Words from Sam
If not now, when?
Ah sweet summertime. Whether you are laying on the beach, enjoying a day on the lake or dining in a fabulous restaurant in a beautiful downtown city, everyone can find something to love about summer. Summer offers us no pressure. We are free to do what we love.
For many of us, when we imagine retirement, we think of it as the summertime of our lives. We imagine that we will leave behind the stress and anxiety working can bring. We image free time to enjoy the people we love along with activities we love. But often the reality of retirement isn’t quite like the dream.
According to a study published by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, the number of retirees who describe their retirement as “very satisfied” dropped from 60.5% in four years to 48.6%. The number of retires who described themselves as completely dissatisfied increased from 8% to about 10% during the same time frame.
There are many messages available to retirees and pre-retirees about money management. Firms offer 401Ks to employees. Parents discuss saving with their children. Most people understand the need for a solid financial plan during retirement. What most people don’t know is how retirement may affect them mentally. Many retirees, regardless of financial position, can find themselves developing feelings of boredom or even depression during retirement. So what can be the contributors to dissatisfaction in retirement? But more importantly, what can we do to achieve the highest level of satisfaction for ourselves in our retirement?
Many people spend most of their adult lives driven by their careers. Many successful people define themselves largely through their jobs. When we retire, we can’t always recapture the satisfaction and meaning we were able to achieve during our careers. Some feel they no longer have purpose; they are no longer working toward goals. Having purpose in life is a key factor in happiness. There are a variety of things we can do to enhance our satisfaction during retirement. Experts offer their advice. Travel. Develop a new hobby. Move to a retirement community. Join a gym. Go back to school. While all of these things can bring satisfaction, I believe there is one thing we can do that trumps all others. Volunteer.
Volunteering helps us build connections with others. You build relationships with those you are able to help and can cultivate friendships with other volunteers. It can strengthen communities. It improves your sense of self-worth. It can leverage your knowledge. Volunteering can help you recapture the satisfaction and meaning you wear able to achieve through working.
What do you love?
Over this next year, we at Carolinas Wealth want to invite you to share your volunteer experiences. Tell us where you volunteer, why, and how others can get involved. Finding a place to make a difference is part of the important journey of enjoyment. Please help us spread the word about opportunities than can enrich the lives of others.
If you would like to participate, please call or email Ann Duckett. Get your favorite volunteer spot featured in the next newsletter. In the meantime, continue to make friends with your future by doing what you love!