If you are feeling lonely or worried that you may become lonely in retirement, you are actually not that alone. According to a Cigna study, almost half of Americans feel lonely some or all of the time. Approximately forty percent feel that they are isolated from others and have no meaningful relationships.
The numbers may seem dismal at first, but they came across some positive data in the research as well. People who have regular meaningful and in-person interactions experience much less loneliness and also appear to be in better health than those of us who rarely have a chance to interact with friends or family members face-to-face.
If you have the right balance of sleep, socializing, activities, and time with friends or family, you are also much less likely to feel lonely than if you did not. Although, too much of any of these things can tip the scales towards loneliness again. Like many things in life, balance is important.
What can we do in retirement to stay involved rather than being lonely?
Reuters suggests several things that you can do to keep loneliness at bay and enjoy retirement. The top item on their list is moving to a retirement community. A sense of community and people to share time with nearby can provide a healthy and active social circle.
The next best thing is working or volunteering. It does not have to be full time but staying active and engaged with the community in a meaningful and purposeful way can help a lot. It also gives you the opportunity to build friendships with coworkers.
Last but not least, stay connected with the people you already know. Having friends, family, and coworkers to reach out to can provide a social safety net that can continue to provide a sense of belonging well into the retirement years.
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