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Volunteering After Retirement

Volunteering After Retirement

April 17, 2015

You’ve finally retired – congratulations! However, retirement (as you’ve discovered) isn’t your cup of tea. The time off you’ve spent has been largely boring, and according to Forbes, the United Kingdom’s Institute of Economic Affairs found in a study that 40 percent of those who have retired suffer from depression, and a full 60 percent have health problems after they retire.

Part of it is that all of our lives we get used to doing something. When we retire, we suddenly have nothing to do — something we’re not used to. Oh sure, we plan on getting up late, getting things done around the house, or maybe traveling, but that quickly leads to boredom.

How to Keep Yourself Active

One way to keep yourself active and healthy is to volunteer. You’ve gained wisdom and experience throughout your life, and you can give back to the community by simply volunteering your time. Our work often defines us and gives us an identity, and when we retire, we often lose that sense of identity and feel at a loss. By volunteering, not only do you feel useful, but you often have something valuable to contribute.

What Do You Want to Accomplish?

Before you go out and volunteer, it’s important that you know what you hope to accomplish in your volunteer work. You should also choose something that you are good at doing. This way, you don’t feel discouraged. If you know nothing about the type of volunteering you’re doing, it’s unlikely that the organization will benefit from your service, and you are more likely to become discouraged because of the results. You need to choose something you know and enjoy.

Finding the Right Organization to Volunteer With

The best way to find the right volunteering opportunity, is to ask your friends, relatives, and neighbors. Maybe your church or local food bank needs help with something. Maybe there’s a particular cause you want to help out with. In this way, you can probably find something that will work for you.

Where to Start Your Search

If your search has come up empty, there are plenty of services that will help you find the right volunteer activities. Here are some reputable search engines and volunteer pages that will help you find the perfect volunteer job for you:

  • Serve.gov — this website is operated through the US Government and will help you find volunteer opportunities.
  • AmeriCorps Senior Corps — this website is also operated through the US Government and is aimed at retirees who are looking to volunteer their time.
  • VolunteerMatch — this website is operated as a nonprofit and allows you to search more than 90,000 nonprofits for volunteer work.
  • Points of Light Foundation — Another nonprofit organization, this one was founded by President George H. W. Bush; it helps those who wish to volunteer and matches them to organizations.

As you can see, there is still much purposeful work to be done, even after you retire. However you can give back is perfect – someone can always use the help!

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