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Ingleside at Rock Creek Blog

IRC Blog
Posted: Wednesday, September 23, 2020

5 ways to give back and enrich your retirement life

Retirement can be one of the happiest times of your life. After a successful career, raising a family and carrying the responsibilities that go along with both, it’s easy to see why people look forward to a refocused lifestyle.

But for most retirees, their choice is not to only pursue a life full of leisure, fun and grandchildren. In fact, their priority is often to discover what could bring meaning and fulfillment.

And for many, that answer is found in giving back.

Elements of a successful retirement

A thriving retirement life usually relies on having the right pieces in place, including good health, the right home and lifestyle, solid finances and a strong network.

But having the opportunity, and the time, to give back to their community also ranks high for those who are living their dream retirement. Why do they do it? Several studies have found the following reasons:

  • It’s fulfilling and provides a greater purpose in life

  • It can make a difference for others

  • It can provide a significant source of happiness

  • It creates a higher sense of self-esteem

  • It may lower incidences of depression

  • It provides an opportunity to meet others and form new friendships

5 ways to give back in your retirement

Thinking about what options there might be for you? Consider these suggestions:

1. Become a volunteer

Ask organizations that support your favorite cause if you can contribute your time in a hands-on capacity. Or if you can’t decide where to start, try one of these ideas:

  • Help a child become a better reader at your local elementary school

  • Become a senior companion to older adults in your community

  • Volunteer at a National Park, if there’s one nearby

  • Volunteer while you travel, such as teaching English in India or volunteering at a Navajo Nation school in Arizona

  • Build a home with Habitat for Humanity

  • Make or serve meals at a local church or community program for the homeless

  • Log-in food donations or assist shoppers at your local food bank

2. Give to charity

Although many retirees volunteer their time and talents, the truth is that most charities still rely on financial backing to remain operational. And the good news for them is that retirees can be counted on to continue doing just that.

One study found that those who’ve already established gifting to charity most likely will continue, even when other expenditures change or decline. Donations and other charitable giving are important parts of retirement planning for many.

Check with your financial advisor but you may be able to make a qualified charitable contribution as a portion of your required minimum distribution from a 401(k) or traditional IRA. If you meet the qualifications, this donation may also free you from paying income tax on that money.

3. Donating your skills and experience

You have a lifetime of acquired and perfected expertise. Review the skills you’ve honed over the years and consider which ones you could share with others.

If you were an accountant, you might donate your experience to your church or local organizations that assist others with tax preparation. A teacher? Maybe you could volunteer to tutor those learning English as a second language. If your forte is raising money, there are non-profits who could really use your capabilities.

There are also organizations online that can match your skills with those in need. Their projects range from video editing, writing press releases or finance. And many contributions are made virtually.

4. Mentor the young

Spend time helping those who may be following in your footsteps. Does your company offer a mentoring program? If not, look for other opportunities to advise someone just starting out in a career or who are trying to make the leap into higher management.

You can also mentor beyond the work world. Consider volunteering at a school to help young students practice their math skills. Offer to come in and talk to high school students who may be considering going into your profession. Having someone who can speak to the advantages and pitfalls in life can be a priceless value.

And don’t underestimate another great benefit you’ll be offering as a mentor. In the U.S., our impression of growing older is typically based on misperceptions. You’ll be able to show firsthand what it’s really like.

5. Sharing your sense of purpose

Revealing life’s tough lessons, gifts and possible purpose allows you to be a role model or a source of inspiration. The world can never have too many of those.

But if you’re still struggling now that you’ve left work, you’ll want to explore all the opportunities you haven’t had time for in the past. And if you haven’t figured out your purpose yet, don’t worry. Following these steps can lead you there. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What social issues are most important to you?

  • How could you contribute to making the world a better place?

  • What talents do you have that you haven’t been able to use yet?

  • What would you regret most if you missed out on the chance to do it?

  • Do you feel there is something missing from your life?

Choosing the right support for the lifestyle you love

The importance of living an engaged and fulfilling retirement can’t be overstated. Finding and experiencing what gives your life meaning can play the largest role in bringing happiness into your retirement. But make sure you set yourself up for success.

If you’re considering a move to an independent living community, the right one will support your endeavors. Schedule a tour and discuss with the staff how they encourage their residents to live their best engaged life.

Ingleside at Rock Creek Independent Living

At Ingleside, our community is designed to support your plan to embrace all that retirement has to offer. Ask us how we can help you discover opportunities to give back to others. You’ll find all that you need for your retirement’s strong foundation, including a beautiful home, nutritious and delicious meals, as well as a fitness center, health facilities and amenities that can help you thrive.

Call (202) 905-0018 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.


Ingleside at Rock Creek: Engaged Living




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