Victory Lap Question – When You Retire Where Do All Your Friends Go?

This question comes up at many presentations I make on Victory Lap Retirement. A strong social network is key to our happiness and longevity. Friendships enrich our lives we should always look to build our social network and build relationships with people we care about.

The challenge for all of us is that we are so busy working and nurturing our family, we can sometimes underinvest in our friendships. Our relationships with friends can also suffer when we are stressed out and in some cases pull back from friends, after all who wants to be a “downer” to our friends

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is sacrificing your time with friends, just so you can work longer to save for your retirement. The risk is when you finally get there, you may end up wondering where all your friends have gone. We all have times in life where we have to invest time at work which means not spending time with friends and family. Don’t loose sight of your friends and make it a priority to invest time strengthening your friendships, especially as you get closer to retirement.

Everyone has two groups of friends, work friends, the group you spend a great deal of time with and your outside or real friends, people that know you warts and all, and accept you for who you really are.

Work Friends:

If you take an inventory of your relationships, you may be at risk of a lonely retirement if you find the majority of your social network is from work. It is not uncommon as we go through our lives to spend much more time working than at home. We mistakenly view work relationships as true friends but the majority of them are not.  Many of these relationships do not last,  our connection is based on office politics, a common purpose at work and working in the culture of the corp. In many cases your work friends don’t know the real you, and your friendship won’t survive in retirement when the corporate glue that binds is gone.  If you feel there is a connection with some of your work friends invest the time to deepen relationship, or chances are they will disappear over time.

In many cases our work buddies keep working when we leave for our Victory Lap. Many of these friends will move on, out of sight out of mind, it is not malicious it’s just life.  Our pace of live will slow, and our connection to the corp. will be gone, while our working friends plow on unable to slow down. You may meet them on the street one day and it will feel like your watching a reality show that you were once in and thankfully you are no longer one of the cast.

Real Friends:

Real friends are special. They are the ones that you can call at 2 in the morning for help. They are the one who say – “I’m here for you no matter what.”

Real friends laugh with you, laugh at you, hug you and give you a kick in the pants when you need. They accept you as you are but challenge you when you are wrong, without judgment or condemnation. You know that no matter what happens they have your back. That is very comforting.

A Word of Advice:

When planning your Victory Lap make a list of your friends. Which ones make you smile, make you feel good about yourself and take an interest in you? Those are the ones that you want to develop and invest in. When you think of friends make sure you are being a good friend by showing an interest in what’s going on in their life and supporting them. Friendship is a two way street!

 Victory Lap Lifestyle Transition Program Week (1)

My transition (training) period started on May 1st and there sure is a lot of work to be done over the next four months.  The first month is a period of self-reflection, taking inventory and goal setting to get me to where I want to be.  I will share my progress in a number of key areas, financial, health, and nutrition. I will talk about bad habits, where I am and what needs to change.

Every Monday I will do a weigh in to show my progress as this is a key focus for me. Ok so I am embarrassed to say, I’m starting off at a whooping 237lbs. No wonder I’ve had trouble fitting into my pants!

During the month of May I’m staying away from all desserts. I am also implementing a regular walking program.  I’m a work in progress! Stay tuned this should be interesting!

Next week introducing: “The Four Me’s”.

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6 thoughts on “Victory Lap Question – When You Retire Where Do All Your Friends Go?

  1. Linda Reply

    With my retirement date of May 25th fast approaching (so excited and so ready), your “Lifestyle Transition Program” is perfect timing! On the 24th I plan to dust off my weight scales, get on and be amazed…not in a good way! Meanwhile, I’m busy setting up a home gym and exercise routine and will be ready on the 25th to get active, eat better, and transition into a healthy lifestyle for this wonderful new chapter of my life…new mantra: I’ve earned it, I fricking deserve it! I’m looking forward be coming along on this journey with you!

    New Escapee,

    • Mike Drak Post authorReply

      Linda I am so happy for you! Just remember to start slow it’s all about one small step at a time. Are you planning on working part time as well or just cruising for awhile until you figure things out? Would love to hear your VL plan.

  2. Kathleen Reply

    I recently picked up your book and got my act in to gear for my VLR and set my date. Now I look forward to you post, as my retirement date May 26th, just like Linda is around the corner. To be truly honest I am anxious but I need to move on with my life, as I have learned life is short. Time is the one thing you cannot buy. The world is a beautiful place with wonderful people I now realize I have to taking the time to see and enjoy it.


    • Mike Drak Post authorReply

      Welcome to the club Kathleen and don’t worry we will be here for you. Lots of articles coming up on how to transition and if any one thing is bothering you just send me a note and we will address it as best we can. After all we are all in this together!

  3. Linda Reply

    I’m taking the rest of this year off to relax, disconnect, cook, garden and have lots of “happy hours”! I’m also enrolled at Mount Royal taking Home Staging and will get certified. This will be such a fun sideline and who knows, maybe I’ll be good at it! 🙂 In the fall, I’ll find something to volunteer at…I just haven’t decided where yet. Then next year I plan to start working part time. No plans where that will be but I have lots of interest so it will be somewhere that appeals to my interest and creative side…it will be all about having fun at work!

    • Mike Drak Post authorReply

      Linda your smart taking some time to refresh and regroup. Sounds like you have some exciting plans but don’t be surprised if you start off in one direction but end up doing something entirely different. That’s exactly what happened to me and it has worked out in spades. Enjoy the ride you earned it!

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