Did you know that in the U.S., adult students represent the majority of degree seekers? More retirees are heading back to the classroom and taking advantage of lower tuition costs. Let’s break down the benefits of a later-in-life education and how you can pay for this opportunity.

Back to Class

While retirement comes with the time to explore one’s interests, it can also come with the question of, “Now what?” Many retirees are choosing to wind down their careers rather than stop working altogether. A 2021 study by Savant found that nearly 70 percent of respondents would transition to a different kind of work or work on their own terms if they thought it were an option.

According to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, this is called an “encore career.” This new phase provides the retiree with a job that not only brings in a steady income but also gives their life a sense of purpose. Retirees looking to jumpstart an encore career may need to head back to the classroom to build on their current experience or learn new skills for a career pivot.

Some of the reasons why we’re seeing high numbers of retirees in the classroom include:

#1 Staying Competitive

Non-traditional students are driven to keep building their core competencies. They want to brush up on industry trends and shifts, learn new software, and get ahead of the competition.

#2 Starting a New Career

Going back to school is an excellent way to build a foundation of new knowledge and expand their network while making a career pivot.

#3 Challenging Themselves

Whether they’re completing a degree or challenging themselves to succeed in a new environment, retirees can fulfill personal goals in the classroom.

Paying Tuition

Many of the continuing education programs for seniors are quite affordable. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, which has many campuses across the U.S., provides classes for those 55 and older. The membership fee is $25 and each class costs $115. The average student age is around 68, although students in their late 80s and early 90s join classes. Other universities charge flat fees of $50 for seniors to audit classes or may offer online classes for free or at a minimal cost.

Making the Grade

Even if you’re not interested in pursuing a degree, you may want to consider taking a technical class to help you stay competitive. Maybe you want to take a course that focuses on a subject that sparks your curiosity. There are many affordable options.

At Savant, we can help you transition from saving and preparing for retirement to living in retirement by putting your assets to work to support your next life chapter. If you’d like a second opinion on your portfolio or to discuss your education goals, we invite you to schedule an introductory call with a member of our advisory team.

About Savant Wealth Management

Savant Wealth Management is a leading independent, nationally recognized, fee-only firm serving clients for over 30 years. As a trusted advisor, Savant Wealth Management offers investment management, financial planning, retirement plan and family office services to financially established individuals and institutions. Savant also offers corporate accounting, tax preparation, payroll and consulting through its affiliate, Savant Tax & Consulting.

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