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Old 05-20-2021, 04:20 AM   #21
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I think it's important - especially with volunteer w*rk - to set limits and NOT let anyone guilt you into a particular j*b or suggest you w*rk one more minute than you want to. If you go home from volunteer w*rk, feeling like you've been "used" (you remember the feeling from Megacorp - and remember, they actually paid you.) Run, don't walk. YMMV
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Old 05-20-2021, 06:50 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
None of the above...at first. Take a good 6 months or a year and do relatively nothing, before deciding. Folks who jump into another thing (volunteering, part time, local boards, etc.) often report they should have waited as, even with the reduced schedule, it didn't feel quite retired, and they might not have committed as readily with a break first.

You might find (as many do) that the things you thought you'd love to do in your free time aren't the same once all day is free time.

The answer is that you "can" do pretty much anything, but what you "want" to do might well be different just a few months after you retire.
+1. ^ This

In addition, I found that I came to resent any infringement on 'my schedule' which a volunteer, hobby-job could involve.

("My Schedule" is about doing what I want--or need to do, when I damn well please and not interfered with my some other time commitment)
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Old 05-20-2021, 06:52 AM   #23
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There are undoubtedly wonderful volunteer gigs, make no mistake. But they can be much worse than work, that was my unfortunate experience. From do nothing leadership, that wanted the perks/recognition of leadership, while abusing “staff” and accomplishing nothing themselves. And being a volunteer leader is no picnic either, I did that too. Since your volunteer staff isn’t being paid, they have no fear of being fired so some say and do/don’t do whatever they want. I’d go to a meeting, watch people accept or even volunteer for a task, and then think nothing of coming to the next several meetings to report having done nothing at all. I was part of a volunteer organization for almost 4 years before quitting, after realizing a few people were doing all the work, what was accomplished was due to them alone, and leaders took credit and even hampered progress at times.

Again, I know it doesn’t have to be that way. As always, an organization is only as good as it’s people - but when people aren’t being paid/relying on income to live, some will act very badly. They have to be weeded out, and that’s hard when there aren’t people lining up to volunteer. Another Catch-22…
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Old 05-20-2021, 08:34 AM   #24
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I have friends that volunteer with Opearation BBQ Relief. It's on your schedule as you see fit and in desperate times of need.

https://operationbbqrelief.org/
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Old 05-20-2021, 11:28 AM   #25
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Just as an offset to those that had bad experience with volunteer work, we do once a week or maybe twice and we are labor. We are helping out but don't do any leadership. We sort or pack food bags that are disbursed to locals that need or desire. I'm not looking for any recognition, and the mission leader know this, but they are grateful and we are also. If you want to volunteer, there are lots there that can meet your needs while you meet their needs.
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Old 05-20-2021, 01:54 PM   #26
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Thanks for this feedback. Given human nature I think your experiences will be not rare.

Do you mind sharing what precisely the volunteer gigs were? If detail is an issue perhaps some more color? Were they service gigs (i.e. museums) or product (putting together food packs) or something else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
There are undoubtedly wonderful volunteer gigs, make no mistake. But they can be much worse than work, that was my unfortunate experience. From do nothing leadership, that wanted the perks/recognition of leadership, while abusing ďstaffĒ and accomplishing nothing themselves. And being a volunteer leader is no picnic either, I did that too. Since your volunteer staff isnít being paid, they have no fear of being fired so some say and do/donít do whatever they want. Iíd go to a meeting, watch people accept or even volunteer for a task, and then think nothing of coming to the next several meetings to report having done nothing at all. I was part of a volunteer organization for almost 4 years before quitting, after realizing a few people were doing all the work, what was accomplished was due to them alone, and leaders took credit and even hampered progress at times.

Again, I know it doesnít have to be that way. As always, an organization is only as good as itís people - but when people arenít being paid/relying on income to live, some will act very badly. They have to be weeded out, and thatís hard when there arenít people lining up to volunteer. Another Catch-22Ö
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Old 05-20-2021, 07:49 PM   #27
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I retired a year and a half ago at age 65 and after about a year started thinking more seriously about volunteer opportunities. My wife and I want to travel and visit grandchildren which means that time flexibility was a priority. We didn't want to be restricted by a work schedule. We also wanted to do something that would be intellectually challenging. Our third desire was to find an activity which allowed us to help people on an individual basis.

