After my niece, Dorothy, graduated from high school this year, she spent the summer with me. She did some work in my office, and we spent very enjoyable weekends sightseeing in the D.C. area. After a tour of Mount Vernon one Saturday, we had the pleasure of having a conversation over lunch with a couple–Don and Virginia–who had recently retired. They sold their home in Texas and travel the country in their trailer.
However, the most unique element to their new lives is that they spend three months at a time in different parts of the country volunteering at various U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service locations. When they take a break from these rewarding volunteer commitments, they may take a cruise; schedule a visit with their kids and grandkids, or see another part of the country. They love their new lifestyle. They use Volunteer.gov to apply to various locations from Alaska to Florida and from California to Maine.
We’ve all heard the expression, “Put your money where your mouth is,” and American’s certainly do that. According to the recently released Giving USA 2011: The Annual Report, Americans donated 2 percent of their disposable personal income to charitable causes in 2010, amounting to $290.89 billion. This was an increase over 2009 and two years of declines during the Great Recession. However, it must be especially gratifying in retirement to so actively contribute to the causes you have long supported financially like Don and Virginia–our new friends from Mount Vernon. You can see a photo of Don, Virginia and Dorothy below.