Retired and thinking about returning to school? Here’s some advice from the book “How to Love Your Retirement” (Hundreds of Heads Books, www.hundredsofheads.com, $13.95), straight from people who’ve done it.
“One of the dangers of living in a retirement community is that you can come down with fuddy-duddyitis. It’s essential to get out of the community and be around people of all ages. I take graduate-level classes with people my children’s age and then language classes with people in their 20s. It’s fascinating and intellectually challenging, not to mention interesting to hear how they talk, dress, walk. I’m going with some students to Spain this month to learn Spanish. It should be challenging since they are in their 20s and will be going 100 miles per hour, while I’ll be doing 40 miles per hour!”
— Frank Hawk, Lakeland, Fla.; retired for 3 years
“I had always wanted to learn more about cars so that I could work on my own car, so I took some auto-shop courses. It’s fun because there is no pressure, and you have all day to do your homework. Now I can save a few bucks by doing minor repairs myself instead of taking the car to the shop all the time.”
— John Pace, Unity, Ohio; retired for 4 years
“Retirement is the time to find answers to questions. I always wanted to know more about art history. Every time I’d be watching a show or a movie and some reference to the Mona Lisa or Monet or some other painter would come up, I’d wish I knew more about it. Now I’m taking the time to learn all I can. And I can throw away those little Post-it Notes in the back of my brain.”
— Marcia Coulis, Boardman, Ohio; retired for 1 year
“They offer adult-education classes on the lower west side of Manhattan. I’m really enjoying it. It gets me out of the house, it keeps me alert. If you just sit in the house, you don’t accomplish very much. We need tasks. We need goals. It’s great to have an outside school that can act as a force and drive you. It gives your days structure.”
— Roy Clary, Brooklyn, N.Y.; retired for 1 year
“So many colleges and universities now offer accelerated degree programs that are perfect for retired people. The work is crammed into a shorter time period, but since you are not working anymore, you have plenty of time to do the work at home. I’m working on finishing my bachelor’s degree in personnel management.”
— Bessie Sarver, Bazetta, Ohio; retired for 5 years
“When I accepted early retirement due to layoffs, my company offered a training/education allowance as part of the package. I told the company I was going to learn to be an aerial photographer, which meant I needed my pilot’s license. So they paid for me to take flying lessons, and I got my license and did many solo flights. It fulfilled a lifelong dream of mine!”
— Jack Morris, Waltham, Mass.; retired for 16 years
© 2007, Hundreds of Heads Books, Inc.