Loneliness – An Unfounded Fear in Early Retirement?

“I never want to quit working because I’ll be socially isolated and I won’t be able to make new friends.”  Is this a legitimate concern or one of the worst objections to early retirement?

There is reason in worrying about loneliness in retirement but it’s not a good reason to work forever, especially if you don’t like your job! Getting out of a stressful work situation will make you a nicer, better person and therefore more likable and friendly.

If work is your only source of friends and social interaction, then perhaps it’s time to broaden your social network and look for friendship in other places.


Do you have enough friends already?

Are you an overly friendly person and find yourself fighting people off so you have some free time for yourself? Did your iphone run out of space in the Contacts list because of too many friends?  If so, then you probably have enough friends. But you might want to read the rest of the article to make sure you have the right kind of friends for the long term.

For the rest of you, perhaps you wish for more human interaction, more friends to share experiences with, and more people to bounce ideas off of?  If you said “yes, more please” then you definitely need to read on.

First, accept that you are not alone (<– loneliness joke; get it?).  Lots of smart, successful, seemingly well composed adults struggle to make and keep friends.  Friends also come and go as life changes, people move, and interests shift throughout life.


How to gain more friends

I don’t have a magic formula for becoming an immediately likable person. I can, however, assign some reading that will help. Go to your library and check out Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”.  Although the book was originally released in 1936, I feel the advice is timeless and will remain just as relevant for several centuries to come. It all boils down to human nature.

Since I don’t own a copy of “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, I had to copy/paste these six ways to make people like you from the Wikipedia summary of Carnegie’s book:

  1. Become genuinely interested in other people. “You can make more friends in two months by being interested in them, than in two years by making them interested in you.”  The only way to make quality, lasting friendships is to learn to be genuinely interested in them and their interests.
  2. Smile. Happiness does not depend on outside circumstances, but rather on inward attitudes. Smiles are free to give and have an amazing ability to make others feel wonderful. Smile in everything that you do.
  3. Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language. “The average person is more interested in their own name than in all the other names in the world put together.” People love their names so much that they will often donate large amounts of money just to have a building named after themselves. We can make people feel extremely valued and important by remembering their name.
  4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves. The easiest way to become a good conversationalist is to become a good listener. To be a good listener, we must actually care about what people have to say. Many times people don’t want an entertaining conversation partner; they just want someone who will listen to them.
  5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interest. The royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about the things he or she treasures most. If we talk to people about what they are interested in, they will feel valued and value us in return.
  6. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.  The golden rule is to treat other people how we would like to be treated. We love to feel important and so does everyone else. People will talk to us for hours if we allow them to talk about themselves. If we can make people feel important in a sincere and appreciative way, then we will win all the friends we could ever dream of.

To summarize: smile, listen, remember names, talk about other people and make others feel important.

But you have to do all that in a genuine, sincere way.


Where do I find these friends?

People that like other people are everywhere. The hard part is finding and identifying them.

The first place to look is in your existing social circles. Neighbors and friends of friends are a good place to start.

Beyond that, focus on groups that are full of people likely to share your interests. Think hobbies, pastimes, volunteer opportunities, sports, fitness, and outdoor activities.


Volunteering – great way to meet new people and do good while you’re at it.


Where can I find these “groups”, you ask?  Meetup.com and Facebook are full of thousands of local groups centered around just as many different interests and sub-interests.  I did a quick search for sports and fitness groups in Raleigh, North Carolina and found 124 groups of people dying to do fun, active things with other people.  I could become member #264 in the Raleigh Swordfighting Meetup group or member #600 in the Triangle Pickeball group.  Don’t know anything about swordfighting or pickleball? Me neither! Go learn!

Joining a group is easy and low commitment. If you don’t like it, you can drop out and never show up again.  Usually these events are free, but sometimes they ask for a couple bucks to offset facility rental space or to offset cost of refreshments.

After attending a few events, you’ll start to see familiar faces and can strike up conversations with people. Just walk up to them and say “Will U be my friend?”.  Or something like that.  Just remember Dale Carnegie’s advice and be smooth, dude.

In case you haven’t noticed, one of my hobbies is Financial Independence and Early Retirement. I like the subject because attaining FIRE has been very rewarding personally and it’s a subject worth sharing with others. I also find average FIRE-ees to be very interesting people that enjoy a good conversation and usually know more than me.

