Retirement Redesigned

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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Retirement Redesigned

HomeUncategorizedLifelong learning

Lifelong learning

The urge to learn and to know more about what life is about comes back strongly for many in retirement.

It may be that there is more time to think and to be released from the need for focus on the challenges of a job. Or it may be a natural curiosity that has been inhibited during a working life, or even just a desire to catch up with some of the new developments in the world of knowledge

Most retirement programs have, until now, been focused on people retiring in their early sixties, but sixty these days is very different from sixty when the original retirement programs where created. There is now the prospect of a much longer life in retirement. Many sixty-year-olds are fit and healthy and able to take on much more preparing for a longer life in retirement. Spending some of that time learning something new is increasingly an attractive option

Many universities and colleges realizing the opportunities in the growing senior’s market are offering special programs especially in the university holidays, designed specifically to appeal to the retirement community. Subjects like Archeology, Psychology, Music Appreciation and the various languages are always popular. But now there is even a movement toward giving seniors the chance to get into Technology and to prepare them for a digital future. One program offered in the US realizing how overwhelmed older people can become in a digital world is called “How to become Tech-savvy in just ten days”

Prospective retirees increasingly relish the opportunity for travel. The so-called “grey market” is an expanding source for the travel industry and the big operators create special offerings in their cruises and package tours. Being exposed to other countries and their particular cultures is a strong stimulant for learning more and for a better international understanding. Coming back from a travel and being open to new experience often creates an interest in learning another language and finding out about history beyond the limited offering that was experienced at school

A Powerful incentive to expand knowledge of technology comes from the need to connect with family living abroad. Grandchildren in Australia or Canada or wherever is a strong motivation to get into the social media. Older parents and grandparents who might never have used technology are now happily making use of whatsapp, facetime and the others, learning in the process about what family members are up to in those other countries

Older people resetting their lives in retirement sometimes discover skills or passions long left aside during the pressures of a working life. It is a time to pick up a musical instrument or the long-held desire to write or paint or learn a new language. Experienced business people and even some not so experienced often think of ways to be self-employed or starting an entrepreneurial venture.

All of it requires the drive and the excitement of learning once again; sharpening one’s mind and acquiring new skills. A major study of the genes that underpin longevity has found that education leads to a longer life with almost a year added for each year spent studying beyond school.

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Johann is the founding partner of Reset Retirement where we focus on assisting people with planning for the non-financial aspects of their lives after full-time work. He had a long career in executive search and leadership as the founding partner and chairman of Heidrick & Struggles in South Africa where he was the head of the company’s board practice.


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