The number of retirees seeking volunteer work is on the rise. In a recent Consumer Reports survey, two-thirds of respondents between the ages of 55 and 70 said that they planned to volunteer during their retirement.
Volunteering can help keep people of any age active and engaged in their communities – two factors that can keep you healthy as you age. Learn more about getting started with volunteering below.
Why do Retirees Volunteer?
Retirees can choose to pursue volunteer work for a number of reasons. A common one? Many retirees ultimately find retirement to be more boring than expected without a consistent work schedule.
Tom Sightings of U.S. News & World Report explains that volunteer work also serves as a way for retirees to build social connections. A recent survey found that 85 percent of retirees made new friends by volunteering.
Existing friendships can also convince retired people to volunteer. Nanci Hellmich of USA Today says that many retirees ask their friends to join them.
Benefits of Volunteering During Retirement
Volunteers find that their work offers numerous benefits, the most obvious being a sense of purpose, says Sightings. But the benefits of volunteering extend beyond emotional health.
According to research from the University of Calgary, retirees who volunteer have a reduced risk of developing dementia. During a recent survey, three-quarters of retired respondents said volunteering made them feel more physically healthy, explains Sarah Max of Time.
Volunteering can even present financial benefits. Certain volunteer positions provide VIP access to events or free admittance to local attractions, says Max.
Drawbacks of Volunteering
Despite volunteering’s numerous benefits, it can have a few drawbacks. The most notable of these disadvantages is the time commitment. Thomas C. Corley of Investopedia writes that many retirees are not ready for or aware of the amount of time a volunteer position requires.
For this reason, Consumer Reports suggests that retirees start out small with temporary volunteer work to see if they are ready for an extended volunteer position. Robert Laura of Forbes recommends that volunteers have an exit plan in place so they can easily leave a volunteer position if necessary.
How to Find the Right Volunteer Position
Before signing up for a volunteer position upon retirement, you should first determine what kind of job you want. Consumer Reports explains that the best volunteer positions make use of your employment background.
Of course, this only applies if you enjoyed your line of work. Laura notes that many volunteers who return to the field from which they retired quickly rediscover why they wanted to retire in the first place.
He also recommends keeping your physical limitations in mind when volunteering for work. Many retirees are unable to handle physical labor, which is required for some volunteer positions.
Need Retirement Planning Help?
By signing up for volunteer work, you could add a healthy dose of fulfillment and purpose to your retirement. And if you’re working toward that retirement but could use some assistance getting there, Minster Bank can help.
Learn more about our retirement planning services and see how we could get you on the path to a better retirement.
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