July 18, 2010

Friends or Family?

I just ran across a newspaper and am not happy with its central premise. Having friends is very important to a happy, satisfying retirement, there is no debate about that. Hobbies, interests, and keeping your mind active are crucial. No argument from me on that point...just look at some of my posts for agreement and support.

However, one of sentences in the item just jumped out at me: "Researchers suggested that grandchildren could get in the way of grandparents’ social life if they spent too much time caring for them."  I would agree being a full time babysitter would put a crimp in your social calendar and hamper a lot of what makes retirement so great. But, I can't accept that putting family first is the wrong choice.

I'll say no more, but ask that you read the article from The Times of London and decide what you think. Comments are encouraged.


  1. We don't get to see the whole study. The author took bits and pieces for this article.

    "Whereas having children and grandchildren had no effect on life satisfaction, those who had taken up new hobbies, joined clubs and met new friends were, on average, 30 per cent happier. Among the happiest were those who had taken on an allotment, joined an art class or were in a book club." The problem with ths statement is that children and grandchildren are already a part of your life so to expect their to be an increase in happiness doesn't make sense. Even with children and grandchildren if you take up a new hobby, etc., etc., you could be in the 30% happier group.

    This was a study of 300 pensioners? From what walk of life? If I'm 60 and worn out from a life of manual labor, yes, taking care of my grandchildren for 50 hours a week could be 'quite stressful.'

    This article is just filler material. And without reading the study itself, but looking at the study size (300 out of 14 million over age 60) ... seriously, is this credible for anything?

    Diana in the PNW

  2. I agree completely with your questioning the study quoted above. The reason for providing the link was to encourage discussion....exactly like your comment.

    One of the problems with today's media is that stories are often chosen or headlines written to be sensational and grab someone's attention. This Times of London report fits that description. Originally, I was alerted to the article by a friend. As I make clear in my intro, I don't agree with the findings. But, that doesn't mean it isn't worth talking about it.

    Thanks for your comment. For the record, I have three grandkids who I spend as much time as possible with !