Retirement: Part Four

What to do when friends move away.

Posted Jan 09, 2019

In three previous posts we have been talking about the challenges that people face in retirement. When people retire, they may choose to move to another area. The weather is often a major concern as we grow older. No one wants to fall on the ice and break a hip. And as we get older, the winters often seem much colder than they were before.

Or we may not choose to move because we want to remain close to family, but our friends may move. Social networks that we have relied on most of our life may be broken or strained.

We have been presenting challenge questions from the serious game Bounce Back that teaches participants the skills and attitudes of resilience by asking them to respond to challenges that they or someone close to them might face. Participants must use the skills and attitudes of resilience to manage the challenge.

So here's one: You always look forward to Friday night card game with three of your longtime friends. Last night during the game, two of your friends mentioned that they had each bought property in Florida and were planning to spend the winter months there. Another friend said he was thinking about moving to New Mexico where his daughter now lives. The prospect of spending winters in New England without your Friday night poker game does not sound appealing to you. What would you do?

As in a previous post, we encourage you to think about this and to talk with others about what they might do or what they have done in similar situations in the past. People move away. People die or become disabled. Loss is one of the things that we must deal with frequently in retirement.

Here are some of the skills and attitudes of resilience that we think would be helpful in dealing with this challenge. First, we would encourage you to talk with others about how you feel about the prospect of losing them to Florida or New Mexico. How would you keep in touch? Or would you? Deal with the feelings that you have and you will probably be able to think more clearly about your response to the challenge.

Be flexible and problem solve. Maybe you can go down to Florida or out to New Mexico for a few weeks each winter. Friends are important. Especially old friends.

As we retire, we need to accept that things are changing in our lives. Nothing is permanent in this life. As someone once said, "Life is just one long string of temporaries."

So talk with others about the suggestions that we have made in dealing with this challenge. What did they do?

We'll talk more about retirement in the next post.

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