Many times during our journey to financial independence we have asked each other: “What are we going to do when we retire early?” As the Winning Williams we are a couple that just can’t sit still for very long. We are goal oriented people – we know that we will need something to do with our time and we want that time to be spent giving back to our community in a meaningful way that will bring us joy and fulfillment. Our current jobs allow us to do this as well, bringing us mental stimulation through challenging work environments and social interaction with colleagues. We will have many decades of retirement ahead of us that we want to be meaningful and engaging.
In trying to figure out what this means for us, we plan to investigate multiple channels of charitable giving, a taster-tour of sorts. We will hopefully find something along the way that really inspires us to get to FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) sooner so that we can wholly focus on that, to be determined, charity or cause. We are both passionate about financial literacy and education, so we think our best bet would be there. However, If you have any ideas to suggest please let us know!
This past weekend we didn’t give our time or possessions or money. We gave our blood!! We saw that there was a local blood drive and decided to sign up. We see these announcements often (and to sweeten the deal donors received a free movie ticket and free lunch at a local restaurant) and decided to sign up for this one. Not that doing a good deed should come with an incentive, but it’s sure nice when it does.
We called to make our appointment through OneBlood, the organization that planned this drive. It was very simple and once we arrived on site and got into “The BIG Red Bus” the entire process from checking in to leaving was maybe 40 minutes total. We filled out a form and then sat and our veins did all the work. It was a really sweet gig and it will hopefully help to save a life or two.
Some fun facts about blood donation:
- While we were donating and blood was literally flowing out of us the song “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift was playing on the radio. We found this highly entertaining and also a little ironic.
- You can donate every 8 to 16 weeks depending on the type of donation that you make (http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/donation-faqs)
- More than 40,000 donations are needed every day in the US (http://www.redcrossblood.org/learn-about-blood/blood-facts-and-statistics). At the drive we attended on Saturday where they were giving away movies and meals to incentivize people, we overheard one of the phlebotomists say that between the two buses at that drive, maybe a little over 50 people had donated. (Hello!!! They were giving away a movie and a free lunch!! For sitting around and drinking an orange juice while you lose a little blood!!) Seriously, if you can donate think about it!
- You don’t need to know your blood type when you donate. Which is good because neither of us do. OneBlood gave us a unique number so we can call in a few days to find out if we would like. We can also find out our cholesterol.
- One of our phlebotomists was Nurse Williams- she is the true Winning Williams because she helps to make sure that the donated blood is processed and ready for when it is needed in an emergency.
We had a very positive experience donating and now feel more informed about the need for blood donations. We won’t make this our focus in retirement since we could only donate 6 times a year, but it is something that we will certainly do again (in at least 8 weeks…)