Volunteering Has No Age Limit

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If you’re busy working a full-time job still, this lesson is not for you… today. But it could be in a few years, if you’re planning to retire one day, and you are wondering what to do with your extra time.

Non-profit organizations are always looking for new volunteers, and usually there’s no age limit on who can volunteer their time. Not only is volunteering a wonderful way to do good for the world, getting out in the world will do good for your brain. In fact, hundreds of organizations are in desperate need of older and wise volunteer feet on the ground.

For many retired people, volunteering offers a chance at a second life, where the expectations of time and emotional investment are more flexible than those experienced during the career years.

Most retirees who take on volunteer roles do so in order to pursue a passion or calling that was hard to find time for before retirement. Many people also feel the desire to give back to the community. You might be interested in volunteering for its altruistic benefits, but volunteering can also give back to your brain. Volunteering is associated with some social benefits that protect you against cognitive decline.

Life doesn’t have to end at retirement. Sometimes, it’s simply the beginning of chapter 2. And one of the best things you can do for your brain and your life is to take a big leap and get out there and live it.

References

  • Middleton, L. E., & Yaffe, K. (2009). Promising strategies for the prevention of dementia. Archives of Neurology, 66(10), 1210–1215. doi: 10.1001/archneurol.2009.201
  • Seaman, P. M. (2012). Time for my life now: early Boomer women’s anticipation of volunteering in retirement. The Gerontologist, 52(2), 245–254. doi: 10.1093/geront/gns001