9 Ways to Combat Retirement Loneliness

Retirement Loneliness. Rebel Retirement

The fear of being alone in retirement is quite common and is second only to the fear of running out of money during retirement. While everyone may experience loneliness at some point in their lives, retirement loneliness presents new and unique challenges. Additionally, the likelihood of experiencing loneliness tends to increase as we age.

One day after my mom and brother passed on, I did a simple exercise imagining the life of my 80-something dad who lived alone. He lived in another state and I tried to picture his life without his family by his side.

Alone in my empty house, I sat quietly and pondered life if, by some misfortune, my family didn’t return that evening.

The concept gave me chills. Afterward, my family returned, and my house was full. However, I couldn’t shake the uneasy feeling of what a future of retirement loneliness would mean for me.

Let’s explore the major factors that contribute to retirement loneliness. Then, I’ll dive into 9 ways to combat that loneliness.

3 Contributing Factors to the Fear of Retirement Loneliness

No. 1 – Death of a Partner – Unsurprisingly, this is the number one life event that causes the most stress for individuals. It can be quite unsettling to anticipate the day your spouse won’t be there. If or when the day comes, take it slow. The only way out of grief is through. Avoid the temptation to distract yourself to try and feel better. Healing happens over time.

  • When your partner leaves the earth plane, try to find solace in knowing they’ve completed this part of their journey

No. 2 – Divorce – Divorce rates are growing for boomers entering retirement. As a generation, we are considered youthful, energetic, and self-centered. Many boomers still have things to accomplish and have no intention of growing old with a spouse they can’t stand. Yet, divorce is like a double-edged sword. With newfound freedom comes an abundance of alone time.

  • Think long and hard before proceeding with a gray divorce. The person you can stand may be the only person who would spend time with you in your later years.

No. 3 – Smaller Families – One of the most notable counter-culture movements of the 60s and 70s was the promotion of smaller families. Attitudes about marriage and family were changing. My generation waited until later in life to have children, and many have no children. Although the size of one’s family is a personal choice, there are consequences. There are fewer family members to fill the void of loneliness.

  • If possible, enjoy time with extended family and friends. The internet is an excellent resource for finding people in your community with similar interests. 

9 Ways to Combat Retirement Loneliness

Retirement loneliness is a common worry, but there are many ways to stay connected with friends, family, and the community. Let’s explore some ideas that can provide us with opportunities to alleviate loneliness.

No. 1- Take walks – Nature has a way of making us feel whole and less lonely. Observing birds and wildlife gives meaning to the mundane and can help reduce loneliness.

No. 2 – Explore the healing power of nature – Get outdoors. Explore a forest, enjoy the sound of a waterfall, or spread a blanket and observe the shapes of clouds.

No. 3 – Embrace the Art of Mindful Meditation – Meditation is a solitary experience. However, it enables you to generate a peacefulness that alleviates loneliness.

No. 4 – Connect through social groups – Sites like MeetUps, and Road Scholar offer various opportunities to connect and enjoy each other’s company.

No. 5 – Gardening – Community gardens are a great source for meeting other gardeners in your area while reaping the health benefits of digging in the soil.

No. 6 – Engage in online communities – Sites like Reddit, Ravelry, TheCatSite, Instagram, Facebook, Goodreads, etc., all offer an opportunity to discuss ideas with people of like mind.

No. 7 – Attend free seminars – Search Google or Facebook for free workshops in your area. Pick up a local ‘things to do’ guide that lists seasonal options for clinics.

No. 8 – Learning – Take classes at your local community college, or enjoy virtual classes online.

No. 9 – Take up a New Hobby – Take up a new hobby.  Hobbies often lead to the outdoors, groups, or classes where you can engage with people with the same interests.


By incorporating these 9 strategies into your daily routine, you can combat retirement loneliness and cultivate a sense of connection and fulfillment. Take the first step today towards a happier, more connected existence.

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How do you combat loneliness? Please feel free to comment below and share your ideas with this community. And before you go, please take a moment to subscribe to our newsletter, and like us on Facebook!

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