Consider Volunteering in Retirement
Some look forward to retirement as a time to relax, free of the responsibilities of work. And while this might be enjoyable at first, some retirees might eventually feel that a lack of purpose and social connections does not make for the best possible retirement. Rather than just retiring from something, it can be a good idea to retire to something. Volunteering is one option that can have numerous benefits. In fact, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service, volunteering plays a greater role in overall health than marriage, income, or education level. Here are some reasons why you should consider volunteering in retirement.
Benefits for Your Body
Volunteering can be a way to maintain – or increase – your amount of physical activity. If you spent most of your time sitting at a desk inside, outdoor activities could be a welcome change. Or, if you already have a hobby you enjoy, consider using it to serve your community. If you already enjoy gardening, you might consider volunteering to plant flowers around town. If you already like to hike, you might consider leading group hikes. How good could volunteering be for you? According to the CDC, volunteering in retirement can actually decrease your chances of health risks like heart disease.
Benefits for Your Mind
While working full-time can be time consuming, it also provides a much-needed structure for many people. Replacing that structure is part of transitioning into retirement, which is no small task. With the loss of this structure often comes the loss of social interactions and sense of accomplishment. Volunteering is one possible antidote, as it often involves working with other retirees to make an impact in your community or in the lives of others. In fact, the Corporation for National and Community Service found that 67% of retirees went from experiencing a lack of companionship to having meaningful social interactions after volunteering.
Benefits for Your Community
Of course, the benefits of volunteering aren’t just for you – they’re primarily for the community and others. You’ll never know how your time and talents could impact those around you until you look for an opportunity. Whether it’s a Rotary club, gardening club, the local YMCA, or a charity, there are options to donate your time.
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