an older retired woman participates in a band

12 Super Ideas to Stay Connected to Community in Retirement

Retirement doesn’t have to mean social isolation. Stay active and engaged with your community as you settle into your golden years.

Join the Fun at the Senior Center

Avoid the senior blues by keeping up with your town’s social scene. Your local senior center is the perfect place to stay in the know. You’ll catch up with old friends, stay on top of the news, and make new connections.

  • Game Nights
    Bingo isn’t the only fun game you’ll get a chance to try your hand at. Many senior centers host regular game nights featuring classics like bridge, cribbage, or poker. Look forward to an evening of laughs with like-minded people your age.
  • Senior Dances
    Miss the good ol’ days of rock 'n' roll? Boogie on down to your local senior center for a fun night of dancing and toe-tapping to your favorite vintage hits. Don’t forget your festive attire—bonus points if it matches the dance theme.
  • Live Performances
    Save on ticket costs for going to the theater. Senior centers often host local performance groups like standup comedians, singing groups, theater troupes, and live bands. Stop by your senior center to grab the latest schedule.

Make New Friends at the Community Center

Settling into your golden years doesn’t mean retiring from networking. Get ready to expand your social circle and meet some new friends by checking out your city’s community center.

  • Try Something New
    Learn a new skill and bond with other newbies. Grab the latest class schedule, and sign up for classes in pottery, cooking, fine arts, and more.
  • Become a Teaching Assistant
    Volunteering is a great way to stay active and meet new people. Offer to be a TA for classes you love. You’ll be able to share your expertise in your favorite subject while getting to know your community.
  • Help Out at the Library
    Local libraries always love to have an extra set of hands to staff the circulation desk. Plus, you can share your love of reading with a new generation while recommending all your old favorites.

Stay Fit and Social at the YMCA

Take the chore out of exercising. Working out is always better with two. Grab a friend for a social hour while working up a sweat. Try your local YMCA for fun fitness classes.

  • Join the Silver Sneakers Program
    Forget trying to compete for the weight bench with a group of 20-somethings. Stop by the front desk at your YMCA to see if they have the Silver Sneakers program. You’ll pump iron without feeling like the oldest one in the gym.
  • Tag Team Laps at the Pool
    Take turns doing laps with your friend. You can watch each other’s form and offer pointers to improve your stroke. It’s cheaper than a swim coach, and you can grab a coffee afterward.
  • Breathe and Stretch in a Yoga Class
    Take an hour of time to relax with your friend. You’ll melt stress away and dive deep into relaxation. It’s a great option when neither of you has the time for a full spa day.

Be The Host of Holiday Parties

Not every social event has to take you out of the house. With the holidays rapidly approaching, invite your social circle to come to you. Save yourself the headache of cleanup and stock up on plenty of recyclable silverware.

  • Throw a Fun ‘Friendsgiving’
    Not everyone is able to travel to be with family for the holidays. But that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate. Invite friends over for a potluck holiday to celebrate the festive season and your friendship.
  • Host a White Elephant Party
    Take gift-giving to the next level for the holidays, and turn it into a fun social game with an air of mystery. Remember to set ground rules ahead of time so everyone can come prepared to join in the fun.
  • Have a Holiday Bake Fest
    Turn your love of baking into a friend-filled celebration. Offer up your kitchen to bake holiday goodies for the year. You’ll be able to hit your cookie quota while catching up with friends.

Enjoy Strong Community Connections

With everything your community offers, you won’t struggle to find ways to fill your retirement years. Wave goodbye to feelings of loneliness thanks to your new social circles. With all the fun events going on, you’ll be enjoying your retirement in no time.

Tracy Layden is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist. Born and raised in Silicon Valley, Tracy leads the marketing efforts at Alert-1, a personal safety technology and consulting firm dedicated to helping seniors live safely and independently. Tracy holds a degree in mathematics from Scripps College and is an accomplished ballroom dancer and equestrian.

Last Updated: November 08, 2017