18 Popular Socialization Ideas for Retirees

It’s not easy being a retiree to make new friends and socialize. Retirement doesn’t involve socializing like working and raising a family. Many hobbies retirees take are solitary. The friends you’ve had may either be far away or have passed on, and the camaraderie you used to have with others may not be present in your life anymore.

Here are some socialization ideas for retirees and anyone looking to connect with new friends.

Go Out

Retirees can’t socialize if they don’t go out. It does not have to be a senior-themed event. Look up local events that you might enjoy. Go on outings there. Take advantage of this day and have a great time.

Move into a Retirement Home

Retirement homes are packed with seniors from many backgrounds. It’s an excellent place to meet friends, hang out, and do various activities together. There is no better place for older adults to socialize. It’s an environment naturally designed for it.


For a senior, volunteering is a way to give back and represent a cause that’s important to them. It also puts them on a team, keeps seniors active and engaged, and paves the way for socializing in a large group.

Get a Roommate

Get a roommate with whom you can also socialize to ease living costs. More seniors are partnering with others to share monthly expenses with a roommate or multiple contributors.

Family Game Night

Invite friends and family over for a game night once a month. Board games, card games, and even role-playing games can be fun.

Join a Social Club

Find a club or group that aligns with your interests. Find a club that fills you with belonging and suits your lifestyle. This can be anything from woodworking to gardening or even a small group of people with a common interest.

Join a Class

Seniors can join, including cooking classes, language classes, art classes, and computer classes. Consider what appeals to you regarding what classes you may enjoy trying.

Go Back to Work

Some retirees don’t need money, but they want socialization, so they re-enter the workforce, usually part-time. Engaging in part-time work introduces you to a new group of people you would likely not have met otherwise.

Get a Dog

Having a dog means you have to go for dog walks. Ideally, you occasionally take your pup to the dog park. Pet owners may bump into others and initiate a conversation.

Join a Gym

Try a gym or fitness class specifically for older adults. Stay in shape while socializing. This may also be an opportunity to develop a new interest.

Look for Senior Events

Senior nights are a great opportunity to meet people in your age bracket. Restaurants have them, as do casinos and other establishments.

Learn an Instrument

Whether you already know how to play an instrument, haven’t played in a while, or want to learn, find an open mic night, open jam, or start a night with other musicians to all come together and enjoy each other’s playing.

Reach Out to Old Friends

There may be people you last spoke to over a decade ago who would be happy to receive your message. Reach out. You can call them or message them online. Make an effort to get and stay in touch with family or friends you may have not touched base with in a long time, and schedule a meetup.

Join a Gardening Class

Come summer, look for local classes that teach different aspects of gardening. Seed exchanges, flower shows, farm shows, and community events are ways to engage in this hobby.

Pursue a Degree

Pursue a degree, diploma, or certificate in a field you’ve always wanted to explore. If you’re retired, have the time and money, and want to learn more about something that fascinates you, some socialization may accompany that.

Pursue a Hobby

Even a stationary hobby – such as reading, writing, or knitting – may eventually get you into a group of like-minded people. Retirees should be actively encouraged to pursue hobbies and interests, with enough time to do them.

Use Technology

Virtual socialization opportunities exist on smartphones, tablets, and computers. Even on Facebook, older adults can join groups and pages, initiate conversations, video chat with family, and more.

Download Socialization Apps

On the phone, there are many apps in all sorts of categories to find socialization, including dating, social circle friends apps, and more. While nothing tops in-person socializing, an older adult limited by certain health conditions may find it easier to take this route.