Individuals often feel clueless after retiring. They try to find a way to spend time productively. And volunteering in retirement is one of the things people find most appealing. So, if you’re one of them, you might want to know more about it. This article will help you in this regard.

In this article, I’ll discuss both the pros and cons of volunteering in retirement, along with some other information you might find helpful.

The Pros and Cons of Volunteering

One can build a sense of purpose and identity in their life once again through volunteering. So, most retirees use volunteering to give their retirement periods some meaning.

However, volunteering in retirement has both its pros and cons. So, first, let’s discuss some of the pros of volunteering:

Keeps You Physically Fit

After retirement, volunteering can be a rewarding way to stay active and preserve overall physical health. It is a fantastic method to enhance your level of physical exercise. Volunteering in retirement might lower your risk of developing heart disease.

Furthermore, rather than relying solely on medical care, volunteering may assist you in managing chronic health concerns. For instance, retired people with chronic pain who started volunteering face fewer complications after beginning to volunteer.

Improves Mental Health

Volunteering can be beneficial to one’s psychological well-being. It keeps the mind engaged, which benefits one’s cognitive health. Senior citizens may have a reduced risk of developing dementia or other health issues by engaging in productive and meaningful activities.

Besides, many older people find it challenging to adapt during this transition. They were familiar with organized days filled with direction and understanding of their future steps. So, the unstructured days mindlessly attempting to fill a buzzing gap is a significant shift. However, volunteering increases one’s ability to handle stress.

Moreover, in a CNCS research, 67% of seniors who said they frequently felt lonely before volunteering reported having more meaningful social relationships due to their volunteer work. One year after starting to volunteer, the same research showed that 70% of people predisposed to depression had fewer symptoms.

Develops Relationships & Friendships

Making new acquaintances is among the main advantages of volunteering following retirement. Working with children, animals, or adults is just one of the many opportunities volunteering offers to meet individuals with your interests.

Here, it’s crucial to volunteer your skills and time for a cause you genuinely care about. If you’re passionate about the reason, you are much more capable of finding associates who share similar convictions.

You can meet new people at the volunteering organizations. Besides, you can also build connections at the retirement village you are staying in during the volunteering period.

Increases Confidence

Consider the last time you provided a service to another person without expectation of anything in return. Perhaps you gave your energy to a community kitchen or a school to read to children. Whatever that was, you were undoubtedly pleased with yourself when it was over.

As a result, older adults who volunteer have greater self-esteem and confidence. In the end, volunteering forces elders to step outside their comfort zone. It allows them to feel valued and helps them develop self-confidence.

Helps Build Useful Skills

Life has a lot to teach us. And volunteering is a fantastic method of learning new things. Moreover, it’s the ideal chance to broaden your views and explore something new.

You may remember a great deal by volunteering, regardless of your age. For example, you can discover new interests and recognize diverse viewpoints and situations. Additionally, you may identify your latent talents, learn new techniques, and exercise your brain.

So, following retirement, volunteering makes much more sense if you can increase your neuroplasticity while feeling more purposeful.

Volunteering in retirement has its downsides too. Now, let’s go over a few of them:

Utilizing Volunteers’ Goodwill for Personal Gain

Numerous employers take advantage of volunteers’ goodwill. Sometimes the organizations and their owners contain the funds intended for the people’s well-being. Even if some organizations are drowning in cash and lack ideas on how to use it, they continue to recruit volunteers to serve them.

Emotional Involvement

You will likely become emotionally involved when you volunteer to help young children, hospital patients, or abandoned animals in need. That’s not necessarily terrible. But it might affect your personal or professional life. It can make you unhappy or concerned for the people you’re attempting to assist.


There are various typical deterrents to volunteering, such as poor planning, a lack of instruction, and tasks that don’t match the volunteers’ passions or abilities. Another significant issue is that volunteers might become overly invested in their specific ideology. Thus, they could quickly lose their cool if others don’t appreciate their enthusiasm.

Besides, being unable to stay in a suitable place during volunteer work can also cause frustration. However, there are many retirement villages with fantastic facilities you can rent.

Volunteering Organizations in South Africa

Many beautiful organizations in South Africa depend on volunteers to maintain their everyday operations. Volunteering here is a tremendously satisfying way to spend your retirement with a purpose. The following are some of the best volunteering organizations in South Africa that you can try out:

Naturally Africa Volunteers

The Naturally Africa organization offers volunteer opportunities. It includes community outreach programs, teaching, animal conservation, sports, and healthcare. Volunteers of all skill levels are required to participate in the journey. Besides, they will take individuals on a life-altering experience and create life-long memories.

Wildlife ACT

Wildlife Act, which focuses on safeguarding endangered wildlife, offers an unforgettable African wildlife adventure. Moreover, it provides the chance to improve the quality of life for threatened animals.

Volunteers work in small teams in collaboration with wildlife monitors at game reserves. Their everyday tasks involve monitoring and tracking wildlife. The reward beats the work because volunteers acquire genuine conservation expertise.

The Door of Hope Children’s Mission

The Door of Hope provides hesitant mothers with an anonymous way to safely give up their newborns instead of merely abandoning them in trash cans or bushes by the roadside to improve the situation of abandoned babies throughout South Africa.

Volunteers are always requested to help with babysitting and the building of the local community.


By now, you’ve got to know the advantages and disadvantages of volunteering in retirement. However, the pros surely outweigh the cons. So, if you’re looking for a suitable place to stay while volunteering, you can contact Pinelands Grove.

They offer many facilities, along with proper safety and security. Thanks for reading through. Best wishes!