What should you do with your retirement? Most retired people these days aren’t content to be idle. They want to remain engaged with their community and the world around them. They may also want to do something for themselves now after decades of working and perhaps raising a family.
If this sounds like you, have you thought about going back to school? Below are some great reasons to do so and some great tips on taking this big step.
Reasons to Go Back to School
Maybe you never had the opportunity to attend college when you were younger, or maybe you never got to study the topic you were truly passionate about. This is the time to indulge in your love for fine art, archeology or Japanese.
Whatever you wanted to study when you were young that just seemed too impractical, you now have the time to do it. You’ll appreciate learning in a whole new way, and you’ll be able to bring decades of experience to your classes. Going to school keeps your mind fresh, gives you a social outlet and can give you a new sense of promise and accomplishment.
If money is a concern, you may have some options. Some schools offer reduced or even free tuition to seniors. Another option could be to see if you are eligible for a life settlement on your life insurance policy.
People often purchase these policies to protect their dependents, and after their children grow up, they no longer really need them. Instead of letting your policy lapse or continuing to pay it, you might be able to sell it and get money to cover your costs.
Consider Online Education
If you can get to campus and go to classes, the in-person interaction can be great. However, what if you are housebound or just live too far from a college for this to be practical? You can still take online courses, and these can also be stimulating and invigorating. If you don’t care about getting a degree, many of these are free as well.
Talk to Your Professors
Whether you’re going to class in person or online, don’t be afraid to go and talk to your professors during their office hours. Online professors will probably have virtual offices. Professors love enthusiastic learners, and they’ll be happy to offer study tips and work with you if you’re feeling a little rusty on your library skills or any other aspect of being a student again.
They may be able to offer insight on elements outside the classroom like navigating campus, achieving a healthy work life balance, or how to connect you with other late in life students they know.
Connect With Other Nontraditional Students
College campuses are increasingly not just for people fresh out of high school. It’s great to have the energy and perspective of young people in your classes, but you’ll probably also appreciate the support of other nontraditional students, some of whom may also be retirees.
Your school probably has one or more organizations aimed at nontraditional students, and connecting with them can help you if you’re feeling a little isolated or unsure or you just want to meet others who are in a similar place in their life.