This post is a duplication of our newsletter, The Weekly Reset, where we review a key theme each week. In the spotlight this week: The great rewards of giving back in retirement. Do you think of giving back as being part of your retirement plan?
A note from Johann
Giving back by volunteering
A great option in grandparenthood
Retirees are most often also grandparents. If resetting retirement is our goal, then it should also make us look at the various roles of grand-parenting. By the age of around sixty and settling into the age of grand-parenting, we have to decide on the “job description” of working as a grandparent. As many grandparents know, there is the pleasure of spoiling grandchildren and being available to them during holidays and after their school. But there is a more profound way of building and establishing the relationship with grandchildren. It is by being involved together in giving back by volunteering. Our instinct as grandparents is to provide entertainment and pleasure for them, but the deeper, more character building contribution to their lives is to show them how privileged they are and what we can do for the welfare of those less privileged than us.
Volunteering is, in any case, a most rewarding involvement for someone who has the time to give to it. In retirement, a substantial involvement and a firm commitment to a welfare cause not only contribute to the wellbeing of society, but provide particular satisfaction to the individual too. Doing it with a grandchild alongside increases the pleasure.
In an age of post covid turmoil where many people have lost their means of income and where there are such large numbers of people that struggle, the needs are painfully evident. In a sense, handing some money or food to a beggar is a temporary way of creating some kind of release from the feelings of compassion. Volunteering can be more meaningful in the long-term but needs a more consistent commitment and a measure of devotion to a particular cause. Most major welfare problems seem to have organisations for people to be helped. Googling subjects like homelessness, drug abuse, gender based violence, and child welfare or whatever your sympathetic motivation may be will show the organisations in your area that service those needs and provide at least a starting point for your potential commitment.
I look at our three special grandchildren and think that from the comfort and security of a protective home, shepherding them into a compassionate awareness is a gift more important than the indulgence of treats and more superficial pleasures.
As we retirees are likely to live much longer in these times than our forefathers, we should do a realistic reckoning of what will give our lives meaning in the twenty or thirty years after leaving full-time work. Volunteering is one way that I have found as an outlet for meaningful interactions.
Our top pick this week:
What Seniors Get From Giving Back
Research shows how older volunteers can get the most out of their service.
‘Tang and her colleagues found that the volunteers reported significant improvements in their mental health, along with other socioemotional benefits ranging from a greater feeling of productivity to increased social activity to an overall sense that their life had improved.
Importantly, the researchers found that volunteers were far more likely to enjoy these benefits when the volunteer organization gave them adequate training, ongoing support, and greater flexibility in choosing activities and schedules. What’s more, the researchers found that volunteers of low socioeconomic status reported more socioemotional benefits than did volunteers of higher socioeconomic status.
Tang and her colleagues argue that, on a society-wide level, their study highlights the importance of offering emotionally meaningful volunteer opportunities for older adults, and for giving these volunteers adequate support and freedom. In this way, older adults are able to find purpose, satisfaction, and good health later in life at the same time that they give back to society.
“With the support from host organizations,” they write, “older volunteers are able to continue their efforts and contributions and derive satisfaction and emotional well-being from their volunteer experience.”’
Click here to read the whole article on Greater Good Magazine
Our Spotlight video:
The Great Rewards of Giving Back in Retirement
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15 Unexpected Benefits of Volunteering to Inspire Your
Most of us want to help those less fortunate than ourselves. We do not volunteer, for the most part, because it benefits us. We volunteer because it makes a difference.
But, there are even more benefits to volunteering. We notice a subtle shift in ourselves when we volunteer. We feel more connected to others, and we become less absorbed in the normal stresses of daily life. We share our experiences with others and want to help more.
Here are … proven benefits of volunteering. Maybe one of them will convince you to get off the couch and out the door to engage with your community.
- Volunteering Builds Community
- Ends Loneliness
- Increases Socializing
- Builds Bonds, Creates Friends
- Develops Emotional Stability
- Improves Self-Esteem
- Helps Those Most Affected By Mental Illness
- Promotes Longevity
- Reduces Risk of Alzheimer’s
- Leads to Graceful Aging
- Burns That Stubborn Belly Fat
- Volunteering Adds Fun to Your Years
Click here to read the article on The Balance Small Business
This week’s question
Are relationships one of the aspects you’re preparing for in your retirement?
Click here to answer the question in our Facebook group
Last week’s poll and finding: Do you think of giving back in retirement as your responsibility or an opportunity for meaningful interaction?
Most Popular Post of The Week
10 Little ways to become more generous
Click here to watch the full video on Becoming Minimalist
Most Popular Quote of The Week
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands — one for helping yourself, the other for helping others. – Audrey Hepburn
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