The View From Unretirement: Where are the retirees? Volunteerism among retirees is shockingly low. And that hurts everyone.

by | Sep 27, 2023 | Stock Market

There are lots of ways people keep busy after they retire: spending time with their grandchildren, golfing, traveling, researching their family tree, taking college courses — and let’s not forget playing pickleball. But there’s one thing retirees don’t seem to be doing much of, and that’s volunteering. Only 26% of the nation’s 70 million retirees volunteer, despite the fact that the group represents “the greatest concentration of knowledge, experience and emotional intelligence in the nation’s history,” said Ken Dychtwald, chief executive of the consulting firm AgeWave and co-author of the book “What Retirees Want: A Holistic View of Life’s Third Age.”

Meanwhile, he noted that the average U.S. retiree watches 47 hours of television a week. “It’s shameful,” he told me. “We created a vision for retirement in which older people were given no useful purpose.” Dychtwald, who is 73, would like to see a global elder corps dedicated to raising the volunteer rate among 100 million retirees around the world. Volunteering rates in the U.S. aren’t just low among retirees, either: The rate for all ages is 23%, down from 30% from 2017 to 2019. Read: Cuddling babies in intensive care: Volunteers are part of ‘an amazi …

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