I’m a member of a few “FIRE” clubs in Raleigh and get together with these groups at least a few times per year.  On top of that, people find me through my blog and occasionally become more than casual acquaintances in real life.

Kristy and Bryce, another pair of early retirees (who blog at Millennial Revolution), reached out to me a couple years ago. Though we’re rarely on the same continent, we’ve managed to meet up in person twice and exchange a lot of back and forth messages online.


At a camp centered around FI I met up with JD Roth (Get Rich Slowly), Karsten (EarlyRetirementNow) plus dozens of other very friendly people. JD and I played a lot of online video games together for a while (until I started playing different games!).

When I attended CampFI Midatlantic in April, I made several new friends.  While chatting with one couple, I mentioned a cruise to Cuba that we booked for 2019.  Once they returned home, they looked into the cruise and decided to join us on that cruise.  New friends maybe?


But all the people my age work Mon-Fri and can’t come out to play during the week!

When you retire early you’re typically free almost 24/7.  However, most people that continue to work are stuck in an office Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.

This could be a problem, but don’t forget that there are evenings and weekends for socializing and fun.  Schedule all your boring stuff and solitary activities during standard office hours, then let it rip with the working stiffs at night and over the weekend.

However, I’ve found that a lot of working people are free on weekdays.  Tons of folks like nurses, firefighters, police, and factory workers all have non-routine schedules. Some do shift work that leaves them free during the day time. Others work an average of three or four days per week, often on weekends. Others are hourly employees with different schedules every week that means they occasionally have slots during the middle of the day when they are free.

Other folks are temporarily unemployed, self employed, or work from home and can take off chunks of time whenever they want (within reason).  Find these people and get them to do fun stuff with you.


The miracle of children

If you do have kids, they seem to magically make new friends.  Don’t overlook the parents of your kids’ friends as a source of new friends for you! Your kids can play together and the adults can play, too.  We’ve cultivated several new friendships in this way.

If you don’t have kids, or your kids are grown and gone, and you are approaching age 55, consider moving to an “active adult community”.  You’ll be surrounded by other older-but-not-necessarily-old-yet folks that you might find something in common with.


Find their parents and make friends with them.


Spouses as friends?

Since Mrs. Root of Good joined me in retirement a few years ago, we tend to do a lot of activities together during the week while the kids are in school. Tennis, hiking, biking, swimming, going for walks, and watching Netflix are all more fun with a partner.

One of those day hikes as a couple (with kid in tow)

We still do plenty of stuff on our own since I’m more extroverted and tend to attend more social events by myself.  Do some things together and some things alone – it works for us!

Our work on the blog is a good example. She’s more interested in photography and takes 99.9% of all the pictures you see on this blog.  I write all the articles on the blog, and she proofreads them.  We brainstorm ideas for the blog together.  It’s a fun project we both work on, and each one of us takes on the tasks that interest us the most.


Start making friends before you retire completely

If you’re worried about leaving work and not having any friends, then start searching for friendship before you quit work. It will give you the peace of mind to know that other people are out there and make the leap into the unknown a little more knowable.

And don’t plan on your old work friends sticking with you long term. Maybe it will happen, but in my personal experience leaving two long-term jobs and talking to many others who have moved on from full time work, most coworker friends don’t stick around forever.

Consider why you became friends in the first place. Most likely it was the fact that you both worked for the same employer in the same office and you both needed a paycheck.  When you no longer work in the same office and one of you no longer needs a paycheck, you tend to grow apart.  Those daily or weekly lunches you used to enjoy start to happen monthly or just a couple times per year.  Eventually you realize your old work friend moved to Memphis (or Des Moines?) two years ago, remarried, and had a kid and you didn’t know about any of that because you unfollowed them on facebook for a reason you can no longer remember.  You slowly drift apart since you no longer have office politics and the project du jour to occupy your chat sessions.

Don’t take it personally – I haven’t kept in touch with more than a handful of my former coworker-friends.  And for those that I do keep in touch with, it’s mostly through facebook and lunches out on a very infrequent basis.

