Senior Citizens Going Back To College

More Senior Citizens Are Going Back to College

Updated on Jun 05 2019


June 6 marks Higher Education Day and as families across the country prepare to send young high school graduates off to college, many seniors are also preparing to go back to college. In fact, adult students represent that majority of degree seekers in the United States. The number of older adult learners is rising for a myriad of reasons ranging from increased income to learning stimulation and curiosity.

Learn what is drawing many seniors are going back to college and how their education is transforming the workforce.

Why Retirees are Going Back to College

Here are a few reasons senior citizens are going back to college:

1. To set the foundation for a second career

A survey from the Rand Corporation found that 39 percent of workers age 65 and older who were currently employed had previously retired at some point. For many, living on a fixed income is difficult or they do not enjoy retirement as much as they imagined. Many seniors are choosing to go back to work after retirement, and maybe this time, it’s doing something they completely enjoy. Obtaining a new degree is a great way to start over, to get a new job in a new field, and develop the skills necessary to do so.

2. To stay competitive in their field

As the workplace evolves and becomes more dependent on technology, some seniors are finding that additional education is necessary to stay competitive in their field. Seniors going back to college have an opportunity to show employers that they bring workplace experience and an updated skill set, keeping them competitive in their careers. Higher education can help seniors stay more engaged in the workplace.

3. To embrace a new challenge

For seniors that have been working in the same field the majority of their adult lives, going back to college can bring a new challenge and a refreshing new environment. Lifelong learning has been linked to better health, finances, and even a reduced risk of dementia. For seniors going back to college, the classroom provides a unique opportunity to embrace new challenges while pursuing opportunities for personal development.

4. To fulfill a lifelong goal

For many seniors, obtaining a degree has been a lifelong dream. Many have served their country in the Armed Forces, or stopped attending school to start a family years ago. As the demands in adulthood grew, many of today’s seniors dropped out of college, or perhaps chose not to attend at all. For these seniors, going back to college and obtaining the next degree is a source of pride and a way to inspire future generations. Recognizing the value of life experience, many universities give credit for previously earned credits or workplace competency, and on-the-job training.

Get Expert Advice Before Returning to School

Seniors choose to go back to school for several reasons, but it’s crucial to understand the impact of the cost of education and return on investment, especially for retirees living on a limited income. There are a number of scholarships and programs available to seniors to make an education affordable. An expert financial planner can help you assess your current fiscal situation and strategize how to create a balanced retirement portfolio that allows you to achieve educational goals in a fiscally responsible way.

Everyone has different retirement timelines and career goals, which is why it’s crucial to explore your financial options in education. A financial planning expert can help you create a plan that will allow you to join your retirement - in and out of the classroom.

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