There’s only so much golf, croquet and bowling you can play in retirement. Luckily, the days when retirement was just seen as time spent reading, playing low activity sports and walking around town, are gone.
They might be fun and all, but according to most retirees, these recreational activities don’t give a strong meaning to their lives, something that is considered essential for a fulfilled life. Something that provides people with some sense of purpose is work, but many people lose it when they leave the workforce. Maybe this is the reason why 3 in 4 Americans said they intend to keep working past their traditional retirement age, according to a Gallup survey.
Another place where retirees can find meaningfulness is in volunteering work. According to the aforementioned Age Wave/Merrill Lynch study, seniors were three times more likely to feel happier and satisfied in retirement by “helping people in need” instead of “spending money on themselves.”
More than that, retirees giving money to charity or getting involved in volunteering activities felt more confident and fulfilled, happier and healthier.
Takeaway: Making a difference in other people’s lives can bring you a greater sense of self-worth, fulfillment and satisfaction. There are various ways you can lend a helping hand. A simple internet search can help you get in touch with various charities and non-profit groups in line with your requirements and preferences. For instance, VolunteerMatch.org provides volunteer information and listings right in your community, available by city and category, such as arts and culture, animals, health and seniors.