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We know that having and maintaining social connections has great benefits as we get older. Unfortunately, finding new friends at an older age can prove to be a challenge. Many people find their social circles shrinking, and may feel that they need to make new friends to fill the void.

When searching for new friendships, technology can both be a blessing and a curse. Services like Skype and Facebook allow us to remain in contact with friends old and new – however, with everyone so focused on their screens, it can be harder to connect with people face-to-face.

The good news is that it is entirely possible to meet new friends and have a great social life in your elder years – you just need to know how to go about it. Here are some great tips for finding friends and maintaining friendships in your retirement years:

• Figure out what kind of friends you would want to make.
Enagage in activities that may attract like-minded people, such as certain political or religious events.

• Take the time to figure out what a new friendship would mean to you.
If you have time, write your thoughts out in a diary – this gives you more opportunity to start conversation where it may naturally fit, such as in the post office or park.

• Get out there.
Don’t be afraid to converse with strangers, and don’t be afraid to politely compliment them. Find common ground to start a conversation about.

• Start with friends-of-friends.
It may be easiest to find people with common interests by exploring friendships with people just out of your direct social circle.

Lastly, don’t forget to smile and be friendly! One of the easiest ways to meet people is by simply being approachable. Get out there and don’t be afraid to join activities on your own – your new social circle is out there.