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Combine Hobbies and Volunteering for More Purpose in Retirement

Combine Hobbies and Volunteering for More Purpose in Retirement

April 26, 2024

Many retirees organize their new schedules around their hobbies and interests. Rather than squeezing all your practice and learning into off hours and weekends, you can now invest more of your time into the activities that can make this new stage of your life more fulfilling. 

You can also use your unique skill set to give back and help causes that are trying to improve Return on Life for your greater community. Orienting volunteer work around the things you do best could help you find new meaning and satisfaction in your hobbies while also creating new social connections that can deepen your retirement experience. 

Here are some examples of the synergies retirees can create between what they love to do and what their community needs:


Share your love of reading with adults who are trying to make a positive change in their lives. The teaching curricula that many adult literacy programs use can give you a fascinating new perspective on how words work, block by block. And as your students progress, you gain a new appreciation for the power of story and the importance of communication. 

Animal Lovers

If your dog or cat spends more time on the couch than you do, find some younger, more enthusiastic playmates at your local animal shelter. There may be opportunities to walk, groom, and feed animals, or to help on the administrative side to find your new furry friends good homes. 

Doctors, Dentists, and Nurses

Take a couple weekly shifts at a nearby free clinic or senior center. Connect with organizations like the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders and work on a major healthcare mission at home or abroad. 


Put your green thumb to work outside your backyard. Volunteer to help neighbors with their own lawn care needs or gardening projects. Turn that patch of weeds at the end of your block into a community garden. Volunteer at your local parks and recreation department or nature center. 


Your favorite nonprofit or charity might need a new logo, or some graphic design work for its next big campaign. You could also offer to teach a class at your local senior center or start a new after-school program for kids and teenagers. Neighbors might appreciate your help adding a splash of color to a bare wall or a peeling fence.


ChatGPT has not replaced you yet! Charitable orgs and schools still need wordsmiths who can create and edit professional copy. You could also start a local writers circle to encourage other writers and get feedback on your own budding masterpiece. 


Help homebound friends, family, or neighbors do their weekly grocery shopping. Cook healthy meals for folks who cannot or folks who need a little extra help, like new moms or a neighbor who is on the mend. Organize a monthly potluck dinner that rotates through your neighborhood, bringing people together to share good food and new recipes.


Are your own grandkids too far away for a daily visit? Spend part of your week subbing at your local grade school. Many states facing high demand offer accelerated paths toward earning a substitute teaching license. If you do not want to teach, volunteer in the lunchroom, library, or at after-school programs. 

And when you do spend time with your grandkids, give them some one-one-one instruction on hobbies you might be able to share. Paint, sculpt, or woodwork together. Start a family book club. Take them on a run and show them your half-marathon training schedule. Straighten out their drives and strengthen their backhands. 

These kinds of activities may not fit a traditional definition of “giving back,” but helping your grandkids grow is certainly a very high use of your talents. 

What hobbies and causes do you want to organize your retirement around? Visit our offices and we can start designing your Ideal Week in Retirement. 

About Greg

Greg Allen is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, Life-Centered Financial Planner, Managing Member, and second-generation owner of Wellstone Wealth Management, a life-centered financial planning firm that takes a unique Return on Life (ROL) approach to help their clients live the best life possible with the money they have. With over 20 years of experience, Greg holds fast to his mission of helping clients plan their finances around their lives, instead of the other way around, resulting in fulfillment, confidence, and a meaningful life. Greg also provides a caring, trusted long-term relationship and life-centered financial behavioral counseling. He specializes in working with people who have recently retired or are close to it (typically five years or less) and relates well to corporate executives and upper-management couples who often have complicated financial pictures and need help maximizing their wealth, reducing their taxes, and preparing for retirement so they can maintain their ideal lifestyle. 

When he is not helping his clients find meaning and purpose, you can find Greg spending time with his friends and family, especially his wife, Sandy, children, and grandchildren. As a native Oregonian, Greg loves the outdoors, visiting the Oregon Coast, and retreating to their family cabin in the mountains. He enjoys staying involved with his church, reading, watching sports, and anything to do with exercise and wellness. To learn more about Greg, connect with him on LinkedIn.

Information provided herein is provided by Wellstone Wealth Management, LLC. This information is for general informational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Information was compiled from third-party sources believed to be reliable and accurate but cannot be guaranteed. Investment advisory services are offered through Wellspring Advisors, Inc., an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Neither Wellstone Wealth Management, LLC nor Wellspring Advisors, Inc. render any legal, accounting, or tax advice. All investments involve risk, are not guaranteed, and may lose value. We recommend that all investors consult with a qualified adviser to assess your personal situation before implementing any strategy.

Please remember to contact your advisor when your financial circumstances or objectives change. Your advisor may recommend adjustments to your financial planning and investment strategies to better suit your current situation.