Volunteering is not only beneficial for the people and organizations that receive help. It also benefits volunteers mentally, socially and physically. These benefits are especially important when it comes to retired volunteering.
Volunteering in retirement: what are the benefits?
In France, around 31% of people over 65 are volunteers within an association. Such a commitment rate is largely explained by the benefits that such an activity offers to seniors.
Still feel useful to others
Helping others is for many seniors a way of find new meaning in their life. For many former workers, retirement is indeed seen as an end. No longer feeling useful, many people are looking for new daily motivations. For all of these people, volunteering in retirement is therefore a good way to remain useful to others.
As a senior, knowing that you are contributing to the well-being of others can be very rewarding.
A contribution to the development of his community
Becoming a volunteer also allows get started in a cause that is close to your heart. Many associations are looking, for example, for animal lovers to take care of those abandoned in shelters.
In winter, patrols are regularly organized by humanitarian associations to help the homeless. A helping hand to prepare, clean or even serve is never too much. For those who like to help children, homework help missions are also commonly organized in the municipalities.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of other positions that one can occupy as a volunteer retiree:
Workshop leader for people in difficulty;
Reader for blind or elderly people;
French language teacher to foreigners;
Administrator, secretary or accountant with an association;
Visitor of single people at home, in hospital or in prison.
Volunteering in retirement is therefore also contribute to the development of positive impact projects in its municipality, city or region.
An opportunity to grow personally
Volunteering is a good way to pass it on to the next generation the knowledge and experience accumulated over the years. But it is also, for many, the opportunity to acquire new knowledge or expertise that they did not have time to explore earlier. This is the time to take on new challenges, get out of your comfort zone and live new experiences…
Many benefits for physical health
According to a European study, retirees over 50 who volunteer see their delayed signs of aging from two to three years. This type of activity also helps to preserve the memory and intellectual capacities of the elderly for longer.
Indeed, moving for a few hours in a park or participating in a fundraiser allows the body to stay active. That reduces the risk of illnesses linked to a sedentary lifestyle such as cardiovascular disorders, obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure.
Read also : 10 tips for preparing for retirement at 40-45
An effective solution against depression
Retirement often marks a major change in the pace of life. Many retirees withdraw from their social activities, lose contact with others and spend their days alone. These are all factors favorable to depression.
Studies have shown that 10 to 15% of French people over 65 suffer from depression. Among those over 75 years of age, the rate of individuals suffering from major depression increases to 20%.
But this is not inevitable. It is possible to maintain good mental health through volunteering in retirement.
Helping others and getting involved in useful causes allows seniors to keep in touch with society. They thus find a valid reason to leave their homes regularly and to meet new people. They can build new friendships, remove feelings of loneliness and keep the zest for life.
How to find an association and become a volunteer when you retire?
In France, we count more than a million active associations. You will therefore have no trouble finding an association near your home. Simply inquire with your town hall. In fact, local administrations generally make a list of associations.
If you are familiar with the computer tool, you can do an online search to find the associations closest to your home. However, before committing to volunteer, it is important to consider the following criteria:
your points of interest
There are 4 main types of associations:
Charitable and humanitarian associations;
Cultural, sports or leisure associations;
Education, training and integration associations;
Associations for the defense of rights and the environment.
Choose the ones that best match your aspirations and passions.
Some associations and some volunteer positions require specific skills. Within this framework, the know-how accumulated throughout professional life can be very useful. Many associations, for example, need professionals in IT, marketing, law and various other fields.
You might as well say it right away, there is no shame in devoting only a few hours or a few days a month, or even a year, to your volunteer activities. Indeed, in terms of volunteering, consistency is more important than availability. Even if you only have three hours to devote to a association per week, the main thing is to stick to it.
Finally, although retired volunteering is not remunerated, some associations compensate their members for the costs incurred in the performance of a mission. Volunteers who renounce it can, under certain conditions, benefit from an income tax reduction of 66% of the amount disbursed.
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