#128 - Here’s How Technology Will Help You Combat Loneliness in Retirement
One is the loneliest number, right? It’s hard to think about retirement without honestly assessing the possibility that loneliness could be a very real aspect of it. But does it have to be that way? Not if I can help it! I’m Roger Whitney, the Retirement Answer Man and on today’s episode of the podcast we’re veering away from our normal financial topics to continue investigating the ways that technology can help us during our retirement years. Today’s topic is how we can combat loneliness by the use of technology - and we’re not talking about robot companions here, we’re talking about how tech can help you build true connections with real people. This one is going to be fun!
What is chronic loneliness? Could you experience it as you grow older?
Fortune Magazine recently published an article that demonstrated that the chronic loneliness (ongoing loneliness) is becoming epidemic in certain demographics of the population. It only make sense that as we age - and those closest to us may be passing away - we could be left right in the middle of those statistics. I don’t want that to happen to you, so I’ve asked my friend Doug Goldstein to brainstorm with me a bit about how technology can be a helpful tool in keeping us out of the pit of loneliness as we enter and live in our retirement years. If you find yourself resistant to the topic of technology, this conversation will be a bit different, so I dare you to give it a listen.
Have you considered how Facebook can help you stave off loneliness?
With all of the things you see on a typical Facebook feed - from stupid cat videos to inspirational quotes - it’s easy to forget that it is part of what’s called “social” media. The original intention was to help people connect with each other, to amplify existing relationships. And user stats show that the over 65 crowd on Facebook is growing. That’s really good news. It means that you can use that simple platform to stay connected with friends, family, and even find groups of people that share the same interests as you - both now and as you enter and thrive during retirement. Find out how my friend Doug and I view that possibility, on this episode of the Retirement Answer Man.
Are you ready for a baby step into the realm of technology - for the sake of beating loneliness?
A couple of weeks ago I was eager to see the deck that my son-in-law has been building so he did something really amazing - he invited me to a video call so I could actually get a digital tour of the work he’d been doing. It was great - and easy - for me to be a part of his life in a way I couldn’t have just a few years ago. Video calling is pretty mainstream these days and the learning curve is actually quite low. If you want to learn a bit about technology you might want to consider Skype or Facetime as video options that are easy to learn and can help you stay connected to the people who care about.
Social media won’t help if you aren’t social in the first place.
My friend Doug Goldstein makes a great point on this episode of The Retirement Answer Man - if you are not skilled at good communication and personal interactions, improving those skills is really the first step you need to take in order to combat the possibility of loneliness during your retirement years. Relationships are built on communication, so it only makes sense that improving your ability to connect with others through communication will make your ability to connect via social media or other technologies that much easier. You can find out more about this topic of technology, retirement, and loneliness by listening to this great conversation.
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN
- [0:46] I’ve often felt lonely during my life - and how it relates to this episode.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? SEGMENT
- [3:54] Today’s term: Chronic loneliness.
- [5:15] Why chronic loneliness is one of the biggest risks of retirement.
HOT TOPIC SEGMENT
- [5:56] A Fortune Magazine article about the chronic loneliness epidemic.
PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT
- [8:22] Introduction of Doug Goldstein and the subject of technology and retirement.
- [9:55] The reality of retirees who become the “last man standing.”
- [12:19] The importance of renewing and refreshing networks of friends.
- [15:20] How Facebook helps the over 65 crowd stay connected.
- [21:45] The usefulness of meetup.com.
- [26:40] The first baby step into the world of technology: video calls.
- [29:00] Looking at virtual reality technology.
- [33:23] The importance of basic communication skills.
THE HAPPY LAB SEGMENT
- [33:59] Go out and make some friends!
TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT
- [34:28] Call one of your best friends you’ve not spoken to in a while.
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That
BOOK - Rock Retirement by Roger Whitney
3-video Series: 5 Minute Retirement Makeover
Roger’s Retirement Learning Center
The Retirement Answer Man Facebook Page
Fortune Magazine article on chronic loneliness
www.MeetUp.com - search for groups in your area by location