Anyone had similar experiences?

by Elizabeth C/ CNY

I retired 4 years ago, have been divorced for 15 years, kids are grown/live far away/busy with their own lives, as they should be.

I retired because I was so burned out after over 30 years in a social work position.

It took me quite awhile, doing gardening, walking, reading, etc to recover. I had always thought I had some good ideas about how to use my retirement time, but guess what?

When I tried to volunteer, I was told they already had enough people (closed little cliques, usually) or I wasn't a member of their church (I am agnostic). When I did find some volunteer "jobs", I discovered they wanted to work the heck out of me for free - and the supervising person was such a b*tch.

Before I retired, I took some community classes at local colleges, low cost/free, on topics of interest. Unfortunately those dried up about the same time I retired. Yes, I even offered to teach a few, but was told the insurance and risk of having non-employees running programs was too great, which was why they stopped to begin with.

I've tried exercises classes at the local Y, which are ok, but again seem to be closed cliques, very unfriendly, mostly women. After class, they go for coffee, and made it clear they were all life long friends and didn't want/need any new people.

I have made a few friends through a library art class, thank goodness. I know I made a huge mistake earlier in life, focusing entirely on my work and immediate family.

I have tried to sell my house but in upstate/central NY properties like mine aren't moving- neighboring homes have been listed off and on for over 6 years! Not sure where I would go even if I could sell it.

OK, done whining, but anyone else had similar experiences, ideas to cope?

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Anyone had similar experiences by Elizabeth C/CNY
by: Pat North Florida

Here we have a large population of Sr’s in every neighborhood. The city of Jacksonville ie: Duval county is very senior friendly by having senior centers with free transportation, meals, daily activities and city events.

There are womens clubs, travel clubs, YMCA (with Sr grouping of events), local theaters, year round weekend craft and farmer markets, parks to sit and chill in and a free library system that is unbelievable either to visit or electronically (no need to pay for TV or movies).

There are Neighborhood Van bus loop systems will pick you up take you to (For example) all local food stores, a very large shopping mall, the YMCA, Walmart and restaurant areas. You can travel anywhere the bus goes -to the city, river walk or the beach at the Atlantic ocean and more -for free with a senior ID.

It’s possible to visit with someone or do something every day of the week - or not- good to have available. Hope your town has some of these for you.

Good luck

by: Dave

Yes. I've had similar experiences but I came to the serious conclusion that I didn't give a sh..

So I travel. I'm sitting in the Ushuaia, Argentina airport as I write this waiting for my flight to Buenos Aires.

You're single with no ties. Learn a little of a foreign language and go. You won't regret it. I promise.

I feel for you
by: Judy, Ontario Canada

I sure do empathize with your difficulty trying to find some friends or even friendly faces out there.

We are constantly being told that if we want to live a long happy life then we need to have an active social life but I personally think we are shortening our lives having to cope with the stress of finding all these social connections.

It's difficult to get someone nowadays to even look at you in passing and give you a friendly hello or nod much less showing up at places where people congregate and finding that just like at school or work here we go again with those cliques that say "do not enter".

I hope in time you do find a connection of some kind but in the meantime, I hope you grow to just love being with yourself.

Similar Experiences
by: Joe W.

I think that it's not about having similar experiences because we're all different in our approach to finding suitable retirement activities.

I suggest to keep trying new things until you find the right things for you to do. To have greater success try to focus more on self-awareness to get you on the right track. This could eliminate most of the options that you didn't like in the first place.

Joe W.

Same Situation
by: Doris

I retired in 2015 - and am in the same situation as you. I moved from New York to South Carolina and was unhappy there. Had a difficult time making friends - very church oriented area.

Moved to Northern California near my son and grandson. My son stopped speaking with me, but his ex-wife and I have a great relationship and I get to see my awesome grandson who is very happy to have me close by. But, am lonely.

Joined a photography group and volunteered as their secretary to get involved and meet people, but have only made one friend,

Am thinking - well, I spent 45 years in my house in NY, four years in SC, and will give this a few years and then try someplace else, Never, ever planned on being this lonely.

I feel your pain and after four years it has not improved. There are times I just want to pack it in - have been through a lot in my lifetime and this is the most unhappiest I have ever been,

Good Luck

Maybe try this
by: Jane

Some ideas I plan on trying when I fully retire- I am a self employed accountant but volunteer one day a week preparing taxes for AARP/VITA. Good for talking to people.

See if you can audit courses at a SUNY college. Should be very low cost if you have an interest. I like learning foreign languages. Plan on doing that at 62 at nearby UCONN in a few years.

Find a friendly church. I found one.

I am a serious introvert so finding friends is a challenge.

Hard to make friends
by: Sharon

It is hard to make new friends when you are older it seems. I volunteer at the library and enjoy it while I am there but no friendships after 1.5 years. I went to work part time to combat loneliness.

some ideas
by: Cindi H, Ohio

Start with some research. Just because some other homes are taking a while to sell doesn't mean that will be the case with yours (never assume).

We thought we'd never get enough for our house - bought it in 1986 for only $51,000. Turns out in 2019 it sold for $210,000. We fixed it up. You may not be able to fix everything, but paint etc can help a lot with sales.

We set our minds on moving north and discovered that the housing prices were really good about 30 minutes from Cleveland - even had money to upgrade the HVAC at our newer house and some left over for new furniture.

Discovered Lake County has a great transit system. Should we ever stop driving we can even set up door to door pick up by little bus very cheap. About research - there are other states where you can audit at least one college course a year at no cost. Ohio is one of those. They also have a ton of beautiful parks to walk and hike in.

I won't ramble on much longer but have you ever considered learning a musical instrument? I've done so from scratch 3 different times and loved learning from my instructors - also have met a lot of great musician friends through that interest who I might never have met if I hadn't given it a shot.

Best of luck.

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