How to find friends over 50

It’s more important than ever to enjoy good friendships in later life.

Life over 50 is full of big changes, and one of the more important ones is the shifting nature of relationships.

As a person retires and their children start families of their own, it becomes natural for them to feel a little short of purpose at times.

This is also a time when marriages might be changing. We all know at least one person who has gone through divorce.

And that’s in keeping with changing times – The Guardian reported that only almost half the younger generation are likely to ever get married today, compared to 90% for over-60s.

That’s why it’s more important than ever for people to enjoy good friendships during their golden years.

If you need to expand your circle of friends to make the most of your leisure time, here are our five ideas for finding new friends when over 50.

Find common interests online

More and more people are now finding partners online because it removes the element of chance that comes with a random match, and the same logic can apply to friendships too. 

There are a wide variety of friendship sites for people over 50 or 60, where you can discuss hobbies or beliefs with a view to a genuine offline friendship.

If you are meeting someone in person for the first time after an online introduction, make sure you follow the basic personal security advice issued by most reputable sites.

As a general rule you should tell a friend or family member where you are going and ensure that you meet in a public place. 

It’s also good to let them know when you get home safely, and try to check in with them once during the meeting.

Take a class or learn something new

Always wanted to try tango classes, but been too busy? Or maybe you wanted to learn Italian but never had the chance. 

Well, it’s time you made time for yourself! A shared experience is a strong foundation for friendship, even if the experience is “saying a phrase wrong in Spanish”.

You could also take up social games or sports such as lawn bowls or bridge. If you’re short on practice, don’t worry: somebody will want to share their expertise.

Volunteer for your favourite cause (or a challenging one)

There’s many different ways to volunteer that will help you to make new friends and enjoy life even more. 

Charities such as the RSPCA or Dogs Trust are always on the lookout for volunteers, and you may get to meet and care for some wonderful animals along the way.

Of course, sometimes it’s people in your local community who need a little extra attention. 

Putting yourself forward to help the housebound or infirm is a great way to meet people at any age, giving something to your community and fostering your own sense of gratitude for health and wellbeing.

Go on a special interest holiday

Start fine tuning your skills to make the most of your hobbies in your retirement.

Saga runs a range of holidays for all kinds of interests, and they’re perfect for meeting over 50s who share your passions.

Whether your soul is stirred by ancient architecture, ballroom dancing, or photography, there’s a holiday waiting for you.

With holidays available for couples and single people alike, a special interest holiday is a superb way to found a new friendship through travel!

Treat yourself to a cruise holiday

There are some amazing sights and places to be seen on Saga’s excellent range of ocean and river cruises.

What better way to meet new people than on an exploration of the Nile or a jazz-based jaunt down Portugal’s Douro Valley?

We specialise in singles holidays too, so you know that you will be meeting likeminded travellers who want to chat and make friends.

With communal dining and organised excursions, cruises provide plenty of opportunities to make new connections and friendships. 

That’s before you consider the incredible shared moments such as touring a Caribbean island or seeing the Valley of the Kings on breaks with us!

Browse Saga’s cruise trips and special interest holidays to see great getaway ideas that can help you meet interesting and like-minded people for the next chapter of your life.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.