What to do after your retirement? Volunteer work!

When you’re retired, you have tons of time. Some eagerly look forward to this period when they can do all kinds of things that they didn’t get around to during their ‘working life’; making beautiful bike rides, refurbishing a boat, finally sorting and pasting those thousands of photos, take an inspiring trip or breathe new life into an old hobby. But it is also possible that you miss the daily structure of ‘going to work’. You’re not the only one. The lack of social and social value that working brought with it is common to many retirees. Volunteering can then offer a solution.

What is volunteering?

Volunteering can help you meet new people. Where it used to be normal for you to meet (new) people on a daily basis, this is no longer a matter of course after you retire. A great opportunity to expand or strengthen your social network! In addition, volunteering can help you learn new skills and keep you socially relevant. Research also shows that volunteering increases self-confidence and even helps to resist illness and stress.

Why volunteer after your retirement?

In your working life, you may have had little or no time to volunteer. But the fact that you are (or are going to) retire offers opportunities and possibilities. Volunteering comes in many different types; from supporting people in need to contributing to charities or institutions. There are also various options with regard to time use. Maybe you want to do something daily or do you choose to volunteer once every two weeks? Even a small investment of time can ensure that you can help others and also experience the benefits yourself.

The benefits of volunteering after retirement

Volunteering after retirement has several benefits:

Volunteering expands your social network
By volunteering, you connect – depending on the type of volunteering – with a particular community. In most cases you never do volunteer work alone. By helping other people (or animals!) – together with others – you can make a difference. You get to know new people and stay socially involved. And because you keep meeting (new) people, you also continue to practice and develop your social skills.

Volunteering brings joy of life and health benefits
Volunteering has a positive effect on both mental and physical health. Research shows that volunteering helps counteract the effects of stress, anger and anxiety and that working with others improves your mood. Volunteering provides (more) joy in life: helping others also helps yourself.

Volunteering also helps to stay physically healthy. Depending on the type of volunteer work, you walk or cycle more, or perform more physical activity.

Volunteering teaches you new skills
Volunteering can help to acquire new knowledge and insights. You are challenged to learn new skills that you can apply in other situations. Think, for example, of project planning, problem-solving, teaching, applying sales techniques, certain technical developments, organizing an event, etc. etc.

Volunteering after your retirement | Examples

Volunteering is plentiful. Many companies, institutions, foundations, private initiatives and associations are continuously looking for volunteers. From board positions to hands-on shifts, the possibilities are virtually endless. It is important to choose something that you find useful and interesting to do yourself. It is also important to know in advance what is expected of you. Think for yourself what kind of volunteer work you would like to do. Do you want to work with children, adults or animals? From home or at a specific location? Alone or rather in collaboration with others? How much time do you want to spend on it? What is your goal in volunteering?

Here are some options for volunteering after your retirement:

  • Language coach
    Are you good with language? Then you might like to share this knowledge with others. As a language coach or volunteer you help others improve skills such as reading, speaking and writing. Think, for example, of correctly drafting a cover letter, reading to children, preparing for an interview, translating a document, etc. etc. Libraries and institutions for newcomers in the Netherlands are often looking for language volunteers.
  • Host/hostess or guide
    Do you like to help others and do you enjoy welcoming and/or informing others? Then start working as a host/hostess or guide in, for example, a museum or library.
  • animal buddy
    Are you a real animal lover? Then volunteering with animals is definitely a great option. Think, for example, of helping to care for animals in an animal shelter, offering support as a driver or co-driver of the animal ambulance or giving lessons about animal welfare. Also abroad there are often many opportunities for volunteering with animals.
  • Board position
    Do you have experience in your working life as a board member or would you like to learn this? Then a board position at an association or foundation is a good option. From card clubs to walking clubs and from cooking initiatives to charitable foundations, many associations and foundations are looking for board members. on volunteerwork.nl you will find more information and opportunities for volunteering after your retirement.

A valuable use of your time

Your pension can be structured in many different ways. Volunteering – in whatever form – makes for a meaningful use of time with several benefits. However, keep in mind that you only spend the amount of time that you feel comfortable with. Volunteering should feel like a fun and rewarding hobby – a valuable use of your time – not something you MUST do.

We like to think along with you

With the Essenburgh Pension training in sight, we will discuss – together with you – the various aspects of retirement, such as health, saying goodbye and how you plan your retirement. The perfect preparation for your well-deserved retirement.

Knowing more? View the different Pension in Sight training courses. Or download the (free) checklist on the right and find out immediately how well you are already prepared for your retirement.

Avatar photo
Ans Withaar

Do you have any questions?
Please contact us.