By Kerry Hannon, published in The New York Times, March 14, 2015

Three years ago, Douglas Crumley sold his financial planning practice in Fair Oaks, Calif., and he and his wife, Ann, left the country.

“The intention was to live in Ecuador and travel through South America doing the retirement thing,” he said. “Well, I became absolutely bored. I don’t speak Spanish well enough to assimilate and walking up and down the beaches seemed unproductive.”

So seven months after setting up stakes abroad, Mr. Crumley, now 69, and his wife, Ann, 53, moved back to the United States and settled in Tampa, Fla. She headed into the work force selling residential real estate, but Mr. Crumley was not certain what to do with himself.

At his wife’s suggestion, he joined a nearby Rotary Cub. “ ‘It will make you feel like you’re doing more than taking up space,’ she told me,” Mr. Crumley said.

She was right. For the last year, he has been going to weekly breakfast meetings and volunteering in community service projects, for example, helping collect bikes donated to children living at a local orphanage. “I feel useful,” he said. “It’s a wonderful group of men and women who inspire me, and we’ve become friends.”

Older volunteers like Mr. Crumley are on the rise, as Americans live longer and are healthier. In 2013, 24.2 percent of Americans over 65, 10.6 million people, did some type of volunteer work, up from 22.7 percent in 2002, and that number is expected to rise to more than 13 million by 2020, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that administers large national volunteer programs such as AmeriCorps and Senior Corps.

Responding to that spirit, old-line volunteer organizations like Rotary and the Peace Corps are stepping in to deliver opportunities for retirees to stay connected and give back.

Read the full article here.