Starting the friendship hunt is even more important for those about to relocate as part of their early retirement plans.  Move to a new place and you’ll be severing physical ties with a lot of casual friends in your old home city.  Making a few friends or acquaintances in your new city (or country!) will be helpful in your transition away from the lack of people surrounding you at your job.


Is this only a concern for socially awkward, type B personalities?

My hypothesis is that people who are very extroverted and make new friends easily will find this entire article not incredibly relevant or meaningful.  Why worry about making new friends? Just show up to a new bar at happy hour, hang out for a bit, buy a round of drinks and you’ll have 20 brand new insta-friends, right?!

On the other hand, many people aren’t that outgoing.  A lot of people are genuinely worried about finding an adequate amount of social interaction and friendship in retirement.  For those people, I have written this article.  Retired fighters of loneliness unite!



It’s completely reasonable to worry about having friends that share your interests during retirement. You don’t want to be alone.  But you don’t have to work forever just to have friends.

If you need tips on making new friends, check out Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” for some solid, timeless advice on making new friends and being a more likable person in general.

If you’re struggling to find all these potential friends in real life, join groups filled with people that share common interests with you. This might be volunteer activities or groups centered around sports, fitness, the outdoors, hobbies, or intellectual or cultural interests.

Finding and keeping friends will contribute to your long term happiness and fulfillment as you enter retirement.  If you struggle to make friends outside of the workplace, you need to take positive steps now to find friends during retirement.


If you are still working, how concerned are you about finding friends during early retirement?  If you’re already retired, have you felt socially isolated or had a hard time finding or keeping friends in retirement? 


Root of Good Recommends:
  • Personal Capital* - It's the best FREE way to track your spending, income, and entire investment portfolio all in one place. Did I mention it's FREE?
  • Interactive Brokers $1,000 bonus* - Get a $1,000 bonus when you transfer $100,000 to Interactive Brokers zero fee brokerage account. For transfers under $100,000 get 1% bonus on whatever you transfer
  • $750+ bonus with a new business credit card from Chase* - We score $10,000 worth of free travel every year from credit card sign up bonuses. Get your free travel, too.
  • Use a shopping portal like Ebates* and save more on everything you buy online. Get a $10 bonus* when you sign up now.
  • Google Fi* - Use the link and save $20 on unlimited calls and texts for US cell service plus 200+ countries of free international coverage. Only $20 per month plus $10 per GB data.
* Affiliate links. If you click on a link and do business with these companies, we may earn a small commission.


  1. Having a spouse is pretty much like a built in best friend. I’m extremely introverted and a loner so I mostly hang around my husband and his social circle when I have to play the accompanying wife from time to time.

    I think friends usually revolve around life stages and suddenly all the new parents know other new parents. I think early retirement comes with its old life stage friends 🙂 so there’s nothing to worry about.

    1. Ugh, I hate being the accompanying husband. It is boring. I don’t care about any of those people. :b

      All my new friends are parents of our son’s friends. That part works pretty well.
      Meet up? Not really for me right now. Maybe when I have a lot more time.

      1. Joe, were you often the only guy at the parent-and-kid events before kindergarten? I went to our library’s story time every week and it was rare to see a guy there. And usually the guy looked like he was forced by his wife/baby mama to attend with his kid. 🙂

        1. It’s that way for me. I’m the only man at those mid-day kid events. The moms won’t even talk to me either… like I don’t belong. 🙁

  2. I have to admit that making friends is not always easy for me. Being an introvert usually limits me extending myself too much. Fortunately, I’m plugged in at church and that’s a great way to meet folks and stay connected 🙂

  3. I enjoyed this article. I’m considered an extrovert but still find it difficult to meet people. I found it much easier to meet other adults when our adult children were younger. We’ve joined Meetup groups but just need to get better with the next step of exchanging phone numbers and following up.

    1. We’ll have to get together in Raleigh sometime! I went to the last ChooseFI Raleigh meetup (the day it was pouring rain) and we had maybe 10 people show up (some old faces, some new).

      1. Is that a proper meetup? Where are these posted? Would love to attend one of these days. Been wondering about meet ups in Raleigh…

  4. Fortunately many of my friends are returning home after trying out life in the big city post college, so I have a strong social network already locally with friends in a variety of jobs. My mini retirement started at the perfect time since my teacher friends well soon be off for summer. One of my other friend’s is a musician so she’s only free in the morning (making it super difficult to see her during a traditional career).
    And just in general I have lots more energy to give friends while mini retired, so I’m sure early retirement will also lead to more fulfilling relationships.

