This study looks at older adults retiring between 1996 and 2004 to see who engages in formal volunteering after retirement. The results, based on data from the Health and Retirement Survey, show that while most volunteers acquire the volunteer habit while still working, a significant share begins volunteer work after retirement. Among adults who retire, 45 percent engage in formal volunteer activities even though only 34 percent of these same adults volunteered while working. Since boomer cohorts following this group will be much larger, nonprofit organizations seem destined to benefit from a significant growth in the services of retirees.
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