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August 15, 2014

Why You Should Volunteer After Retirement as a Second Career

Volunteering is one of the many ways in which older adults are staying active after retirement. If your career days are behind you, finding a consistent volunteer opportunity can be a great way to have a second career in your retirement.

There are numerous obvious reasons to volunteer after retirement: It allows you to give back to your community, you can make a difference to those in need, and there are any number of deserving organizations worthy of your time. There are also several hidden benefits to volunteering during your retirement years you may not have considered before.

Top 3 Reasons to Volunteer in Your Retirement

  1. Add some consistency in your schedule: Having a regularly scheduled volunteer opportunity gives you a consistent reason to get out and about. Filling up your days with meaningful activity is not only satisfying, it can allow you to thrive in a new routine.
  2. Fulfill a need for social interaction: Many volunteer activities are organized around groups or teams, so participating in one is a natural way to fulfill a need for social interaction. By choosing to volunteer, you might even make some new friends.
  3. Find a new passion: While it might seem logical to volunteer within your comfort zone, trying something new could help you discover a new passion you didn’t even know you had. Find an organization that interests you and learn as you go.

Convinced that volunteering is a great option, but not sure where to start? Here are five options for where to concentrate your volunteering efforts.

      1. Animals: Call your local shelter or animal league and see if it needs volunteers. From working the front desk to bathing the animals, there are usually multiple volunteering options at animal shelters.
      2. Books: See if the local library needs any help. You can check out books, make reader recommendations, or organize the shelves.
      3. Children: Elementary schools occasionally have volunteer opportunities, or you could check out your local Boys and Girls Club.
      4. People: Organizations like the Salvation Army and Goodwill are always looking for volunteers to help in their stores or at events.
      5. Sports: Become a referee for rec leagues or coach a local children’s team.

The key to making the most out of volunteering in your retirement is to find something you love and make it a regular commitment. You might surprise yourself with what motivates and inspires you.

Do you volunteer? What are your favorite ways to give back to the community? Share your experiences in the comments below.

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