According to a recent study from Merrill Lynch and AgeWave, retirees are expected to create an $8 trillion surge in giving over the next two decades. This “Longevity Bonus” will be a fundamental shift in philanthropy and is being driven by the convergence of several factors.

Most notable is the growing number of baby boomers entering retirement, increased mortality lengthening retirement years, and retirees’ history, women in particular, of being the most generous with charitable donations of their time and money.

If you plan to join the 65 percent of retirees who agree that retirement is the best time in life to give back, keep these financial strategies to maximize your efforts in mind.

Giving While Living

While an inheritance is a traditional vehicle for passing your financial assets and real estate holdings on to your heirs, the study showed retirees were twice as likely to consider “values and life lessons” the more important legacy. And, younger generations were even more likely to echo that sentiment when asked about being on the receiving end.

Of course, passing on traditions and creating new ones is best accomplished when you have the confidence that your retirement income will outlast you. Financial tools such as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), often referred to as a reverse mortgage, can offer homeowners over the age of 62 the ability to supplement their retirement income using their home equity.  

Prioritize your Efforts

A secure financial future that features a plan to give back can also lead to a happier, healthier retirement. A majority of retirees say their generosity correlates directly with their happiness, and that they enjoy helping others more than spending money on themselves. Helping others can boost aspects of your health and create new social connections that many in retirement find they miss most after leaving the workforce.

However, unlocking the full benefits of philanthropy takes more than writing a check. Instead, find a cause you are genuinely passionate about and get involved with an organization that supports the same goal. The combination of donating time and money provides the most fulfilling giving experience for retirees.

Focusing on a particular charity of interest and becoming deeply involved may even lead to a second career in retirement, sometimes more rewarding than the first. Similarly, you might identify a gap in support for a worthy cause and decide to fill the need by creating your own charitable organization.  

A Future of Flexibility

Regardless of where it leads, making philanthropy a part of your financial planning conversation is a smart step when setting your retirement goals. It can have an immediate impact on loved ones, and long-term benefits for you.

For more information on how Open Mortgage can partner with you to help secure your retirement future and support your giving goals, visit OpenMortgage.com today.

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