We have finally reached the very last baby step. And if you personally have or will soon arrive at this step, congratulations! It takes an incredible amount of work and dedication to get here, and you deserve to sit back and enjoy this part of the ride.
Even if you’ve been investing 15% or more, have set aside enough to help your kids get through college debt free (we think they should pitch in; it’s good to have “skin in the game”), you still may not be in a position to give much more financially than you have been throughout the process, and that’s okay. While we think you should certainly give whatever you can, and hope that your ability to give financially continues to increase over time, there are so many other ways you can give that may have an even bigger impact on the lives of others.
Giving of your time is something that is absolutely the most precious gift of all. Each of us has a limited and unknown quantity of time on this Earth, and to give some of that precious commodity to others is the ultimate gift.
Take some time out of your busy day to find a place where you and you family can volunteer. The volunteering does not even need to be for a specific organization, although there are numerous charities who do amazing things to assist others. Instead, spend an hour or two picking up the rubbish off your street or around your neighborhood. Find a neighbor who could use a helping hand. Babysit for a mom who is struggling. Cook some food for an elderly person at your house of worship and go eat a meal with them. Head to an animal shelter and walk some dogs or pet some kittens. Go read to someone who can no longer see well enough to view the pages and would treasure your company. The list of possibilities is endless. Don’t think of giving as merely a monetary action; consider one that is even more valuable and precious. Your time.