The Top 5 Ways to Activate Your Learning in Retirement

Just because you’re retiring doesn’t mean you stop wanting to learn. What greater gift could you want than to finally have the time for exploring the world and mastering new skills? Activating your learning in retirement is important to your mental and spiritual health. Whether you’re interested in learning a new language, delving into the nuances of Roman history or fine-tuning your knitting skills, there are plenty of educational opportunities available for retirees.

1. Community Adult Education Programs

Most communities provide a variety of low-cost adult education programs through their libraries, public schools, parks and recreation departments or senior centers. These courses are typically taught by local experts and enthusiasts. Not only are these courses usually fun, low commitment workshops but they also provide you with an easy way to socialize and connect with others in your community.

2. Online Independent Learning Courses

There are numerous free and low cost educational options available online. You can find everything from hobby and lifestyle courses to full-fledged Ivy League college courses online. What makes these courses unique is that you can often take them at your own pace and from the convenience of your home. Here’s a short list of online independent learning opportunities to checkout if this sounds interesting to you: Open Yale Courses, edX, Udemy, The Great Courses, Rosetta Stone, Khan Academy, Code Academy.

3. College Course Auditing

If you’re interested in committing a bit more time and energy into studying a subject but not interested in obtaining college credits, choosing to audit a course at your local college or university might just be for you. As a course auditor you’ll be able to attend lectures, gain access to the professor, textbooks and other academic resources without having to do all the homework and usually at a reduced price (in some states this is even FREE for retirees). If this sounds good to you, contact your local college or university to learn more about what class auditing opportunities they offer.

4. Internships

Some businesses and startups provide unpaid (and sometimes paid) internships to retirees. Some of these businesses mandate age diversity, while others are desperate to tap into your 30-40 years of tacit and explicit experiential knowledge you developed during your career. Working part-time or on your own terms, but in a fast-paced and youthful environment can help keep you on top of your game and learning new skills while paying it forward.

5. The Autodidact Method

This is just the art of self-learning. It starts with picking up a book or a craft, and learning as much as you can through reading and trying, then putting what you learned into practice. Sometimes independent study and self-tutelage can offer unique outcomes because without external influences or standard practices you can innovate and become more inventive in the practice. BONUS- Here are some areas of learning you might enjoy:

  • Cooking

  • Mathematics

  • Yoga

  • Sommelier

  • Dancing

  • Quilting

  • Woodworking

  • Mushrooming

  • Social Media

  • Nutrition

  • Software coding

  • Landscaping / Gardening

#retirement #learning #education #communityeducation #independentlearning #college #autodidact

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