Skip to Content

The Surprising Benefits of Maintaining Close Relationships in Retirement

Written By John O’Callaghan, CFP® January 16, 2023

Retirement is often thought of as a time to kick back and relax, but did you know that having close relationships during this phase of life can actually provide a ton of benefits?

Research shows that strong social connections can improve both your mental and physical health, lower your risk of depression and cognitive decline, and even increase your lifespan. Yeah, you read that right – having friends and loved ones around can actually help you live longer.

Why are Relationships So Important in Retirement?

So, why are relationships so important during retirement? Well, for starters, they provide a sense of social support. Your friends and family can offer emotional support during tough times and even help with practical things like grocery shopping or running errands. A study published in the Journal of Gerontology found that older adults with a strong social network were more likely to recover from illness and disability and less likely to need long-term care services

But the benefits don’t stop there. Close relationships can also boost your overall mental and emotional well-being. A study published in Aging and Mental Health found that older adults with strong social connections reported higher levels of life satisfaction and lower levels of stress and anxiety. This makes sense – having people to share experiences with and rely on for support can give you a sense of purpose and belonging, which are key to maintaining good mental health.

Maintaining Cognitive Function in Retirement

And get this: research even shows that social connections can reduce the risk of cognitive decline and help maintain cognitive function as you age. A study published in Neurology found that older adults with a larger social network had a slower rate of cognitive decline and were less likely to develop dementia. It’s thought that social interaction helps stimulate the brain and keep it sharp.

Cultivating and Maintaining Relationships in Retirement

But here’s the thing: it’s not always easy for older adults to maintain social connections. Retirement, physical limitations, and the loss of loved ones can all play a role. That’s why it’s important to make an effort to cultivate and maintain close relationships, whether it’s through activities like volunteering, joining social clubs, or simply staying in touch with friends and family.

In short, having close relationships during retirement can bring a ton of benefits for your mental and physical health and overall well-being. Don’t underestimate the power of social connections – make an effort to maintain and cultivate them for the best, most fulfilling retirement possible.

Ready to Take Control of Your Retirement? Contact a Certified Financial Planner™ professional at Williams Asset Management at

410.740.0220 or for a complimentary consultation.