Saving the world as a second career 37



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Regardless of whether your retirement was well planned or if it was a surprise to you, there’s so many over 60s who don’t feel like they’re ready to give up life’s challenges just because they call themselves ‘retired’. In fact, there’s a new trend in retirement of over 60s that is seeing more and more of them go back to work in a new capacity through volunteering and starting businesses for the social good of the world.

These are the over 60s who are saving the world as a second career.

So many people get to the end of their working lives and realise they have spent so much time focusing on the day-to-day things and even though they may have donated and given time generously, they feel like there is still more to give.

Over 60s saving the world are creating a new revolution and many are using their life skills to do so. Men who have been carpenters are running local community men’s sheds and help men to stay emotionally connected and avoid isolation. Women who worked as nurses are volunteering time in aged care facilities during retirement. Other people will skills in finance, administration, marketing are volunteering in the head offices at not for profit organisations during retirement.

There are so many opportunities for us all to give back just a little of our life skills to a cause that needs it and retirement is a perfect time to do it. Here are some of the things that you could be doing with your skills…

If you worked in…

Trades – You can work in remote communities building houses on community projects, you could do the same overseas for village communities or natural disaster damaged areas.

Health work – You can volunteer at almost all types of hospitals, aged care facilities or even volunteer in schools. Overseas there are so many opportunities for health workers to volunteer especially in third world and underdeveloped countries.

Administration/commerce – All not for profit organisations need basic business functions and often they can provide payment for these services. If you have experience and aren’t looking for a large salary package but are looking to invest yourself in something for social good this is a great way.

Education – Education is one of the most in demand skills all over the world. As English becomes more important, a large number of third world countries require volunteers to teach it. In Australia rural communities are in need of tutors and educators to volunteer for education of all stages and this becomes perfect for anyone wanting to make a sea change or tree change.

There are hundreds of organisations dedicated to volunteers wanting to share their skill sets with the world but the best places to start are Projects Abroad, Energize Inc, Transitions Abroad and United Plus. Or better yet, open your eyes to your local community and you won’t have to look far to find a cause in need.

Last week we asked the Starts at 60 community where everyone volunteers and we had hundreds and hundreds of comments of people sharing their volunteering stories. So many people are already having second careers and saving the world and you could be too. 


Tell us, are you saving the world? How? Where and what are you volunteering?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I volunteer at U3A. There are over 250 U3A groups in Australia. It is a world wide organisation offering opportunities of learning and social engagement. In Australia it is run by volunteers so it is low cost. I am a Tutor in my local group, which has 1500 members and has 145 different activities each week. I am also the Toowoomba, and Queensland
    President and National Chair of U3A Australia and U3A ASIA Pacific. I do all of this as a Volunteer. It’s a great way to meet new friends. U3A offers retired people choices and is a vital and much community service. U3A does not receive any government funding in Queensland.

  2. I put my philanthripe and volunteer together. Most charities are nkt accountable, that is sometime only 1% of your money actually gets to recripant.(Vaniuato cyanamy). So I give my time and knowledge, as a Civil Engineer

  3. Locally I mentor at our high school 2 days per week and spend 1 day a week at our online centre helping community members learn basic computer use. Internationally my wife & myself facilitate & fund safe water projects and Days for Girls training. if you wish to know more.

    2 REPLY
    • Bob, I think Starts at 60 should get behind you and what you do for safe water projects. A section where you show photos of what’s been done, what needs doing and how we can help. There must be a lot of people who think like I do. Of all the mod cons we can’t live without, safe water must be the number one priority.

  4. I began volunteering at Vinnies when I retired. Now president of our local branch. Volunteering there is very worthwhile and enjoyable.

  5. I volunteer for our local Palliative Care service and am looking for something to do with young people to volunteer for.

  6. I begun volunteering at my late husband’s care home and I love it. Gives me a purpose in life.’

  7. I volunteer at 2
    Nursing facilities in pastoral care, and assist with a service with our Pastor every 2 weeks, also we have a communication session each Saturday evening for backpackers/pickers to help with English communication learning our culture and us theirs.Sharing a meal with Aussie foods, games and a story, this is a wonderful night indeed

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