Whether you choose to pursue a degree, audit a class, or learn a new skill or craft in retirement, the benefits of ongoing education are numerous. In fact, a growing number of studies indicate that people who further their education, learn a new language, or musical instrument—or maintain a network of relationships with family and friends—tend to experience lower rates of dementia and cognitive reasoning problems later in life.1
A commitment to lifetime learning can help you:
- Strengthen your brain and memory receptors
- Increase opportunities for intellectual exchange
- Combat boredom and loneliness
- Discover a renewed sense of purpose
- Expand your intellectual horizons
- Pursue interests you didn’t have time for in the past
Ready to get started?
Many universities and community colleges allow seniors to audit classes for free or waive tuition for retirees in non-degree programs. Others offer tuition and fee discounts for seniors pursuing degrees.2 Osher Lifetime Learning, a program offered through The Bernard Osher Foundation, supports over a hundred lifelong learning programs at colleges and universities from Maine to Hawaii and Alaska. The courses are designed for people over 50 who are interested in learning for the joy of learning.
Consider taking advantage of the Lifetime Learning Credit, a tax credit of up to $2,000 per year to help pay for undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree courses. While there’s no limit on the number of years you can claim this tax credit, your marginal adjusted gross income (MAGI) must be less than $65,000 for individuals and less than $131,000 for married couples filing jointly to claim the full credit. Income too high to qualify? Those with higher modified adjusted gross incomes may qualify for a partial credit.3