We both ended up becoming Medicare counselors. The federal government has a program that is implemented at the state level called SHIP (State Health Insurance Assistance Programs). The state provides grants to local non-profit agencies that execute the program with volunteers. In our county of 280,000 people we have 12 volunteers. All of our volunteers are retired professionals (military officers, professors, teachers, corporate benefit officers, etc). The primary motivator appears to be a desire to give back to the community.

A Medicare counselor provides free, unbiased information about Medicare to clients. There are outreach events but most of the counseling is one on one. Currently counseling is being conducted via Zoom or on the phone. As the vaccine allows our society to open up we will be able to conduct face to face counseling at libraries, elder centers and other public venues.

The scope of a Medicare volunteer's responsibilities fall into the following general areas:
Provide a detailed explanation of Medicare that informs a client's decision making process.
Enrollment and coverage questions and assistance
Medicare Parts A, B, and D
Supplement and Advantage Plans
Plan comparisons (Medigap, Prescription drug plans, and Advantage plans)
Medicare claims (Interact with Medicare and insurance companies)
Medicare billing issues
Complaints and appeals
Financial assistance programs to lower Medicare costs (explain programs and assist with initiating an application)
Some counselors assist with Medicare fraud issues
Anything Medicare-related

There is a good initial training program for counselors followed by a mentoring phase with a senior counselor. As in most areas, expertise will come with experience and cross talk with fellow counselors.

This is straight volunteer work. The payoff is a "Thank You" from a client.

More information can be found at:

https://acl.gov/programs/connecting-...e-program-ship
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Old 05-21-2021, 04:54 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by KingOfTheCheapos View Post
Hi All

So I can retire any day now but will stick it out for a few more years more to pump up post-retirement benefits in terms of health care and pension.

I'll be in my early 50's so want to continue to do meaningful work to keep me sharp and grounded.

So what do people suggest?

I don't want a full time job but 5,10,15 hours a week would be great.

My background is:

a) PhD in Computer Science
b) 5 years experience in Silicon Valley in the 2000's
c) Last 15 years in Academia
d) Live in CA but can/may move
e) Lots of experience giving presentations, managing a small team of students
f) I can teach well but am not a natural.
g) I have hobbies (biking, golf, investing) but nothing that's something I want to do each and every day.
h) My job involved lots of travel so I will travel but not that much.
I know you say you can teach, but not a natural, but have you considered teaching Computer Science part time at a Community College or smaller university? I have several friends who have done that after retiring from their primary career.
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Old 05-24-2021, 06:48 PM   #29
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I know you say you can teach, but not a natural, but have you considered teaching Computer Science part time at a Community College or smaller university? I have several friends who have done that after retiring from their primary career.
Yeah but nah. Too many universities would take advantage of me to replace someone else who should get paid.
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Old 05-24-2021, 09:02 PM   #30
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They already have.

https://fullertonobserver.com/2019/0...me-professors/

OP is right in not taking such a position as a hobby job.
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Old 05-25-2021, 04:59 PM   #31
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We retired 47 and 50 and moved to a small village in Mexico on the beach and bought 100 acres and built a sustainable, off grid ranch and guest house facility. That kept us busy, milking goats, making cheese and learning how to build with natural materials and grow food. Just one idea....the ranch is for sale now that we are old and tired.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfTheCheapos View Post
Hi All

So I can retire any day now but will stick it out for a few more years more to pump up post-retirement benefits in terms of health care and pension.

I'll be in my early 50's so want to continue to do meaningful work to keep me sharp and grounded.

So what do people suggest?

I don't want a full time job but 5,10,15 hours a week would be great.

My background is:

a) PhD in Computer Science
b) 5 years experience in Silicon Valley in the 2000's
c) Last 15 years in Academia
d) Live in CA but can/may move
e) Lots of experience giving presentations, managing a small team of students
f) I can teach well but am not a natural.
g) I have hobbies (biking, golf, investing) but nothing that's something I want to do each and every day.
h) My job involved lots of travel so I will travel but not that much.
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Old 05-25-2021, 09:10 PM   #32
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+1 for the Ernie Zelinski book. Another one I found helpful is "Work Less, Live More, the Way to Semi-Retirement" published by Nolo Press. Applies to full RE too.

A few more ideas/comments:

* Start compiling a folder with articles, ideas, organizations that pique your interest to possibly pursue when you're done with your current gig. You may want to explore some in-depth now, if you have time.

* Volunteer teaching/tech support opportunities for underprivileged or otherwise marginalized groups. Coding camps, that type of thing.

* Citizen science.

* Go back to school to study something else, maybe even get another degree. It could be mentally stimulating, provide structure and social interaction.

