Most of us wish we had been able to do more for our family and friends than our time and resources allowed in our working years. Perhaps you have experienced, as I have, an interest and desire to get involved in and make contributions to community projects and organizations and respond to needs and issues in other parts of the world.
The first step is to look at what you really would like to contribute so that your creativity can get to work on the “how.” Let’s start with a “blue sky” step.
Write down what you would like to contribute, if there were no limitation of resources, to each of the following categories. Think in terms of time, money, expertise, and anything else you might offer:
+ to your family and close friends
+ to causes that are dear to you (specify your priority causes)
+ to your community
+ to the world
Now separate these desired contributions into two categories:
1) things you can at least begin to do with the resources currently at your disposal, and
2) items requiring additional resources.
As you look at the lists, see what excites you the most in each. Write each of them down, leaving space to brainstorm and record ideas of how to begin making that contribution as soon as possible. This is another bridge into retirement that gives you purpose and enjoyment. Think of the joy and satisfaction to be gained from your contributions in areas that you feel strongly about. This is a powerful means of transforming your retirement into a time of giving and satisfaction.
As time goes on, work more with this list – thinking of creative ways to accomplish items on your list, exploring how to secure or leverage needed resources and finding others with similar interests. One of the by-products of reaching out and making a difference is meeting new people and gaining new friends.