How to Make Friends in Retirement: A Guide to Embracing Companionship

How to Make Friends in Retirement: A Guide to Embracing Companionship

Retirement is a time of newfound freedom and adventure, but it can also bring about feelings of loneliness and isolation, especially if you’re used to a busy work life.

One of the keys to a fulfilling retirement is staying connected with others and building strong relationships. If you’re feeling unsure about how to make friends in your retirement years, fear not! We’re here to offer some friendly tips to help you embrace community and companionship in a new retirement community.

1 Start a Hobby

Making friends in retirement starts with being open to new experiences and stepping out of your comfort zone. Joining clubs or groups that interest you is a great way to meet like-minded people who have similar interests. You could try:

  • Walking
  • Knitting or crafting
  • Exercise classes such as yoga or dancing
  • A new sport such as Padel tennis, or join a gym
  • Gardening
  • Book club
  • Painting or pottery
  • Cookery class

2 Smile and Be Approachable

A warm smile can go a long way in making others feel welcome and comfortable. Be approachable and open to conversation, whether it’s in the communal lounge or during a stroll around the neighbourhood.

Don’t wait for others to approach you – take the initiative to start conversations with your fellow tenants. Ask about their interests, share stories from your own life, and find common ground to connect over.

3 Get Involved

Get involved in the social activities organised within your community. Whether it’s a movie night, a fitness class, or a gardening club, participating in these activities provides great opportunities to meet new people and form friendships. Plus, check for local community events such as:

  • Coffee mornings
  • Church services
  • Bingo nights
  • Pub events such as quizzes, comedy or live music
  • Seasonal markets

Check local town noticeboards and newspapers, and Facebook groups to see what’s going on in your area.

4 Be a Good Listener

Building friendships is not just about talking – it’s also about listening. Show genuine interest in what others have to say, ask follow-up questions, and offer support and encouragement when needed.

Try to maintain a positive attitude and focus on the good. Your optimism will encourage others to you and create a welcoming atmosphere: positivity is contagious!

5 Volunteer

Volunteering your time and skills is a meaningful way to give back to the community. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to meet like-minded individuals who share your passion for helping others.


Numerous volunteer opportunities exist including charity shops, homeless shelters, tutoring, youth work, events, befriending, and mentoring. Engaging in these activities doesn’t just benefit your local area either – volunteering has proven health and well-being benefits for yourself too – including making new friends and connections.

6 Stay Connected Digitally

In today’s digital age, staying connected has never been easier. Use social media platforms or online forums to connect with other retirees, join virtual interest groups, and stay updated on community events.

It’s heart-warming to pick up where you left off with someone you haven’t seen for a long time. Facebook is a free and easy way to search for people that you may have lost touch with when life got in the way. If you’re not sure how to get started, read this step by step guide on how to set up a Facebook profile.

7 Be Patient and Persistent

Making friends takes time, so be patient with yourself and others. Keep putting yourself out there, be persistent in your efforts to connect with people, and remember that friendships can blossom when you least expect them to.

Remember, making friends in retirement is a journey, not a destination. Embrace each interaction as an opportunity to connect with someone new and enrich your life with meaningful relationships. With an open mind and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone, you’ll find that you’re making new connections before you know it.

Here’s to a retirement filled with community, companionship, and countless new friendships!


Holdenhurst is now full – but you can join our waitlist

Holdenhurst is a supportive, vibrant and like-minded community. You can get involved as much or as little as you wish.

For an informal chat to see if Holdenhurst might be right for you, call us on 01435 898380 or email us at holdenhurst@abbsd.co.uk