you, and you may wonder if they even remember that you exist. They do remember and wonder what you are doing, but don't want to intrude on your new life. You need to be the one to reach out to your favorite workplace friends to maintain these friendships.
One of the best ways to stay connected is through social networking sites. Not on Facebook? Scared of Twitter? Sick of all the computer demands from your job? Understandable, but not acceptable excuses. Spending the last third of your life out of the online social loop will narrow your world into "bored, tubby, and mild" before you know what happened (See Born to be Wild blog, 2/16/15). Embrace social networks now, and guarantee yourself a window to the world and a lifeline to people near and far for the rest of your life. Get serious about building your retirement social life.
Do you feel like you are out of the loop already? It's never too late to learn! Research has shown that acquiring new skills at any age keeps the brain healthy. So, seek help. Take a class in the community. Ask a social networking friend, or even better, a tech-savvy grandchild (most are), to help you get started. Learning eight new definitions for vocabulary words, that you already know - post, like, unlike, share, follow, tweet, retweet, notifications - and the new meaning for @ and # will put you into the social networking loop, one that you design, to include only your friends and with content specific to you. Fear not! You can do it!
Of course face to face time with friends and relatives is important too; social networking can generate more opportunities for meeting up with people than you can imagine. An important piece of a happy retirement is staying socially connected to your current friends, your family, and new friends that you meet on your journey. Be open to everything. Social Networking is your best chance to maintain existing and explore new relationships.
Check out Facebook and Twitter.