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‘All in a day’s work’ takes on new meaning in retirement

Securian Financial retirees and active employees team up for Habitat for Humanity

“There’s always work to be done” may not sound like a statement synonymous with retirement. But for some, it’s a call to give back.

As the ripple effects of the pandemic wear on, their impact can be felt most by those who already were in need, and support is more important than ever.

Strengthening our communities is part of who we are as a company, and our culture of giving extends beyond employment. Retirees – akin to active employees and board members – are supported in sharing their time, talents and financial contributions with diverse organizations. Bolstering retiree engagement with company-sponsored volunteer programs is one goal of our continually evolving community engagement efforts.

“Our people have big hearts,” said Kate Mayer, community relations consultant. “We’re a hard-working, make-things-happen-family, so it’s no surprise a group of retirees said ‘yes’ to spending their day giving back to the community.”

As part of our longstanding support of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, each summer Securian Financial hosts three weeks of volunteer build days. This year, we invited our retirees to join us and help families in need. Alongside active employees, retirees put on a hard hat and picked up a hammer on a Friday in July.

Photos courtesy of Paul Dinndorf, Securian Financial retiree and Habitat for Humanity volunteer photographer.

Building secure tomorrows

Retirees, employees and the Habitat crew met at the South St. Paul home site. Scott Aspengren, a Securian Financial employee and the lead for the build day, coordinated communications among the Securian Financial family. Kate was on site with t-shirts in hand to ensure the retirees felt part of the team.

“I didn’t know any of the active employees,” said Paul Dinndorf, retiree. “Active employees and retirees worked together throughout the day, exchanging what we’re up to and what we did at Securian.”

On her experience, Marian Johnson, retiree, shared, “I partnered with an active employee to cut plywood sheathing to size for exterior walls using the table saw.” She added, “No cuts or injuries!”

Fellow retiree Mary Bangle shared, “I was thankful my modest construction skills were adequate and I felt like I had a positive impact on the success of the project.”

“It’s rewarding to know we’re helping people improve their lives and improve their families,” Paul added.

When one door closes, another opens

For Mary, committing to a full day of volunteering during her working years wasn’t easy. “Now, as a retiree, my schedule is much more flexible.” As a first-time Habitat build day volunteer, she said, “I was delighted to be able to participate.”

Marian had the same sentiment. “Between family needs and a lengthy commute, I didn’t feel I was able to commit to a full day of volunteering as an active employee.” Reflecting on the opportunity to join this year’s Habitat build, Marian said, “I really enjoyed working alongside Securian employees as well as other retirees.”

Turning passion into purpose in retirement

For Paul, volunteering at the build site this summer was a blend of his past days of volunteering as an employee and his current involvement as a photographer for Twin Cities Habitat.

After retiring with 38 years of service at Securian Financial, Paul dedicated his first year of retirement to deciding what he wanted to put back into his life.

Having photographed weddings and corporate events, Paul was looking for a photography outlet in retirement. “I had volunteered with Habitat while working at Securian and was thinking about them as an option for photography,” he said. “Habitat happened to be looking for a volunteer photographer.”

That was six years ago. Paul has been doing photography for Habitat’s marketing department since. He photographs build sites (including this year’s Securian Financial build day he participated in), home dedication ceremonies and special events.

Marian too has turned to giving back. “This past year I volunteered to help at COVID-19 testing and vaccination events, both in schools and within the healthcare system,” she said.

As a day on the job takes on new meaning in retirement, it also has a meaningful impact on the lives of others.

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The heart of giving back

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The Securian Financial active and retired employees named in this article have a financial connection to Securian Financial. Their statements were given freely.

DOFU 12-2021