I recently wrote a blog post discussing how to help your clients have a successful and fulfilling retirement, especially when considering the unpredictability of the future. After it posted, one of the comments suggested including the importance of philanthropy and giving back for having a fulfilling retirement, and I couldn’t agree more.
One of the most rewarding things retirees can do that can fill the calendar and the heart is giving back. As I’ve traveled the country, some of the happiest people I meet are dedicated to giving back—they have found a deeper sense of purpose and their lives seem more complete. There are several different ways to give back that can help your clients find purpose during retirement, whether it’s with money, time, or knowledge.
People usually think of giving back as a monetary commitment, so this can be an easy way to begin the conversation. You can start by asking your client a simple question: Are you passionate about certain charities or causes? From there, you can discuss ways they can make contributions, from simple recurring donations, to something more complex like creating a foundation that can continue to be managed by their family for generations. The ability for clients to establish charitable funds, set up family foundations, or simply donate to a charity can provide that sense of fulfillment they may be missing.
Make Time Fly By
When most people dream of their retirement, they may see endless amounts of time with which they can finally do whatever they want. But like all good things, eventually the honeymoon phase of retirement will come to an end, and these clients may be at a loss for how to stay busy. The answer may be volunteering. There are endless non-profits that are eager for committed volunteers, such as local shelters, food banks, or even libraries. As an advisor, it might be beneficial to research local non-profits in your area to be able to match clients with, or to provide a few ideas for your clients to run with, based on what they’re passionate about.
Teach a Man to Fish
Another way for your clients to stay busy and give back to the community is to pass on the knowledge and skills they have acquired over the years to others. Can they speak another language, or are they great at math? Ask your clients what skills they have, and discuss ways they could give back, such as tutoring at a local school or helping the less fortunate practice interviewing or learn other skills to help them get back on their feet. You could also suggest that they become a retirement mentor to new retirees who are going through similar challenges that they themselves went through. This can be a great way to not only have your clients serve their communities, but also expand their social network.
The ability to help someone else is becoming a passion for more and more individuals, and could be just what your retired client needs to become engaged in life again. Although retirement can be a difficult adjustment for some, as their advisor, you can help keep them from falling into this Groundhog Day-like rut by discussing ways they can find purpose and fill their time.