Retirement is something everyone looks forward to. It allows you to do all the things you never had the time for. Whether that’s traveling, taking up a long-desired hobby or spending more time with the grandkids, you’ll be able to enjoy a lot more of life than when you were working. However, without a career to structure your days, you may find you have an abundance of time on your hands. Many seniors choose to fill that void by volunteering. Not only is it a great way to give back to your community, but it also offers you many personal benefits.
1. Improve Your Health
As you get older, physical activity becomes very important to help keep your body healthy. Volunteering will give you a chance to get out and move, and maintain your physical health. The National Institute on Aging has stated that participating in meaningful social activities, like volunteering, can improve longevity and your quality of life.
2. Bolster Your Emotional Well-Being
Volunteering isn’t just good for your body, it’s good for your mind. Many retirees often feel a lack of social companionship after leaving their jobs and co-workers and can be prone to depression. Getting out of the house and socializing is always a good idea no matter what your age, but for the retiree, it can be critical. The specific act of volunteering not only offers a return to social interactions with others, but it also gives you a sense of purpose. Helping others will do wonders for your emotional well-being and offers you a positive way to meet new people and build new relationships.
3. Help Build Intergenerational Relationships
As a senior, you have a lot of experience and wisdom to offer young people. By volunteering, you’ll be around folks of all ages and will have the opportunity to share stories and impart life lessons. Additionally, younger generations can also teach you a thing or two. Connecting with people from different generations is a great way to build connections and respect. Being around young people is also a great way to keep you feeling young!
4. Help Your Community
Volunteering has a positive effect on your community, especially if you offer your help in the areas of health, education and the environment. Committing your time will also help make your neighborhood stronger and more cohesive. By making friends with other volunteers and with the people you assist, you will help to transcend ethnic, class, and geographic lines which often divide communities.
5. Leave a Legacy
Taking the time to help do something that matters to you, and others is a great way to be remembered. As a volunteer, the good deeds you do may also inspire your children, grandchildren, friends, and others in your community. That’s the kind of legacy you can be proud of.
If you’re looking for volunteer opportunities, there are many resources available. Visit a site like VolunteerMatch.org to get started!