Much has been known that education is not catered to the youth only. Many retirees or elderly people are looking towards education as an asset. Like the youths, they are curious to know more and they would like to spend their time beneficially. The question is: Why do retirees or elderly people seek for education later in life?
First of all, education is used to enhance their knowledge and skills even further than before. As most retirees are considered ‘experienced’ in terms of their career and their lives as a whole, they would like to explore further what they can learn or what else they can do. For instance, if they take up a course in Psychology, they can gain a better understanding of the human behavior and may consider pursuing a career as a part-time counselor or a part-time consultant.
Besides that, education means learning something new and gaining a new experience which is usually exciting. In other words, they are keeping their lives more interesting even as they aged. One will not have to worry anymore about being “left out” or considered non-useful to the community. One may even take pride in gaining an active lifestyle.
Furthermore, retirees can learn to keep up with the current generation through education. One is never too old to learn what the current generation is learning. After all, education is a life-long process. For instance, it is not too late for one to pick up a Korean language class or a computer course. There is absolutely nothing wrong for one to communicate with the current generation and learn from them and vice versa. Experiences and knowledge are shared among each other without a doubt. As the saying goes, there is no right or wrong in any circumstances.
According to the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, there are five levels of needs: physiological, safety, belonging, esteem and self-actualization. One has to be able to satisfy their most basic needs before moving on to the next level of needs. In this case, education later in life is categorized under the self-actualization needs which are the highest level of needs. Thus, by choosing to pursue an education, one is indirectly pursuing the highest level of the hierarchy.