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Are you close to retiring in North Carolina? If so, you’re far from alone. In fact, you might have a bunch of friends also reaching their retirement age too. Sadly, some of these friendships might come to an end, or you might just not see them as frequently as you’re used to. Why is this? Many retirees choose to relocate for their golden years, frequently to a dream vacation destination.

If you discover yourself retiring in North Carolina without a lot of friends, then you should take action. Retirement is supposed to be a time in life where you enjoy yourself, and from the shores of the Outer Banks to the slopes of the Appalachian Mountains, the Tarheel State offers quite a bit of fun and adventure. This should include making new friends and developing your relationships with them.

North Carolina has 100 different counties, and most of them have some kind of senior center, if not more than one. You might have to travel to the next town to find one, but it’s very rewarding if you do. There was a time where senior centers were mostly used for offering retirement and health advice to senior citizens, but these days, entertainment and socialization are being catered to quite a bit too. Some counties have senior center days full of on-site activities, be it cooking classes, arts and crafts, bingo games, and even group counseling sessions. Depending on what part of the state you settle into, there might be things like hiking or fishing.

Volunteering is a great way to meet other retirees and seniors your age. As an extra bonus, you get the satisfaction of knowing you’re doing good work for the community around you. Nursing homes and hospitals are always in need of volunteers where folks your age can help out and fit in. Libraries, local schools, and pet shelters can usually use a hand too.

If you’re living in a retirement community, then you should have quite a few options. Here, nearly everyone is the same age, or at least in the same age range. It starts as simply as greeting the people you pass in the hall. A great icebreaker is just asking them what part of New York they’re from. Much of the state’s population growth in recent decades has been from states in the North, with many coming down directly. Interestingly, some are ‘halfbacks’ that moved all they way down to Florida and then came halfway back for better winters and to be closer to family.

Make sure you check out all the on-site activities and services that are offered. Bingo, card games, swim classes, tennis, and off-site excursions like shopping are all great things to take advantage of. Also, lurk around high-traffic areas like mail or laundry rooms.

It can be harder to make friends the later you get in life, but you’ve done it so many times that it’s not hard to remember how to do it. Developing new friendships gives you the company you deserve in retirement.

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