Moving to a new city or town after retirement is like starting a new life. And for most seniors it can be quite challenging.
Get out of your comfort zone and meet your neighbors. If you have a hard time getting around, or don't feel comfortable knocking on neighbors' doors, try living in a quad of homes. Each house is separate but surrounds a main courtyard. People that live in communities like this find it easy to meet their neighbors because most of them spend time sitting on their front porch drinking a cup of coffee and chatting with other neighbors who are doing the same thing.
When you first move into a new town, don't turn down invitations even if you think you won't have fun.
If you are shy, join Toastmasters. It might be very uncomfortable in the beginning, but soon you will gain a lot of self confidence.
Take a walk in the park with your pet or partner. Say hello to people and strike up a conversation if possible.(article continues next column)
Don't be afraid to talk with people you don't know. If you join a group, bring your camera to events and take photos of everyone. Bellieve me, they will want to see the pictures you take and it is a great ice-breaker.
Find activities, sports, organizations, hobbies, and other ways to find people who have your similar interests.
Example: Go online and find groups and meetings which you might have an interest. A good place to start is an online source called meetup. If you don't find something you like, start your own group.
Some retirement communities have newspapers with different clubs, activities etc.
Visit a local coffee shop or bookstore. My parents started going to McDonald's for lunch and met a small group of guys they really like. In fact, they meet them once a week for breakfast now. I've also seen small groups that meet over coffee in my area.
Get involved in your neighborhood by going to community meetings and organizing events.
Libraries often have bulliten boards where activites are posted for the locals.
Go to senior centers once or twice a week.
Local religious affiliations
Don't underestimate the power of meeting people at your local religious center. Even if you were never active in your religious community before, attending services, events or social mixers can be a great way to feel welcome in your new community.
Even if you've sworn to never pick up another textbook, the luxury of free nights is a great way to expand your repertoire by taking classes at your local college, university, or specialized school, and studying a subject you've always been interested in, while meeting people in the process.
Offer to spot a guy lifting weights, buddy up with someone who seems to share your exercise program and train together, and make friendly conversation with the person on the treadmill next to you. There are bound to be people who are looking for someone to motivate them.
Hobbies and extra-curricular activities
If you've always wanted to learn how to cook chinese, line dancing, bowling, or photography, there's no better time than now. Here's your chance to meet people with similar interests. Wine tasting anyone?
Check out the ball parks in your area for sports teams, and sign up to play softball, bowling, pickle ball. There's nothing like a little friendly competition to spark conversation.
After the game, go to a sports bar and root for your favorite pro or college team with other fans.