According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans 60 years old and up spend about two-thirds of their leisure time in front of an electronic screen. Their analysis found that screen-time captured between four and five hours of seniors’ daily routines. While many senior internet users use the internet for social networking, managing their finances, and visiting state or federal websites, 18% use it to take an online class, according to Martech Zone.
Online learning in retirement is beneficial for many reasons. For example, you could prevent cognitive decline, obtain an encore career, or expand your skillset. Keep reading to learn other reasons why you should consider online learning in retirement.
Combat cognitive decline
Although cognitive decline is not guaranteed with increasing age, it is prevalent. According to the World Health Organization, about 50 million people have some form of dementia. Learning new skills has been proved to prevent memory loss and, therefore, likely prevent or delay dementia.
A Psychol Sci study published in PubMed Central found that seniors who learned digital photography and practiced their new skill for fifteen hours a week improved their memory function. Therefore, you should consider taking an online photography class in retirement to combat cognitive decline. Other skills you could learn online that may prevent cognitive decline include quilt making, crocheting, cooking, and any other hands-on activity that requires focus.
Fill free time
Many new retirees find they have more free time than they know what to do with. If this is you, consider online learning to fill your free time. You could also spend this newfound free time with your grandkids or adult children and take an online class with them. In the midst of the pandemic, online learning could be your way of spending more quality time with loved ones you may not be able to see.
Learning online could also lead to meeting new people and broadening your social circle. Many online classes involve Skype or Zoom meetings, so you could get to know new faces and make new friends, all while learning a new skill.
Learn about your new insurance
While online learning can certainly be a way to pass the time or learn a new skill, it can also be necessary. Most retirees rely on Medicare for their health insurance in their senior years. However, so many find themselves without a clue on how to get started with the program.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can learn about Medicare online, such as by way of webinars, online courses, YouTube videos, and much more. And you’re likely to find many online learning options for Medicare for free. Medicare is a complex program, so you may want to start your research a few months before becoming eligible to ensure you enroll in all the necessary parts and plans at the right times. If you don’t, you may be penalized later.
Start an encore career
Investopedia described an encore career as a second career started after retiring from a previous career at a later age. Retirees usually start an encore career to fulfill a sense of purpose, gain extra retirement income, or finally get a chance at the career they always wanted. Some retirees say the slow-paced, relaxing life of retirement just isn’t for them. If this sounds like you, an encore career may be something to consider.
Take Joe Roland’s story, for example. As a retired Buffalo News editor, in 2006, Roland had a dream to learn how to fly planes. Until he officially retired for the second time, he enjoyed a part-time job as a flight instructor. Thanks to his part-time job and pension from his work as an editor, he still hasn’t had to touch his savings during retirement.
If an encore career sounds like the right path for you, consider online learning in retirement to obtain the necessary skills and certifications to get started.
Become a master
You may have a skill you’d like to expand and become a master at. If so, online learning in retirement is perfect for you. For example, if you know a little bit of French or Spanish but want to become fluent, take an online language course. Or take an online class to master the game of chess or backgammon.
Online learning in retirement doesn’t have to be boring. In the end, it’s important you enjoy your retirement because you’ve earned it. However, you’re never too old to learn something new.