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Planning Retirement Online

Adult Education - Introduction

As we get older it's vital that we keep our brain active. The saying that 'The brain's just like the body; if you don't use it you lose it', is very true.

There are several ways that, in later life, we can keep our brain active. If we are still in work and intend to stay that way, then working will give us mental stimulation. If we've retired, or intend to, then part-time work will do the same for us. If we don't work in retirement and have no intention of doing so, we can take up hobbies, such as bridge, board games, chess etc, that require us to use our mental faculties or we can do things such as crosswords, jigsaws, Sudoku and so on. Or we can set about acquiring some adult education by doing a course and learning something.

Guide to 'Adult Education'. Content Links

When we talk about doing a course, it doesn't necessarily have to be an academic subject. Anything that helps us to learn something new and therefore use our brain is beneficial to us in keeping our mind active. So we might choose something practical such as crochet, basket weaving or carpentry or something active that also stimulates the brain, such as dancing or orienteering. As long as we have to think about what we are doing our brain is being kept active and we are learning something through using our grey matter.

So adult education, or continuing education (or even adult continuing education!) as it's known, comes in all shapes and sizes. The common denominator with all these things, however, is that they keep our brain active. The rest of this Guide shows you some of the options that are available to you, so that you can get a feel for them all in one place without having to trawl the Internet and then make your choice.The Brain Book

Learning new things in later life can be very enjoyable. It gives us a sense of satisfaction and achievement, it might well help us socially by enabling us to meet new people and, of course, it helps to keep our brain from falling into disrepair. So continuing education is a beneficial thing to do for a number of reasons.


One final point on this introductory page: before we choose some form of adult education course, we need to think about the lifestyle we want in retirement. If we think we're going to be a '' type of person, dashing off at a moment's notice whenever a good deal presents itself, think carefully about signing up for a long-ish course, because we'll probably miss half of it. Maybe some form of distance learning would be better for us. If, on the other hand, we feel that we need some structure in our retirement, to replace the structure that work provided for us, then having to go to a course on a regular basis might be just what the doctor ordered. So give it some thought before you choose a particular type of adult education course.

So have a read through the Guide to get a feel for what's available. Then have a think about what will suit you best in terms of what you will enjoy, what sort of lifestyle you want and what you want to achieve. Having done that you should be in a position to choose some form of adult education that will really suit you.

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This Guide to Adult Education is written by Retirement Specialist Dave Sinclair supported by members of the LaterLife team. As well as writing on retirement matters Dave is Training Director at LaterLife and responsible for the content and continuous improvement of LaterLife's Retirement Courses.
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