    1. Musicians and artists are good friends if you’re early retired. Usually available during standard office hours. 🙂 And teachers except around here they don’t earn a lot so most end up working a part time job all summer.

  5. “Friends also come and go as life changes, people move, and interests shift throughout life.”

    I think this is a key point.

    One way I found to manage this is to consider how often and/or how much time you spend with different people. One of my best friend’s from growing up next door (pre-school through high school) and I have very, very different lifestyles and groups of friends today. But we’ll still stay in touch and get together with other “old” friends every once and awhile.

    When we’re together for an evening, we both agree “it’s so great to see you – why don’t we do it more often!” And then I realize it IS great to see him, but we’re both content with the frequency and the pace – and that’s ok.

    1. I’ve fallen into the same pattern. Some old friends I only see on a very infrequent basis. It’s no less exciting to see them but I guess there’s a reason we don’t get together more often!

  6. That listening thing is so important! It works for beyond just making friends, it helps for finding a partner/spouse. I have a twin brother and I remember noticing the stark differences between the two of us (besides being fraternal) while we were both talking to a cute girl in high school. I was so caught up being worried about what I was going to say next, or how I looked, or what she might be thinking, that I didn’t pay any attention to what she was saying. My brother on the other hand, simply listened and asked relevant questions, and it became apparent very quickly that she preferred talking to him.

    Luckily I finally figured out how to listen well enough to meet my wife, but it’s still a weakness of mine.

    1. Sometimes what you don’t say is more important than what you do say 🙂 And as a public speaking professor told me, it’s okay to have periods of silence in your speaking.

  7. Great subject for a post. I am still working…. I’m an IT professional, but I work from home. I’m the more “social” one in our marriage and now that our kids are out of HS, I realized in the last few years that we are collectively less social. Not because we are anti-social, but all of our normal outlets (club soccer, school stuff) no longer exist.

    We re-joined our neighborhood pool this summer after a few years away. In just the first week, I realized how many people we know there (most originally from kids’ activities) and it’s been so nice catching up. My husband had to travel to his elderly father this holiday weekend and I spent time at the pool reading and came away some new “friends” who I know I’ll see over the next few months.

    I’ll also give a plug to your local hiking group (there are scads on meetup for example). I got involved with one back in 2014 because I wanted to backpack (husband not particularly interested). I got involved in a backpacking 101 group and have done other weekend camping or day hikes with the same group (participants often changing). These are GREAT groups for solo people because most are looking for hiking partners. I cannot emphasize how welcoming those hikes have been. One of our backpacking trips included people 16 to 70 and everyone meshed beautifully.

    Finally, I’ll mention isolation. My father-in-law has been a widower for 10 years. His wife was the social connection in their retirement life. He’s been isolated for the last 10 years and it’s been terrible to watch his decline to the point he doesn’t communicate much at all, even to his kids.

    Can you tell this has been on my mind? 🙂

    1. I’m glad you’re finding that social contact is still possible after the kids leave for college. I imagine that will be a big inflection point for us when our daily life is no longer kid-centric and we don’t have a built in social network of parents of our kids’ friends.

  8. To quote one of the greatest philosophers of our time, Kermit the Frog: “Life is a series of meetings and partings.” Just being in the world, and not being an ass, will often lead to solid relationships. Love others more than yourself, find the beauty in them and reflect it back. You’ll never lack for company.

  9. I don’t have enough time to see my friends right now so i assume as I slow down I will make more time for them.
    Being a good listener and caring about other people (genuinely) is critical to make and keep friends:)

  10. Dale’s book is a must read for every high school student. When people can’t look up from their phones today , very relevant advice. I am at home now, and manage to stay comfortably happy with my social life with grown children and friends from church. I’m sure my husband will need a lot more outlets for social interaction when he retires. Great post.

    1. I wish I would have read Dale’s book during high school! Would have been some good skills to have in college. I think I read it for the first time in grad school.

