Boomers are one of the most generous demographics out there. Studies have shown that boomers donate their time and money more often than almost any other generation before, and that sense of giving continues into their retirement. As we’ve explored in many different ways, boomers seem more interested in staying active and engaged rather than retiring and relaxing. But some have found a way to have it both ways by leaving the workforce behind and dedicating their energy towards worthy causes. And if you’re looking to make you retirement more engaging, here’s why volunteering is the way to go.
You have skills to offer.
Your years as a professional have awarded you a lifetime of extremely valuable experience. So what do you do with that experience once you’ve left the workforce? Wouldn’t it feel nice to be able to share your skills with organizations that need professional help? There are so many non-profit organizations that do not have the resources to hire experienced people to fill important positions. They rely on volunteers who can bring those well-honed and valuable work skills and give them the expertise their cause needs. Regardless of whether you’re working or not, being able to use those skills you worked so hard at over the years is a good feeling and there’s no better way to put them to good use than by helping out those in need.
While retirement is looked at as this great escape from the pressures and stress of the working world, it’s not as easy as it looks. Few people consider just how big of a role their job has in their life. From the daily routine, to the sense of purpose in their day, work provides something that can be difficult to recapture during retirement. It is precisely for this reason that many retirees seek out volunteer opportunities. To offer your time and take on work from other is not only gratifying in the sense of giving back, but it fills you with a sense of purpose. It might sound silly, but having something that keeps you busy is a big deal during retirement.
Apart from finding purpose in retirement, it’s also important to find ways to stay active. You might consider yourself to be a fairly active person now, but you might be surprised at how comfortable you can get on the couch once you’ve retired. Your job got you out of the house and on the move, and sometimes that extra push is how you force yourself to go to the gym or go for a job, so it’s important to maintain that push by staying engaged. Volunteer for something that has you up and moving on a regular basis. Keep your drive to be active and help yourself while helping others.
Meet new people.
As we discussed earlier this week on The Hub, being social is a factor in living a healthy life and that remains true even in retirement. A lot of people retire or cut back on work specifically so that they can spend more time with family and loved ones. While that’s great, it’s important to push yourself to form new friendships. When work is removed, some people have difficulty finding those opportunities to meet new people. Volunteering is a great replacement for the workplace, as you can get together with like-minded people who share the same passion and are working towards the same goal.
You can make a difference.
Of course, the main reason to volunteer at any time in your life is that your help is needed and you can really do something special for someone else. Even if you’re doing work where you don’t see the final results, you can take great pride knowing that you’ve spent your time in a productive, selfless and valuable way.