Giving: Among our 10 Elements of Retirement Success

It’s been said that the happiest people are not those who are getting more but those who are giving more. In our experience, giving to causes you care about is one of our 10 elements of retirement success. This article seeks to help you assess your approach to giving in retirement and set some meaningful goals.

While charity starts at home, true generosity rarely ends there. Sharing our resources with the wider world can bring meaningful connections and deeper satisfaction. Those resources can take several forms, including time, talent and treasure. As we dig into these areas of giving, take time to reflect on where you are today and where you might want to take your generosity in your retirement years.

Giving your time in retirement

One of the aspects of retirement that many pre-retirees think about is time. Time not working equals more time for family, relaxing, hobbies, friends and all the other things you didn’t have as much time for before!

While you will undoubtedly have some extra time, it will get filled with something. It amazes many retirees how “busy” they feel. That is why the giving of your time for the good of others is truly a gift.

This is where we think philanthropy and generosity can become somewhat of a replacement for your career. Volunteering, serving and mentoring often can enhance the social, growth and aging elements of retirement as well.

Here are some questions to get you thinking: Is your use of time enhancing or taking away from your life satisfaction? How are you using your time as a gift? What organizations do you currently support financially? Could they use your time?

Giving your talent in retirement

Every year, a tremendous amount of wisdom, ability, knowledge and grit walks out of the working world and into retirement. Many retirees realize they have decades of wisdom and experience that can be put to good use in the service of others.

If you have business or management experience, we believe charitable board work is a wonderful way to support a cause that is close to your heart. Others might build houses, serve the poor or help seniors with tax preparation. It’s all a matter of figuring out where your unique skills can fit.

Charitable organizations certainly realize the amazing strategic and tactical resources available to them in the form of their retired donors.

Here are some questions to get you thinking: What unique talent or skill set do you have that could be useful? How long will that skill set remain relevant? What organizations do you currently support financially? Could they use your talent?

Giving your treasure in retirement

Giving financially in retirement can be quite different than giving during your career. Many givers do so based on their income. When they retire, and their income goes down, their giving tends to go down too.

However, for many, the benefits of financial giving are too great to see this area of their life fall back in retirement, especially as their need and desire for a new purpose is heightened. In addition, retirees may discover that new philanthropic opportunities are becoming available as they consider creating a legacy through more sophisticated tax and estate planning.

Here are some questions to get you thinking: What is your budget for giving in retirement? How did you come up with that number? What organizations did you give to before retirement? Are they the same now? Why? What other organizations might you consider? How can you engage your family in your giving? Do you know what organizations or causes your family supports?

Here’s a quick exercise that you may find helpful:

  1. Write down your current satisfaction with your charitable giving on a scale of 1 to 10
  2. Now write down what you would like that score to be one year from now
  3. Finally, write down the top three things you can do to raise your score

The magic of giving is how assisting others to overcome their challenges can help you feel better, too.


Continue to explore each element of retirement success:

  1. Work
  2. Family
  3. Home
  4. Growth
  5. Leisure
  6. Social
  7. Giving
  8. Money
  9. Aging
  10. Health


Charlie Jordan, CPA, CFP, CeFT

Charlie Jordan, CPA, CFP, CeFT

Partner, Wealth Advisor

Charlie is a Partner, Wealth Advisor in our Atlanta office. Previously, he led the Retiring Well Practice Management group at legacy firm Brightworth. Charlie focuses on helping clients think differently about retirement, integrating the technical and personal sides of money. Charlie is a CPA, CFP® practitioner and Certified Financial Transitionist (CeFT). He is a graduate of the University of Florida and received a Master in Accountancy from Kennesaw State University.


This information is for educational purposes and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax, insurance, or investment advice.  This does not constitute an offer to provide any services, nor a solicitation to purchase securities. The contents are not intended to be advice tailored to any particular person or situation. We believe the information provided is accurate and reliable, but do not warrant it as to completeness or accuracy.  This information may include opinions or forecasts, including investment strategies and economic and market conditions; however, there is no guarantee that such opinions or forecasts will prove to be correct, and they also may change without notice.  We encourage you to speak with a qualified professional regarding your scenario and the then-current applicable laws and rules.

Advisory services are offered through Corient Private Wealth LLC and its affiliates, each being a registered investment adviser (“RIA”) regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).  The advisory services are only offered in jurisdictions where the RIA is appropriately registered.  The use of the term “registered” does not imply any particular level of skill or training and does not imply any approval by the SEC. For a complete discussion of the scope of advisory services offered, fees, and other disclosures, please review the RIA’s Disclosure Brochure (Form ADV Part 2A) and Form CRS, available upon request from the RIA and online at We also encourage you to review the RIA’s Privacy Policy and Code of Ethics, which are available upon request.

Our clients must, in writing, advise us of personal, financial, or investment objective changes and any restrictions desired on our services so that we may re-evaluate any previous recommendations and adjust our advisory services as needed. For current clients, please advise us immediately if you are not receiving monthly account statements from your custodian. We encourage you to compare your custodial statements to any information we provide to you.