  11. I lost a lot of daily interaction with friends when I left my job. Since then however, I’ve met a lot of really cool new friends just in our neighborhood and through writing my blog. And these are people who have a lot in common with me, so we have even more fun hanging out sharing knowledge.

    One of the people I hang out with the most these days is an neighbor who is half a decade my senior. We actually have a lot of shared interests like greenhouses, gardening, winemaking, charcuterie, cooking, and wine drinking 🙂

    The Dale Carnegie book was a big help to me as a young uncouth engineer. Friendship is a lot about thinking about what you can do for your friends, not just sitting around waiting for people to like you.

    1. We’ve met some friends/neighbors like that, too. Though I think their interests in wine and charcuterie are more along the lines of consuming it and not making it 🙂 We actually enjoyed more than one “middle of the day on a weekday” charcuterie session with a particular friend before she moved across town. She had a flexible work schedule and kids the same age as our youngest so it was a good arrangement with young kids too.

  12. Great and timely article. Recently got back from a 2 day backpacking Meetup trip with a really nice group of people. Having the same interest provides a way to get to know others more easily.

  13. Let me wallow in my loneliness LOL, just get me out of the rat race. I’ll figure out the friend thing later haha.

    But seriously, i think being genuinely interested in others is one of the most powerful ways to build genuine and long lasting relationships. Put yourself out there, and try to connect with people from different walks of life. You’re sure to find quality people

    1. I know, right? I’d take FIRE and relative loneliness over having to work work work to survive. Worst case you miss the social aspect and pick up some part time or volunteer gigs, right? 🙂

  14. Honestly, the the tentacles don’t go over well with most people. I’m smiling, can’t they tell?

    *Sigh* no matter! I actually prefer the quiet. With a couple of kids having a rare *quiet* moment alone is a pretty precious commodity.

    1. That’s the way I am too. My weekdays from 8:30 to 3 are my/our quiet time and I’m not really looking to socialize during that time slot.

  15. On the other hand, many people aren’t that outgoing.

    Exactly. I’m more of an introvert. I have “old school” friends from my youth in Baltimore who will be friends for life. The kind you’d take a bullet for and you know they’d do the same for you. But I don’t get to see them much anymore.

    So most of my newer friends have arisen around my love of outdoor sports such as cycling and climbing. It’s a great mix of people and we always have adventures to go on.

    1. That’s cool you’re finding a new circle of friends. I’m sure I’ll be casting the net wider for interest-based friends at some point once I’m less busy with kid-related stuff in the next 6-10 years. In answering another question/comment on the blog, I realized there’s several local outdoors groups that have meetups during the middle of the week. Hiking a few miles at the (outdoor) Art Museum is possible on Tuesdays, and a 30 mile leisure ride along the greenways is on Wednesdays here! Sounds like fun – just need to get my stamina up to 30 miles now! 🙂

  16. Hooray for FI friends! Always so much easier with FIers (or maybe digital nomads/travellers too) because whenever we want to meet up or schedule a Skype chat, it’s always:
    me: “what’s your schedule like”
    them: “wide open!”

    I actually feel like I know more people now that we’ve retired and they “get” me more than my co-workers and university friends ever did. Sometimes you give up an existing community to find an even better, more like-minded community. Not that everyone we’ve met since retiring is like us, but they are definitely more open-minded and curious than my co-workers were. Though, it’s not really my co-workers’ fault because who has time for curiosity and out of the box thinking when your director is screaming at you for not using all your appendages to work while eating lunch.

    1. I feel the same way. The FI folks I’ve met digitally and in person seem to “get it” and be more compatible in terms of outlook on most aspects of life. Whereas a lot of the people I worked with, it was work, consuming things, sports, and that was about all they had time for.

  17. Great topic! Those are some valuable tips by Dale Carnegie – listen, smile, talk about things that the other is interested in, and make them feel important. Simple.

    I moved to Colorado when I was 21 with a duffle bag and a dream. I went through a lonely spell but I followed wise advice and acted like a friend to people I wanted as friends. To have friends be a friend.

    Great tips on meet ups and learning new things. There is a plethora of groups out there, so just go!

    I do tend to be one of those extroverts who has a full contact list in my phone but I am not immune from feeling alone. Being a single, middle (am I really middle-aged?? I still feel like I am 20 🙂 woman can feel lonely at times. So I have to be intentional about reaching out to friends.

