SKILL UP FOR RETIREMENT
Don’t stop learning just because you’re about to end your working life. Lauren Ahwan reports
U PSKILLING for retirement may sound redundant but it has important benefits for retirees and their communities. Generational change specialist Malcolm King says retirees increasingly want to remain involved in public affairs and make meaningful contributions to society.
“Education for people considering retirement is one of the great rejuvenators of the mind,’’ King says.
“New ideas not only keep us up-todate but they arm us with a whole raft of competencies and capabilities which help us in retirement.’’
While some education offerings specifically target retirees, many others delve into hobbies and topics, such as photography, gardening, IT and fitness, that those no longer in the workforce may only now have the time to pursue.
King says attending courses not only allows for personal development but provides an important social network for retirees, reducing isolation and improving mental health.
TAFE counsellor Lynne Paisley says many retirees choose courses that help develop their knowledge of an existing hobby, however, others choose to study something new.
“People are wanting to keep their brains active,’’ Paisley says.
“Many (retirees) find that, once they’ve done one course, they have fun and enjoy it, so then they do another one.
“We’ve got older people doing lots of ceramics and courses like that, and art courses.
“A lot of older people like to garden so they choose (courses in) kitchen gardens or growing vegetables.”
Grace Masselos, 81, holds a PhD in early childhood development and, since retiring as a preschool teacher and teacher educator, has completed courses at the Australian Patisserie Academy, as well as courses in language and literacy.
She enrolled in a publishing course and self-published a book on a recruitment drive for World War I and staged three local photography exhibitions after completing a photography course.
Masselos is currently taking piano lessons and attending lectures at the University of the Third Age.
“There’s a lot of people out there that are hungry for information, hungry to do something and hungry to meet with their peers,’’ she says.
“I could have just kept cooking and taking photos on my own but I’ve learned so much doing the courses.”
INSPIRING: Retired teacher Grace Masselos has done courses in tart-making, book publishing and photography.