Lots of good feedback here re: volunteering. Definitely a case of YYMV. I currently volunteer for a local chapter of the "Village" movement, helping older neighbors with various things. https://villagesnw.org/ It's very satisfying emotionally (albeit not necessarily intellectually) and I've met cool people. One 80 year old lady I spoke with today said the best time of her life was after she retired at 65. She opened an art gallery, started another business and really enjoyed life. This weekend when I help her with her iPhone I plan to ask her to tell me some of her stories, for inspiration!
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Old 05-25-2021, 11:04 PM   #33
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Give it time. Your message left an impression that you are still looking for work. Retirement life is (and should be) different from your work life.



I am sure you were great at what you did for the past 20+ years but your goal in retirement should be finding things you would want to do that make you happy.


What got you into computer field? Do you want to work on creating something that could help people? Open source community may have more info about it.



Do you like knowledge sharing (from your teaching my guess is yes)? How about youtube? Would you like to create some videos teaching people on what you know? Something similar to python for everybody course ( ) is helpful for a lot of people if you are into it but do it at your pace.
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Old 05-26-2021, 12:04 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by KingOfTheCheapos View Post
Thanks for this feedback. Given human nature I think your experiences will be not rare.

Do you mind sharing what precisely the volunteer gigs were? If detail is an issue perhaps some more color? Were they service gigs (i.e. museums) or product (putting together food packs) or something else?
I have two volunteer jobs. One job is a phone interviewer for college scholarships. I usually interview five or six kids over a couple of weeks in March. This is easy to fit into my schedule and I enjoy hearing from the younger generation.

The second job is at a botanical garden. I respond to request for volunteers via email. I can do as little or as much as I want. The slots are competitive so I have to jump on the reply. The work is basically as an usher for events. I enjoy the flexibility, meeting new people, and I enjoy the garden environment.

I might pick up something else that has minimal commitment, once I stop hiding from the pandemic.
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Old 05-26-2021, 02:15 AM   #35
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They already have.

https://fullertonobserver.com/2019/0...me-professors/

OP is right in not taking such a position as a hobby job.
What a concept! Exploiting professors instead of grad students. I LIKE it.
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Old 05-26-2021, 08:33 AM   #36
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What a concept! Exploiting professors instead of grad students. I LIKE it.
I think delighting in any exploitation is distasteful. But YMMV.
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Different volunteer gigy
Old 05-26-2021, 09:39 AM   #37
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Different volunteer gigy

I find different volunteer activities keep me adequately busy. Volunteer income tax preparation appeals to many ex- engineers, AARP TAXAIDE is a program that will train anyone in the fall, for work the following spring. I've been doing that for 21 years.

H&R Block offers decent tax courses too, and most students get an offer to work in one of their offices. It is pretty high intensity piece work... I did that one year before deciding I'd rather work for free vs. under those conditions.

I also find it rewarding to work a couple mornings a week in a local food pantry. Getting out of the house and seeing nice people is the appeal to me.

Same with a clothing charity a local school district operates... nobody works volunteers any harder than they want to work. Again getting out and seeing people.
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Old 05-26-2021, 02:29 PM   #38
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Do what you enjoy, that adds value, for a population you care about.

As a personal example, tonight is my 41st no-cost eight hour training class for veterans. I schedule the class over two nights (~monthly via Zoom after COVID, with attendees from Naples to Nagasaki). My goal is 1,000 veterans trained by 2023 (started 2013), I am retired military with 3 daughters serving.

I "advertise" via vets organizations & social media and prioritize underemployed or transitioning veterans. My current wait list is >100 Vets and I can teach the class from anywhere (3 classes this year from daughters guest bedrooms). It keeps me sharp and I occasionally get referrals for paid work with clients (0% WR). I really enjoy teaching and sharing (it is a problem solving methodology I taught in industry and at university).
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Old 05-26-2021, 02:50 PM   #39
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I know you say you can teach, but not a natural, but have you considered teaching Computer Science part time at a Community College or smaller university? I have several friends who have done that after retiring from their primary career.
You beat me to it! Contact a CC like De Anza to see if your experience is a fit for any of their needs. If you want to lend a hand at a 4-year university contact Santa Clara. Start out 'coaching' students and work up from there.

Tekward also has some great ideas.

Be aware that some De Anza students just want admission to Berkley but don't want to do the work. Hand such a student a 'crying towel' and introduce them to the real world.
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Old 05-26-2021, 04:11 PM   #40
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Do what you enjoy, that adds value, for a population you care about.
Nicely said!
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