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Perspectives and Policies on the Retirement of Older Volunteers

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Adults 65 and older are an increasing demographic, with many retired from work and reinvesting some of their time into volunteering. A new challenge for volunteer administrators is managing these older adults and, eventually, managing their decisions to withdraw or retire from volunteering.

This segment of older, volunteering adults was a major concern of U.S. and Canadian volunteer administrators who responded to a survey in a study reviewed in this issue’s Research to Practice. Almost 80 percent of the respondents were concerned with volunteers retiring or aging out, and the resulting impact on their volunteers, volunteer programs, and organizations. Few indicated that their organization had policies related to this issue, which led to a logical conclusion: though a lot of attention is paid to recruitment and retention of volunteers, it is now time to add volunteer retirement to the conversation.