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Time enough at last: Volunteering options for recent retirees

Nov 29, 2011, 9:33 a.m.

When you think about retirement, what are the first words that come to mind? For most people, those words are "At last!" But for people who relish the idea of staying busy and can't envision a life without work, their first thoughts might be something more along the lines of "What will I do with all that time?" If this sounds like you, hold tight. We've got an idea that just might float your boat: Volunteering.

Why waste all of the skills you worked all your life to develop when you could be putting them to use helping build homes in a Third World country or advising young entrepreneurs on how to grow their business? Regardless of your skill set, there are plenty of opportunities for you to use your knowledge. Here are a few suggestions on how to jumpstart your volunteering efforts if you're staring down the barrel of an impending retirement and you're dreading every passing day that brings you closer to it.

AARP -- The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is constantly on the lookout for people just like you who aren't ready to retire to the rocking chair and who want to stay busy giving back--whether that's by helping out at the local food bank or knitting blankets for needy kids.

The Peace Corps -- Since 1961, the Peace Corps has spread good will to the four corners of the globe. But if you think the Peace Corps is for youngsters, think again. It's never too late to get involved by working as a volunteer for the wide variety of education, health, business, agricultural and community initiatives that are the signature of the Peace Corps.

SCORE -- The Service Corps of Retired Executives gives you the chance to use the knowledge you spent an entire career building and puts you in the position of being a mentor for young businessmen and businesswomen.

Foster Grandparents -- Some people dream of being grandparents all their life, but they never get to experience it first-hand. Others love the job so much that they're willing to do it for as many kids as possible. If you'd like to try your hand at giving a little guidance and love to those in need of it, being a foster grandparent could turn out to be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.

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