Retired man making food at a charity event

How to contribute to the community during retirement

Retirement can provide lifelong workers with a wonderful opportunity to relax, focus on hobbies and discover new interests. It’s also a perfect time to contribute to the community in a number of ways to help you stay active and engaged. In fact, plenty of retirees fill their days with part time jobs, committee work or volunteering.

As life expectancies continue to increase, retirement can easily end up taking you through a few decades, so it’s important to make the most of it and enjoy yourself. If you’re planning your retirement or know someone who is, here are a few options for ways you can contribute to your community.

Arts and culture volunteer. The arts community is always looking for volunteers to help support local initiatives. Visit your favourite gallery or museum to see if there are opportunities to work in ticket sales, do tours or provide general information to patrons. If you’re an arts lover, the added perk is free or discounted access to your favourite gallery!

Become a crosswalk attendant. Looking out for the safety of your fellow community members is a great way to stay connected, keep busy and get outdoors. Look for opportunities with your local schools or municipality.

Support local councils and committees. Do you feel strongly about women’s rights? Local arts? Whatever your passion is, there’s sure to be a council or committee that could use your contribution. Committee members have the potential to get involved in anything from general administration to helping plan events or charitable initiatives.

Volunteer at the hospital. Many retirees enjoy filling their days by brightening the days of hospital visitors and patients. Try looking into opportunities at the hospital gift shop or information desk. It’s a great opportunity to maintain a social network and give back to the community.

Share your knowledge. Regardless of your field of work, it’s certain that you’ve gained a lifetime of valuable knowledge that could benefit the next generation of learners. Look into opportunities to tutor students or even teach at a local college.

Provide childcare services. Being a working parent is a challenge. Assuming you’re still able to keep up with little ones, providing affordable childcare would help fulfill a need with busy families while helping you stay active and vibrant.

Research seasonal opportunities. Seasonal work provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy the best of both worlds. Relax and take up hobbies through the year and pick up a part time job during the holidays, for instance. This could mean working in a retail environment, collecting holiday donations or even playing the part of the mall Santa Claus!

One thing to keep in mind when taking on a paid position is that it might affect your monthly income from your pension or other social security plans. Do your homework, speak to a financial advisor and figure out what works best for your financial situation.

Retirement doesn’t have to mark the end of your career; it’s simply the beginning of a new period in your life. By exploring your options and finding ways to contribute to the community, you can be sure that it’s also one of the best periods.

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Pira Kumarasamy

Pira Kumarasamy, is a Toronto-based freelance writer and communications consultant in the financial space. She has a background in economics and enjoys making complex financial topics relatable to the average Canadian. Her areas of interest include financial markets, student loans and real estate. You can reach her on Twitter (@PiraKumarasamy) or LinkedIn.