According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2018, 7.6 million students attending colleges and universities were over the age of 25. This number goes to show the prevalence of non-traditional college paths. With so many people attending college later in life, why shouldn’t you take up a course or two in retirement?
Continuing education for retirees boots cognitive stimulation and increases mental agility which keeps them sharp and alert. Education isn’t just for children and young adults, it is a practice by which everyone should partake in and live by.
I’d like to show you why continuing your education in retirement is important and how to get started.
Say “Yes” To Education
Many studies have linked increased cognitive activity with longer, healthier lives. Exercise isn’t simply reserved for your under-worked treadmill, it also must be applied to your mind. Education can be a tool to keep your mind working, thinking, and thriving for years to come. When you put your mind to use, you keep it fresh and sharp for longer.
When you learn new things you are able to ask questions, think critically about a subject, and brainstorm solutions. Learning not only has the capacity to make you better at weekly trivia, but it also helps boost your mood and mental state. By actively pursuing a topic you are interested in, you are engaging in something that will improve your mind and body.
Education also provides retirees an outlet for exploring untapped passions and finding meaning in this new phase of their lives. Take for example someone who had a successful career in banking and who also had a passion for marine and aquatic life. Perhaps when they retire they can take a course in oceanography, marine biology, or dedicate volunteer hours to a local cause to help stimulate marine life. Education in retirement can offer you the opportunity to explore topics and ideas you have a passing interest in or a deep passion for.
When you apply yourself to an activity or topic you are interested in, you also allow yourself the opportunity to connect with other people who share the same interests as you. Finding a community in retirement is one of the most important (and most difficult) things to do. Taking classes can be a great way to foster that community spirit and make fulfilling relationships with other people.
There are so many opportunities for you to indulge in your passion for knowledge. Universities and other research initiatives are making it easy to partake in their continuing education classes. I’d like to show you some of the many opportunities that exist in your backyard! Give them a look and see if any pique your interest.
One of the biggest concerns people have when thinking about going back to school is the cost. There are many ways that universities and other programs are making their lectures accessible to older people. This is done through auditing classes which means paying a flat rate to sit in on lectures and not be responsible for taking tests or completing homework assignments. This is a great way for retirees to keep their costs low while still actively pursuing your education.
The Osher Lifelong Institute offers hundreds of courses per semester and allows you to pay a flat rate for the courses you enroll in. For residents of South Carolina, the Osher Institute partners with Furman University and Clemson University. There are classes from knitting to Southern history. They also have a Senior Leaders Greenville program which allows you to heighten your skills as community leaders. This is a great opportunity for those looking to get more involved in their community and take an active role in seeing it grow.
The University of South Carolina has a program designed for continuing education as an adult. You can learn anything you want from a new language to the process of InDesign software.
Greenville Technical College also offers low-cost continuing education opportunities. As an example, check out the course offered by the Economics Department.
Education & Finances
Education is a wonderful tool to keep you happy and healthy in retirement. Understanding how education fits into your financial goals is a great step and something you should discuss with your financial planner.
My team and I are dedicated to giving you the resources you need to stay informed about your financial well being which is why we have designed courses to help you stay on top of your financial future. We created these courses because education is important to us, and we know it is important to you as well.
We would love to get to know you and your educational goals. Give us a call and come learn with us!