Retirement marks the end of an era. But it does not mark the end of life. People are retiring younger and living longer. That means retirees can expect decades of life to fill after walking away from the job. If you manage to retire well in 2022, what are you going to do for an encore? When a company has done big things that mark an era, the next phase of their existence is often referred to as the second act. The same can apply to individuals. If you reach your peak early in life, the challenge ahead is to find an even greater peak to crest.
Retirement doesn’t change anything. You have merely reached a peak. Is it all downhill from there? We humans don’t do well when we have no more dragons to slay. We need challenges all the way to the end. In some ways, it is the challenge that keeps us going. The rocking chair on the porch is never enjoyed for very long because we either get bored of it, or we expire not long after sitting in it. Retirement should never mean the end of life’s journey. It should always represent a transition. You will live for many years after leaving work. And you will have a lot yet to learn. Here are just three of the things to which you can apply your mind:
A lot of people just skated by when it comes to STEM education. People reaching retirement age today lived in a different world where everything was not dictated by science, technology, engineering, and math. When NASA breaks news about the Mars rover or James Webb Space Telescope, they are literally talking about things that are over the head of many retirees.
You don’t have to be one of them. You can take classes at the local community college. You don’t have to worry about your study skills being a little rusty. There are many excellent ways to practice for your STEM course. You can catch up a lot sooner than you think. Upgrading your education can help you enjoy the following benefits:
- The satisfaction of a more rounded education
- The ability to help the grandkids with their school work
- A better understanding of how things really work
- Gaining more marketable skills in case you decide to go back to work
There is no downside to knowing more about how the world works. At the end of the day, the greatest benefit is that such study leads to you becoming an even better version of your best self.
Society is moving fast, even for young people. It is hard for anyone to keep up with the pace of change. Even young teens can legitimately start a sentence with the words, “When I was a kid…” Many seniors are feeling left behind and out of the loop. Don’t despair. You can learn all about TikTok and other social media that is not Facebook.
Not only are retirees not too old for social media, many are breathing new life into it. While you are learning how to make short videos people will actually want to watch, learn how to use five new features of the smartphone that is in your pocket. Learn how to code a simple app. Learn how to set up home automation. Take control of the personal computing devices in your life and master them. Now is your opportunity to learn the tools of this new era.
Learn a Language
They say it gets harder to learn languages as you get older. But that is only one part of the story. The other part is that as a retiree, you have plenty of time and motivation to learn a new language. Pick a spot on the map you want to visit in your golden years and spend the next year learning the language. It is one of the best times for you to learn a new language because you will be in a position to visit the places where that language is spoken. Also, language learning is one of the best ways to keep your brain elastic and sharp.
What will you do with your second act? Whatever you do will be benefited by learning more STEM, personal computing, and a new language.