How to be connected in your outrageous retirement

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Are you connected?

Humans are social animals that need to feel that they are part of a community. We like having friends and family with whom we can share the pain and joy of life experience. We pick up friends as we move through life usually because they are sharing experiences with us. We have friends from school, from the military, jobs and community activity. Some of these friends stay close throughout our lives. Others only last a short time. How many friends from grade school are still part of your life today? In retirement it is just the same. Those workplace friends will probably not be a big part of your retirement experience. So now that you are retired, who do you have to share the experience with? When you think about it, your community may be rather small. Is that what you want?

Do you want more connections?

Retirement is just like starting any other phase of your life. You start out alone. Other than family, you probably find that you don’t have much in common with your pre-retirement community. Getting together socially is harder and you no longer share the frustrations of the workplace or a shared mission. Conversations can lag. You aren’t amused by the office jokes anymore. It isn’t your fault and it isn’t theirs. You were part of a team but no more. It is time to move on. Find a new community.

Build a community around your outrageous retirement lifestyle

As you build a new lifestyle incorporating the things you love, build a community of people with shared interests. Be a joiner, on-line and off-line. Find the organizations and communities that are dedicated to what you love and jump in. Go slow or go fast but become a player in the activities that are important to you now. Drop the time wasters that used to be important but no longer fit your retirement dreams. Your contribution will make others notice and appreciate you and you will naturally make friends with people who love what you love.

Connect with old friends

Use the social media to find and reconnect with old school and career friends. It is easy these days to find and connect with people on line. Not every old friend will share your passions today but reach out and connect. You may find, as I have that sometimes classmates who weren’t friends then can be friends now. Life’s voyage changes us all and the high school jerk may now very relateable. (Or perhaps, you were the jerk who has grown into a better person.)  However it happens, it is all good. Expect to be surprised with how complicated people really are compared to superficial first impressions and look for their outrageous dreams. Find out what outrageous retirement means to them.  Encourage them.

Retirement is only as good as you make it.

Whatever you think makes an outrageous retirement, go after it aggressively. Don’t wait for opportunity to knock. Don’t wait at home for adventure to seek you out because it won’t happen. You are in charge whether you accept it or not so be active in building a new community for support and encouragement in your last great adventure.

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