Your mom is finally retiring. She’s 70 years old, unmarried, and lives alone. She’s independent and high energy. She’s definitely not “elderly.”
Now that she’s retired, do you know how she will spend her time? Sure, she’ll finally get to the things on her to-do list. But how many closets can she organize?
If her life revolved around work, most of her friends are probably work-related. If that’s the case, start suggesting ways for her to create a circle of friends.
There are many studies that support having close friends during retirement helps with emotional and physical well-being. Friends will help her fight depression she may experience after retiring. Friends will help her stay active by encouraging her to participate in events that keep her moving.
She may disagree with you to start something new or even say “don’t worry about me; I’m fine.” Be persistent but gentle with your suggestions. Eventually, she’ll come around to understanding the benefits of social interactions.
Conduct a quick search of activities geared for elderly individuals in her community. There may be a community center offering classes she may be interested in attending. Look for fun classes in art – painting, knitting, or even ethnic cooking.
Another idea may be classes with some type of physical activity – tai chi, yoga, dancing. SilverSneakers® offer fitness programs and may be covered under her Medicare plan.
Nearby colleges offer interesting classes with topics such as photography, gardening, and history. Some may have a senior discount to increase appeal. By going to a weekly class, she’ll meet others similar to her and begin to build a circle of friends.
Another place to explore for social activities is her church. Many religious organizations have groups geared specifically for those who are retired.
If none of those suggestions work, perhaps she would be interested in volunteering. In this type of activity, she won’t be stuck with “old folks.”
There are many nonprofit organizations needing volunteers. You can find volunteer opportunities for helping children, families in need, pets, seniors, and the environment.
While your mom may be independent, it’s important to check-in with her as she ages. Be mindful of depression or other health issues that may impact her mentally and physically. By helping her increase her social interactions with a circle of friends, she’ll be motivated and engaged to stay healthy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, RICP®, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include developing spending plans, comprehensive financial plans, divorce financial reviews, retirement plans. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me.’”