    Ah, so many things come down to intentionality.

    1. Going to Colorado with a duffel bag and a dream? Sounds like an interesting start to things! I guess being extroverted helps a lot in terms of clicking in your new surroundings.

  18. I’ve noticed that the current “Blogger 101″ last line ends with a question. A good discussion starter and many FI bloggers have adopted this technique. Makes for a better discussion in the comments me thinks. Although I am guilty of not answering the question sometimes.

    ” If you’re already retired, have you felt socially isolated or had a hard time finding or keeping friends in retirement? ”

    I think there’s an amount of social isolation for most retired folk – at least in my vintage anyway. Adding to the isolation might be things like grey divorce, empty nest, and moving across the country. All of which happened to me as a late-in-life (comparatively to 30-something FIRE types) retired guy. If you have old friends they are easy enough to keep in touch with and perhaps see once or twice a year. MeetUp, as you mention, is also good for social. And living in a city where there are many retired folk my age has helped too. Thank you for your thoughts on this topic. Very thorough and thoughtful post.

    1. That’s been Blogger 101 forever! Or at least the 5 years I’ve been at it!

      Good to hear you’re managing the social side of life in retirement! I’m sure divorce, empty nesting, and moving to a new area make it more difficult as you say, but you are right – it’s not an insurmountable hurdle.

  19. This is definitely a concern of mine. I feel like while I’m working now, availability / time is the biggest concern for making friends. While I have evenings and weekends, I’d rather use that time for myself and my kids for the most part. Paying down debt also has me not wanting to spend money going out which inevitably leads to me just wanting to stay home more often. I’m hoping that fixing the debt situation and getting closer to FI will help that. My oldest starting Kindergarten may also play into making new friends as well.

  20. I was recently laid off and viewed the time I had as a trial run of early retirement. I have to say it was LONELY. Like you mentioned, when you retire early many people still work 9-5, Mon-Fri. I’m more introverted, but I still have many friends, and don’t have an issue making new friends. But other than meetups, how do you FIND people who are in your age group (for me, that’s 20s) who don’t work normal schedules? I live in a HCOL area, which may mean an even higher % of people need to work 9-5s to keep up. My experience was that none of my friends were able to get together while I was out of work (except on weekends, sometimes on weeknights) and I spent way too much time alone. From time to time I was able to hang out with some older friends (60s+), but no one in my demographic.

    Having time to yourself is great, but I really appreciate the need for peer to peer mental stimulation after having spent an extended period of time in what felt like social isolation. If you don’t have kids, a spouse that wants to retire with you, and are decades below traditional retirement age, it can be quite challenging to get people your age together outside of 9-5 hours.

    1. I took a quick look at Meetup during the weekdays Monday-Friday for stuff to do between 9 am and 5 pm.

      I found a hike at the Art Museum (they have miles of outdoor trails) on Tuesday next week. On Wednesday, there’s a 30 mile bike ride on the greenway a few miles from me (not quite riding that far right now but good to know there’s an option for me). These are 2 different groups and meet up weekly it seems. I stopped looking after those 2.

      There were a ton of other activities, but I’ll admit most were oriented toward older people (50+), women, or stay at home parents (aka women) with kids. I did see several networking type of events, plus some charity/volunteer gigs. There were several scheduled for 5 pm like target practice and gaming (board gaming or video gaming maybe??), which would preclude a lot of working people.

      My point is that even in relatively modest-sized Raleigh there’s a lot to do if you’re interested in meeting other people. Otherwise, you might look at local universities to see what kind of events they have going on.

      Unfortunately the single, kidless, youngish 30+, and comfortably middle class demographic tend to work a lot. 🙂 You might have to cast the net a little larger or be content with social time from 5-9 pm M-F and all weekend (and maybe find some cool people through those activities to hang out with during other times of the week). Honestly, that’s more socializing than I could handle but then again I have a wife and 3 kids that keep my busy already.

      And remember, it takes time to build a circle of friends/acquaintances.

