Family and Community – Part of My Retirement Plan
Several years ago, I began to volunteer at a local elementary school. My initial thought was to read “Cat in the Hat” and other similar books to kindergarteners once a month. However, it soon became apparent that there was an urgent need for me to work with kids who have learning disabilities or were in the foster care system. Working with these kids has made me aware of several critical needs in our educational systems:
1. Kids respond well to love and attention even if you are not qualified by training or education to work with disabled or disadvantaged kids.
2. Teachers are underpaid and class size is too large for most of them to do their jobs efficiently.
3. Even if you are working full time, volunteering one hour a week will help not only the student and school but also how you feel about yourself and society as a whole. It gives one hope that things can improve for everyone.
As I get ready to retire, I am looking forward to spending more time with these precious kids, some of whom have endured very difficult circumstances through no fault of their own. Retirement planning is not just financial, but relationships with family, friends and your community is as just as important as well.
John K. Beeson