For most people, “retirement” is NOT a time of sitting around and doing nothing. (In fact, this sedentary lifestyle can be stressful.) Most people want to remain active, engaged, and purposeful. More than ever, there are abundant resources for those looking for new adventures and personal enrichment. In this post, we’ll highlight three lifelong learning opportunities for retirees.
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) – Since 2001, the Bernard Osher Foundation has funded these institutes at over 120 U.S. universities and colleges. They offer non-credit courses, events, travel opportunities, and lectures for adults over 50. There are no tests and no grades; it’s all about the joy of learning. As the University of Nebraska OLLI website states, “curiosity never retires.” At UNL’s OLLI program, most courses run 90 minutes per week for six weeks, and they are offered at various times during the day or evening, Monday through Saturday. With the holidays fast approaching, UNL’s OLLI program even offers gift certificates. What a great gift idea! Here are three additional links about OLLI:
- Here’s a list of OLLI universities and colleges
- Here’s more about Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes
- And here’s more about Bernard Osher, the philanthropist behind OLLI
MasterClass – Learn from over 90 of the world’s best minds, true masters in their field, through these online courses. Classes are a series of video lessons, typically 10 to 25, lasting anywhere from two to five hours in total. Here’s a sampling of the topics and speakers:
- Learn to write from the likes of Malcolm Gladwell, David Sedaris, and James Patterson.
- Learn about business and leadership from Bob Iger, Sara Blakely, and Howard Schultz.
- Learn about food and cooking with Thomas Keller, Wolfgang Puck, and Gordon Ramsay.
The cost for a year of unlimited access to MasterClass is $180. (I’ve taken a few courses since joining in July and have already gotten my money’s worth.) Additional links for MasterClass:
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) – Unlike the two options above, MOOCs are free, and there is no enrollment process. Universities typically create MOOCs; however, course providers such as Coursera, edX, FutureLearn, and Udacity are the distribution channels. As of 2019, over 110 million students have taken one of the 13,500 courses offered by one of 900 universities. MOOCs range in length from one week to 16 weeks, some have associated quizzes and tests, and some allow you to earn academic credits. Here are a few more MOOC resources:
- Here’s a beneficial website for understanding MOOCs
- The 100 most popular online courses of all-time (2020)
If none of these appeals to you, chances are excellent there’s something offered out there that does. We live in a world of instantly accessible knowledge. Sometimes we just need to know where to find these resources. If we’ve overlooked a lifelong learning resource you’ve found valuable, please let us know!
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