Surviving Retirement Through Volunteering

Volunteering in retirement can help individuals face the emotional hurdles that come with transitioning to a new stage of life.

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    Surviving Retirement Through Volunteering

    Surviving Retirement Through Volunteering

    Those with the most experience in retirement issues know that the biggest challenge for many retirees is not financial, but emotional. Individuals in retirement can attest to the severing of social networks, the loss of professional satisfaction and self-identification, and the many empty hours that need to be filled. That’s why volunteering in retirement has become the mainstream and developing a culture of giving back is essential.

    Volunteering in retirement may be one of the best ways to address all these challenges since it’s an activity that consumes time, can put professional skills back to good use, establishes new social connections, and makes an individual feel productive and useful, all of which increases personal satisfaction and well-being.

    Volunteering Considerations

    The first step in becoming a volunteer is for retirees to decide how much time they want to commit to volunteering and the type of volunteering they wish to do (e.g., charities for animals, children, education, etc.).

    Retirees may also want to think about what they want to get out of the volunteer experience. Do they want to use it as a platform to learn new things and visit new places (i.e. teaching English in Kenya)? Or, do they prefer to be active in addressing the local needs of their community?

    Top Volunteering Ideas

    There is a wealth of information for individuals to learn more about the volunteer work they wish to pursue on the Internet, but if advisors want to help their retired clients begin a productive search for the volunteer opportunities that best suit their interests and talents, here’s a list of ideas to get them started.

    • Senior Corps—The Senior Corps falls under the auspices of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency. Senior Corps is a program that offers retirees a diverse set of volunteer choices in communities nationwide, making it an ideal starting point.
    • Peace Corp 50+—Peace Corps has been doing good things globally since the 1960s. The Peace Corp 50+ program is specifically targeted toward older Americans looking to make a difference.
    • National Park Service—Staying active, seeing America’s great national parks and helping the next generation enjoy this country’s natural blessings are all things retirees can accomplish with volunteer positions in our national parks.

    Alternatively, your clients can go to Volunteer Match where they simply put in their ZIP codes to find volunteer opportunities in their community, or visit Go Overseas to learn about some of the top international volunteering options for seniors.

    Giving back has never been so easy, and rewarding.

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