    2. The other thing though is that FIRE gives you the flexibility to just work for fun. Like – I really, really love what I do, so I’m much more interested in the FI than the RE. Once you’re FI, maybe it’s just working 2 days/week, doing some consulting or filling in or whatever, so that you get that workplace socialization if you value that (I actually really do also), but you have 5 days to do whatever else; a much better schedule than the usual opposite 5/2!

      1. Thanks for the ideas! Yes, I think part-time work would be a good compromise. For the other stuff, I like the idea to use Meetup when necessary. I just know I’m going to be content on my own every day from 9-5. To not have any human interaction at all…only after work and on weekends is simply not enough for me. If you have your family to keep you company during that time, that’s wonderful. But to spend it alone gets a lot more tedious than even I could have realized. Hopefully early retirement catches on for more people in the 20-30 demographic!

    1. Not a bad bit of advice if you’re on the regular path of saving almost nothing for retirement and planning on retiring at 65-70 anyway 🙂

      But not really relevant for early retirees at all. And in fact, it’s almost bad advice in part (the bit about working longer just to boost your SS – not very effective as we’ve seen).

  21. Such a great post! We homeschool, which adds another layer into the “socializing” thing.. My daughter is a huge extrovert, though, so she usually sends me to chase people down – I’ve done a fair amount of hunting people down on Facebook and saying “our kids played together at the park and now they want to be besties…” LOL. I actually met one of my dearest friends through a Post-It note I left for her when our kids were at preschool together 😉 homeschooling an extroverted kid forces you to think out of the box when it comes to making friends! And as a nurse, all my friends work weird shifts so I have a very “non Mon-Fri 9-5” life even pre-retirement 🙂

    1. Do you find yourself making friends with other homeschool parents? In my little social circle that includes homeschool parents, they seem to gel pretty quickly.

      1. I do – there is sometimes a little bit of a divide between the folks who homeschool for more religious reasons, and our secular group. Not always the case, and we definitely have churchgoing homeschool friends, but sometimes there’s a differing value/worldview scenario there that makes friendships a little tough. But I’ve definitely made some awesome friends. I hear the homeschool seen in NC is awesome; we’ve toyed with the idea of moving there in part d/t that (we lived in Sanford, outside of Fayeteville, years ago) and really loved the Raleigh area. But – the heat.

    1. Sounds like they have some medical issues? We’re really fortunate to pay almost nothing for health insurance and health care (ACA subsidies plus we don’t seem to have expensive medical issues!). And we don’t have a mortgage. I really feel like we’re living a $100k lifestyle on $40k income per year because healthcare, mortgage, and taxes are all very low.

      So without digging into their $36000/yr budget, I’m inclined to say maybe I believe they can’t make it yet make too much for big time government handouts.

  22. Dale Carnegie’s book has confused me for years. Particularly #4. How can a person distinguish between being nosy or prying and a genuine attempt at forming a closer personal bond, perhaps to the point of friendship? One of my parents tended to interrogate people, which has made me gun-shy about asking questions to people. Where is “the line”?

  23. I read this, despite the bit that said: do you have too many social engagements and wish for some alone time. That’s so much yes for me! I found the recent eight week health challenge gave me an out from the usual dinner invites, but also selecting when I would go out and ‘treat myself’ and with who and where.

    Also interesting – I HATE people using my name. Mainly cause I don’t get called by my name by my immediate family. And after reading this book, I’ve noticed people doing it and it grates on me.

    Circling back, I seem to have a wide network of friends and the level of communication and meet ups vary. But I’m pretty rubbish at asking questions, so I do sometimes wonder how this has happened. I’m a ‘teller’ – I’ll tell you all my stories, and I totally expect that you’ll tell me your stories, I won’t need to pry them out of you with leading questions. I know questioners, and I get it, but… also weird to me! I notice it’s genetic, my mum and aunt are both tellers!!

    1. Thanks for that feedback, Sarah. I’m listening. Anything else you want to share? (<-- see how I'm doing that Dale Carnegie thing on you?! 🙂 )

  24. Friendships: check! Can you give us advice on navigating the dating scene as an early retiree? 😉

    1. You’ll have to find another early retirement blog for that! On our car ride to Virginia, I shared my knowledge of the current dating scene. Which is to say I know there’s an app with a swipe left and a swipe right, but I don’t know enough to know which way is which when it comes to someone you like!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.