According to an article published in The Gerontologist, civic engagement--defined as volunteerism and paid work, done for at least one day per week, that directly impact the local community--can now be considered a distinct retirement role. In "Civic Engagement as a Retirement Role for Aging Americans", written by Brian Kaskie, PhD, in collaboration with a team of University of Iowa researchers including Sara Imhof, PhD, Joseph Cavanaugh, PhD, and Kennith Culp, PhD., the authors argue that a more precise meaning of civic engagement is important to policy makers and program administrators and found that engaged retires differ significantly from those who volunteer less, work in non-civic roles, or do neither.
The research encompassed a survey of 683 retirees. Among the findings: 18% of respondents volunteered for more than five hours per week, and 6.3% held paid positions that were classified as civically engaged. The results also indicated that the non-engaged older adults tended to be less educated, less financially secure, and less healthy than their engaged counterparts.
Source: Gerontological Society of America Press Release (September 3, 2008)