About the author: Lamar Watson, CFP®, is a Fee-Only Financial Advisor in the Washington, D.C. area that works with clients virtually across the country. Lamar's work with his clients starts with a focus on budgeting, insurance, optimizing employee benefits, investing, and retirement planning. Dream Financial Planning is a Fiduciary Financial Planning firm specifically designed to help individuals in their 30s and 40s take control of their finances and fulfill their dreams. Feel free to schedule a complimentary consultation to learn how we use the DREAM Financial Planning Process ™ to help our clients achieve their goals.
April is National Volunteer Month! The occasion was first established by a 1974 presidential proclamation to raise awareness of volunteering and to show appreciation for the many dedicated volunteers serving throughout America. It's a great time to honor all of our volunteers and encourage participation in this vital support of our communities.
You may be charitably inclined but need help aligning your resources, priorities, and philosophy. Take a look at our checklist below for issues you should consider when donating to charity.
This checklist will help guide you as you consider and implement a charitable giving strategy. It covers:
- Philanthropic motivations and goals
- Cash flow considerations
- Asset selection when funding gifts
- Charitable giving vehicles
- Tax planning and deductibility
In celebration of National Volunteer Month, let's look at some fun and unique ways you can get involved in your community.
The Benefits of Volunteering
Being a volunteer improves the lives of many, and retirees are the perfect candidate for this important work. Volunteering in retirement can provide many benefits:
- It's good for your mental health.
- It helps prevent isolation.
- It gives you a feeling of purpose.
- It's a chance to meet new friends.
- It's a way to connect with loved ones.
- It increases your physical activity.
- It helps you learn new skills.1
It's clear that giving back to others and making a positive impact is satisfying, and the rewards go both ways. Now, let's look at some tips to help you find the perfect volunteering opportunity!
Tips for Volunteering
Finding the right volunteering opportunity starts with a few simple tips. Here are some that can help:
You likely don't have to look far to find a great volunteering opportunity. Check out your local newspaper, community forum, or Facebook group to see if there are ways to get involved.
Choose Something You're Passionate About
Look for a volunteering opportunity you are genuinely interested in and a cause you care about. If you're an animal lover, animal shelters always need dog walkers, kennel assistants, and office help. Environmentalists might volunteer on a permaculture farm or help an environmental conservation nonprofit. Book lovers can find volunteer positions at town libraries.
Be Conscious Of Your Time
Your time is valuable, so be honest about how much of it you can spend on a volunteer project. Begin with a limited commitment, and then you can scale up if you want.
Talk to Friends and Family
If an opportunity looks promising, do your research by talking to other volunteers to see if it is a good fit for you. You can also talk to friends and family to see if they have any recommendations for volunteer opportunities.
Ready to get started on your next volunteering adventure for National Volunteer Month? Here are some places to start!
- Community homeless shelters
- Centers for the developmentally challenged
- Retirement homes or hospice centers
- Animal shelters
- Environmental conservation organizations
- Local libraries
- Local schools
- Community races or sporting events
- Local newspapers
- Volunteer firefighting organizations
- Volunteer community patrol organizations
Of course, these are just a few of the many ways to get involved. Your local community will have its own needs and opportunities and now you know where to check!
This is the perfect time to think about how you can use your skills and interests to enrich your life and the lives of others.
With uncertainty surrounding the economic stability of our country, it's okay to have fears and anxieties surrounding your savings and investments. The most productive course of action from here is to reach out to Dream Financial Planning (or whoever your trusted advisor might be) and discuss your options. It's easy to have knee-jerk reactions when it feels like the bottom is falling out, but it is imperative to make decisions using research-backed data and a level head. If you'd like a Complimentary Review and risk assessment of your investment portfolio, feel free to send me an e-mail.
In the June Newsletter, I provide a market update and a PDF guide with tips to help you handle inflation. I also shared a CNN article where I shared my thoughts on Crypto and NFTs, 5 savings mistakes people make when building their financial life. If you find any of this information helpful, feel free to sign up to receive future e-mail updates. If you find any of this information helpful, feel free to sign up to receive future newsletters via e-mail.
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