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The Third Age

5 Ways to Learn in the Third Age

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Humans are living 30 years longer than they did in 1900. Now, those of us 55 to 79 have a "third age" in which to learn whatever we want, whether it involves going back to school or more casual learning on our own.

Here are five ways to learn in the third age. What, and how, will you learn in your third age? Share your thoughts with us at the bottom of the page.

1. Go Back to School

Silverstock - Getty Images
Silverstock - Getty Images

Should you go back to school? The decision is a different one for each of us and depends a lot on age, retirement (or not), and finances. Have you always wanted to earn a degree? Another degree? This might be your time.

2. Take a Class Here and There

Jack Hollingsworth - Getty Images
Jack Hollingsworth - Getty Images

Going back to school doesn't have to be a serious endeavor. Many communities offer seminars in all kinds of fabulous topics taught by community experts in casual settings, often on evenings and weekends. If you're in your third age, chances are good you've taken a good number of these seminars already. If not, find out what your community offers.

You're likely to find classes at community colleges and senior centers.

3. Take a Webinar

Jupiterimages - Getty Images
Jupiterimages - Getty Images

The web is full of wonderful, and free, learning opportunities. Seminars on the web are called webinars, and many of them are free. Find the webinars that interest you by searching for the keywords that describe your interest.

If you have trouble seeing your screen, and it's not your glasses, maybe your screen font is too small. We can help: Screen Font Too Small?

4. Be a Mentor

Steve Mason - Getty Images
Steve Mason - Getty Images

Teaching what you know and new things you've learned can be one of the best, and most rewarding, ways of learning even more. Find a person in your community, youth or adult, who could use a mentor. Have lunch once a month, once a week, however often the two of you decide.

5. Volunteer

Jack Hollingsworth - Photodisc - Getty Images
Jack Hollingsworth - Photodisc - Getty Images

Everyone I know who volunteers finds the experience far more rewarding than expected. I often hear people say, "I got so much more than I gave." And every one of them is surprised the first time. Volunteering is contagious. Do it once and you'll be hooked. You'll also learn new things. Every time. Be a volunteer.

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