September and January always feel like “back to school” months regardless of your age. They are usually times of renewed energy and anticipation of learning something new. Boomers facing retirement often look forward to completing some unfinished education, testing untapped interests and new fields of learning. Here are some suggestions to get you started if this describes you.
This post is part of an on-going series on this blog on the topic of “Retire – Downsize – ….”, covering a variety of possible activities to pursue after retiring and downsizing. Today’s topic is for Lifelong Learners.
1. Community learning
The simplest way of finding options for learning in your community is to check your local school board for evening classes. Most boards have a wide variety of courses available on a school-term basis. They are usually held weekly for a defined period such as 10 weeks. The Peel District School Board‘s Continuing & Adult Education programs provide a good overview of course categories.
Libraries often host single-event presentations on timely, relevant topics. The Toronto Public Library organizes a wide range of presentation topics including Science, Culture, Finance, Health and History. You could easily supplement regular courses from other venues with related content at these popular sessions.
2. Post-secondary School Continuing Education
Courses at Universities and Colleges are a step up from those held by local school boards since their course are typically part of a degree or certificate program. Perhaps you had a childhood dream of having a degree in a field that sparked your imagination. If you partially completed a University or College program, you may wish to check into what it would take to finish the program. Your motivation for doing so might be for the satisfaction of completing something that is important to you. You may also wish to upgrade your education so that you can take on new challenges in your retirement years. Are you a closet journalist? Would you like to delve into the field of macro-photography? How about politics? You can explore some of these in the GTA at The School of Continuing Studies (University of Toronto), The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education (Ryerson University) and Humber Continuing Education programs (Humber College).
3. Distance learning
With the explosion of the internet, wide access to hi-speed data lines and user-friendly tablets, distance learning is an excellent option. If you live in a large community, your local library may have a group membership in an online site such as Lynda.com. This entitles you to access all of the courses that are available to direct members of the site. Otherwise, you could join as an individual user on this site or similar sites. Another fascinating site is The Great Courses which hosts a large library of courses. There is even one titled “What Einstein Got Wrong”. Finally, you can also gain a great deal of free content on video sites such as YouTube.
* You may notice some Canadian spelling in these posts. The words may look odd but that’s how we spell them. We’re used to it.
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Unless otherwise credited, all posts are happily authored with a quill pen …
Paul Ferri, Broker, ASA (Accredited Senior Agent)
RE/MAX Unique Inc. Brokerage*, Toronto, Canada
*Each office independently owned and operated.