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Bring joy to the holiday season by sharing experiences or donating

Scientists have discovered we get a lot more enjoyment from experiences than from getting new possessions1. So when you’re planning gifts this holiday season, it could be the perfect opportunity to take a different approach and spread a little more joy among your loved ones and the wider world.

1. Set a family challenge

Bringing family or friends together for a special occasion can be the perfect way to give everyone something to look forward to. Anticipation is a big part of the fun and with something locked into the calendar - be it a trip to the theatre, a sporting event or a weekend break - you can share the excitement as you count down the sleeps.

If you all take part in saving to pay for it, you can celebrate your joint financial achievement too. A little healthy competition between participants will mean having more to put towards your experience, so you can really splash out on something special - like premium seats or a luxurious food hamper for a family feast. Make sure you share your savings achievements as the dollars mount up. Tracking collective progress will motivate everyone to make their fair share of contributions.

Gifting a donation is a great way to unite your family around a shared cause or values.

2. Make your gift a donation

Gifting a donation is a great way to unite your family around a shared cause or values. It creates opportunities to reflect on how lucky you are as a family and appreciate the security, comfort and relationships you all enjoy. You can make your charitable gifts more meaningful by choosing a cause or a type of donation that is close to you, your family or your friends.

3. Volunteer your time

Committing time to volunteering is a gift that can give back to you in all sorts of ways. The personal benefits of volunteering include potential improvements to your own health and well-being as well as feeling connected with and valued by your community.

Volunteering as a family is a great way to share in an activity that’s a change from your usual routine. Offer your time and expertise for a common interest that you all share, such as a community centre or a local sports team, or even explore doing something new together. In either case, you are sure to enjoy sharing your strengths and skills, as a family and as individuals.

This concept of sharing isn’t just important for the season of loving and giving. One of the most common questions we get asked at StatePlus is how can I make my time in retirement meaningful? When a career and income are no longer your main focus, spending time making a positive impact on other people’s lives can be very rewarding and bring you joy and a sense of purpose.

Need help managing your money?

Getting expert advice can make a big difference to how prepared you are for retirement - both emotionally and financially. By discussing your lifestyle goals with a StatePlus financial planner you’ll have a much better understanding of the super and income you’ll need to make retirement a positive change in your life.

For more tips and tools download our free Retirement guide or call us on 1800 620 305

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1 Cornell Chronicle, Glee from buying objects wanes, while joy of buying experiences keeps growing by George Lowery
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