If you think retirement could be boring, you haven’t thought enough about volunteering. It’s been a year since my last W2 paycheck, and there hasn’t been a day I have been bored.Besides retirement making more time for my many hobbies and naps, I sort of fell into volunteering. I say “fell into” because during my working years, I rarely spent any time with volunteer organizations. I had a job! It seems obvious, but if you’re retired, you’ve probably got some things going for you that’d make volunteering fun and worthwhile. You have time; you have skills; you have interests; and people need help. Also, if you’re doing something, you’re less likely to drive your spouse nuts.
I’ll use my own experience as an example; maybe it’ll provide some inspiration. I’ve been hiking for 40 years and always marveled at how well the trails in N. Cal are maintained. It seems that volunteers do most of the maintaining. I wanted to pay back the world for all the great hiking, and so I volunteered at a local county park. One morning a week a team of volunteers grab their tools and work on the trails. Since raising my hand, other opportunities at the park came up. Website and marketing work was needed, and I have that background. Visitor center docents are needed, and I like to meet with and talk with “outdoor” people who are having fun. And so on. Just at this one park, there are all kinds of opportunities to help out. And I’m learning a ton about the local flora, fauna, and natural history. Tomorrow, I’ll install a door closer on a porta-potty, but it’s not always that glamorous.
One thing you’ll probably notice from your volunteering … people will constantly thank you. That feels good. And you get karma points. So, find a place that combines what you’re good at with what you like, and never be bored again. Or go to one of the many websites that can help you make a match. And thanks in advance for volunteering!