Continuing lifelong learning into your retirement years improves mental wellbeing, strengthens physical health and helps you forge new social connections.
Henry Ford once said, "Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young." Keeping your brain engaged and active, no matter your age, is about embracing a passion for education and taking opportunities to develop new skills.
It's good for mental wellbeing, it improves physical health and it helps forge new social connections - there's no doubt that it's important you continue lifelong learning into retirement and beyond! In our guide to embracing learning at every stage of life, we will:
Hopefully you'll learn a thing or two along the way as you figure out how to make the most of your retirement lifestyle!
Keeping your mind active through lifelong learning is a big part of maintaining a healthy retirement lifestyle.
We can all be considered lifelong learners - once you leave the school gates, you never stop studying! Whether learning to play the guitar or researching a new area of expertise, we take on new competencies and knowledge throughout our lives. A passion for education is the only requirement to graduate as a lifelong learner!
While there is no formal definition for lifelong learning, it refers to an innate drive to continue to learn and develop new skills, often outside of formal education. This doesn't mean that study undertaken through a TAFE course or tertiary institution isn't a part of lifelong learning. Instead, it means education is self-initiated for the sake of personal development and self-fulfilment, rather than any formal requirement to complete a curriculum.
This dedication to self-fulfilled upskilling shouldn't stop when you retire. Continuing education that you are passionate about and taking opportunities to learn new skills can give your time more purpose and meaning. But the many benefits of lifelong learning don't stop there!
Here are some positives to come out of building lifelong learning into your retirement:
Improving self-confidence and other personal qualities
Whether entering a course with like-minded individuals or undertaking your own readings, embracing lifelong learning can give you more confidence in your own knowledge and areas of interest. Additionally, working with others helps you to improve crucial communication skills and your own emotional intelligence - capabilities that carry us through our whole lives.
Learning can be something as simple as mastering how to use a iPad - what's important is that education gives your life more purpose and meaning.
Strengthening your mental capabilities and wellbeing
Mental inactivity can potentially place you at a higher risk of developing memory loss issues. Consider your brain like a muscle - if you don't use it, it will shrink over time. If you work your brain by learning, whether extending your knowledge about a passion subject or teaching yourself a new skill, it can improve your overall mental wellbeing, as well as memory retention and problem-solving skills.
Meeting new people
Partaking in a course that facilitates lifelong learning places you in a perfect position to make new social connections. Even if you are not very sociable, others in the room undoubtedly have similar interests to you, which often makes it easier to forge new friendships. Meeting new people that are like-minded is important for Australians reaching retirement, as it offers an alternative social outlet to time spent with work colleagues.
Developing new hobbies and interests
It can be intimidating taking up a new hobby after retirement - after all, if you've never done it in your working life, will you even like it? One of the joys of retiring from working is the extra time gained. If you have always wanted to learn a new language, or become an expert with a nine iron, consider every day a chance to embrace a new skill!
These benefits are just the beginning of what you stand to gain when mixing education with well-earned downtime!
Continuing lifelong learning into retirement is the perfect opportunity to embrace that skill you never quite had the time to master!
Lifelong learning is about building on your desire to gain new skills or expertise, whether in a formal or informal setting. Here are three ways you can continue learning as an older adult, depending on how social you are and your retirement income:
Keeping engaged with learning will put you in the best place to fully enjoy your retirement!
Anyone can pursue formal education online!
Alongside lifelong learning, there are several other things you can do to keep your mind active and healthy during your retirement:
To learn more about Retirement living and how you can stay healthy, active and social in a friendly community, contact the Anglicare team today.