I've been soft-retired for a while now and don't personally have that social problem, but I've definitely seen it before and have some thoughts and musings on it (which you should trust about as far as you can throw them, but maybe they'll be valuable nonetheless).

The responsibility and structure of a formal job provides a skeleton that a lot of people use as support for building their lives and sense of self around. It's very difficult to rebuild yourself without it, and it's much easier to instead fill the hole in the existing structure with something that has the same shape as a job.

If I had to recommend something in particular, my first thought would be for your wife to try and turn one of her hobbies into a business, and make that her new job. Note that it's not remotely important for the business to have large capital investment, a plan to scale, or even be profitable (though you should obviously keep it from being a money-pit). As long as it's something she can work on (at whatever pace is comfortable for her at the moment) and feel proud of, it can serve as a job just fine for both the purposes of motivation and conversation. If any of her hobbies are artistic, this can be as simple as setting up something like an Etsy shop to sell what she makes, and going from there. If this doesn't work, then I would encourage her to find as low-stress of a "real" job as possible, feeling free to spend as much time searching and job-hopping as is necessary.

Few working people aren't jealous of your wife. Most won't admit that. Most can't pull it off because they are not financially secure, probably not even close, even in the top 10 % ...

Wifeys ( <3 ) problem is a mind thing. She's taking the opinions of people at face value.

There's what people say and what they actually think and want to say.

I'm positive wifey can turn her new life into a science and see the interesting patterns she could talk about with all the people who love talking about work. There are billions of housewifes who can't do what wifey can do because kids.

Wifey needs to try to look at her new life at a different angle, quite literally tilt her head and expand her sensemaking of it all.

Also: your brain works in logic, right? How to find people with lives closer to wifey's that just can't be found the normal way?

PS: People looking down on someone or giving someone that feeling or just generally giving off that vibe is a survival/coping strategy. They are not thriving. It's a sign of despair building up.

It seems to me, having observed other's retirements, that you still need to have a purpose, and a community of people to be with. This can mean many different things but having a compelling 'why' for what your are doing is the root of motivation. Ideally the community of people are also in a similar situation and working toward the same purpose. It often takes people a while to find such a thing.

It seems that you already know this but perhaps spelling it out is helpful.

You could try suggesting some part-time work to ease her into it, maybe in new fields that she hasn't tried before.