Lots of Alaskans find themselves short on money after retirement. But if you have done a good job of living a frugal lifestyle and planning your future, you may discover that you have some disposable income available to you.

Be careful that you are certain of your situation before you decide that your income is disposable. Take into account all possible medical scenarios and living situations that you might need before you spend your money in big ways.

But if you or a professional have thoroughly analyzed your situation and determined that you could spend a bit more, take full advantage of your hard work and don’t squander your money by buying useless things. Instead, invest your time and money into these four areas that will benefit not only you but also the people around you. Don’t let your hard-earned money go to waste.

#1: Alaska Charities

One of the major ways that the affluent give back is through charitable giving. It’s a great option for anyone looking to spark a change in the world, one penny at a time. The best thing about charitable giving is that there are so many options and such a broad range of niches for you to invest in. Take look at a few of these options to begin with:

  • Beans Cafe of Alaska : The mission of Bean’s Cafe is to feed the hungry and the homeless without discrimination during the day.
  • Make-A-Wish Alaska & Washington: We grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.
  • Food Bank of Alaska : Food Bank of Alaska believes that no one deserves to be hungry. Since 1979 we have been securing donated food for partner food programs to distribute to hungry Alaskans.

If you are unsure of the impact of your donations, Charity Navigator is a website where you can quickly see the efficiency ratings of your chosen charity. This will help you avoid scams and put your money where it is needed most.

#2: Your Alaska Family

You are where you are now because you started investing long ago. Why not spur the same enthusiasm in your children and grandchildren? A great way to use your money for good is by financially supporting your grandchildren and their path to college. Many grandparents choose to give generous annual gifts that are locked away into a fund that is solely used for college. Others decide to support their grandchildren through stocks and bonds. Any way you look at it, investing in your grandchildren has the double impact of providing for their future and teaching them the value of an investment.

If you don’t have children, consider donating to a scholarship fund or sponsoring a child’s education through a nonprofit.

#3: Stocks

It’s always a good idea to invest your money. Nowadays, many types of bank accounts don’t accrue much interest. If you want to grow your wealth, consider putting more money into the stock market or into bonds. You could do it yourself or utilize an investment company. Making more money out of the savings you already have creates more opportunities for you to contribute to causes you are excited about.

#4: Travel in (or outside) Alaska

There’s nothing wrong with investing your disposable income in yourself. As you grow older, you realize that there are many things that you’ve always wanted to do. Make yourself a “bucket list” of things to do or places to visit. Then use your retirement income to achieve your goals. Even as you manage aging and finances, don’t forget to carpe diem.

Of course, you’ll always find superfluous things to buy with your retirement income. But investing in these areas can help you to feel useful even after you have left the workforce. You’ll be investing in other people, the economy, and yourself. What more could you want?