As it’s Volunteers’ Week, we thought we’d explore some volunteering activities for retirees. Whether you are retired or about to retire, becoming a volunteer is a great way to give back to your local community and raise awareness of a specific cause. We look at several volunteering ideas to give you some inspiration.
- Charity shop
One of the easiest ways to volunteer is to start by helping out at a local charity shop. If you don’t want to serve customers, you could help by sorting and pricing incoming stock. You could choose a non-profit organisation that’s close to your heart.
- Food bank
If you enjoy keeping fit, then helping to stock shelves at a local foodbank is a great way to give back to your community. You could also get involved in local fundraising opportunities, either face-to-face or through social media.
- Befriending schemes
Charities like Age UK run a befriending service, where you would be matched to an older person, and you would visit or phone them regularly. Loneliness is a big problem for older people, especially when they don’t have family living nearby.
- Countryside maintenance
Many local authorities rely on volunteers to help them maintain local parkland and conservation areas. You might get involved in pruning hedgerows, managing woodland, building fences, and helping to clear canals or riverbanks.
- Handy person
If you have good DIY skills, there are various community-run buildings that need volunteers to help with minor maintenance jobs. Some organisations run schemes for warden-aided or sheltered housing, where you can help older people in their homes.
- Gardening tasks
If you have green fingers, there are plenty of care homes that rely on volunteers to help them manage their gardens. Planting flowers, shrubs and even vegetables are a great way of bringing joy to the residents, who will benefit from your garden work.
- Endangered species
If you’re looking for a real adventure and want to preserve endangered species, there are plenty of volunteering opportunities overseas. You could support conservation projects helping lions in Africa, turtles in Seychelles and lemurs in Madagascar.
There are so many more ways you can volunteer and the above is only a small selection. So, it’s worth searching online to see what opportunities are available to you locally.
How to get started as a volunteer
First, think about the reasons why you want to volunteer. You may have certain skills that you can use, or you might want to learn new ones. Some people enjoy the social aspect, as it can be a great way to make new friends. Socialising and staying active is very important for older people, as this can help to prevent both physical and mental illnesses.
Many people relish the opportunity of helping their local community. You could choose to help a charity that has a personal connection or a special meaning. This could be a non-profit organisation supporting sufferers of a specific illness, children or animals.
How many hours a week are you prepared to volunteer? You would usually be expected to commit to a regular amount of time, but there might be opportunities where you can provide ad hoc support. Once people start volunteering, they usually find it very rewarding.
Funding your retirement
Whatever volunteering opportunity you choose, you will need to make sure you have enough funds to last you throughout your retirement. If you’re semi-retired, or retirement is on the horizon, there are ways you can make the most of your current income and savings.
Our financial planning team will carry out a review of your finances to see where you are now and your desired income when you retire. We will look at any existing pensions, savings, investments and debts, including your remaining mortgage balance. Together, we will create a plan based on your lifestyle and any plans you have for your retirement.
Have you already retired? Why not download our Already Retired guide? This guide contains several areas you should be considering for your retirement. Being retired shouldn’t mean switching off from thinking about your financial future. Make sure you have a financial plan in place; this should be reviewed on an annual basis or after any big life event.
If you would like a financial review to help you plan for your retirement, get in touch to speak to our financial planners.