You may have noticed how the spirit of giving changed your mood this holiday season. That is because giving can actually increase your happiness. This week’s retirement headline from is titled How Generosity Changes Your Brain, and it discusses recent research on how giving to others promotes happiness. On this episode of Retirement Starts Today, you’ll learn how acting on your generosity creates numerous psychological and physiological benefits in your body.

If one of your goals for 2022 is to be more generous or even if you simply want to reflect on the acts of gift-giving that you experienced over the holiday season, don’t miss the retirement headline segment. Then make sure to stick around until the end of the episode to hear my favorite retirement resources.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:42] How generosity changes your brain
  • [8:02] How you can incorporate giving into your retirement plan
  • [9:47] Dave is looking for quality retirement resources

Giving can increase happiness

Can spending your money maximize your happiness? We’ve all been told that money can’t buy happiness. However, new research suggests that the opposite is actually true: spending money can bring joy.

Rather than buying things to increase happiness, researchers have found that sharing wealth with others is what creates long-lasting contentment. New research has been able to scientifically measure the ways that giving can improve joy. Giving actually releases neurochemicals like oxytocin and endorphins in your brain that are known to increase happiness. Have you noticed this phenomenon whenever you give to others?

Volunteering is sharing the gift of your time

In addition to giving money and gifts to others, giving the gift of time increases happiness as well. During the working years, donating time can be a challenge with all the other commitments that people have. This issue disappears in retirement.

Volunteering can even improve health. Science shows that generosity can increase longevity. Researchers found that retirees who volunteer were less likely to die over the course of a 5-year study. The results of the study showed that volunteering boosted people’s overall well-being. Regular volunteering is even more beneficial to health than giving financially. Do you have plans to make volunteering a regular part of your retirement?

How to maximize your happiness through regular giving

Making a habit of generosity is a great way to improve your happiness and health in retirement. Whether you choose to give financially or donate your time, the results will benefit you.

Now that you know that giving can increase your joy, you can find ways to maximize that happiness. One way to ensure that you are optimizing your giving is by giving consciously rather than setting up an automated gift to charity each month.

If you do automate your giving, looking at your bank statements each month to see how much you spend on yourself and comparing that with your spending on others can also increase your contentment.

Have you thought of giving your time or money in retirement? Volunteering or donating money in retirement can also give you a renewed purpose. Think about ways that you could increase giving in ways that align with your values. Listen in to hear my favorite volunteer opportunity.

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