FREE Learning Opportunities in Retirement

Learning is FREE

Being the publisher of Retirement Media I read a lot about retirement and live the retirement lifestyle since I am age 66. Something that does not get too much press is lifelong learning.  You may click that link to see a good article explaining what the term is and why it may be useful throughout your life and especially  in retirement.

There are plenty of free opportunities to learn. You really don’t need too much to learn, just be observant;  however taking a class is a excellent way to learn.

When you learn for free it is even better. Here are some free classes listed below that I have taken this year. This may give you some ideas.

FREE Learning Opportunities in Retirement

1. Free Dance Lessons – Many dance clubs give free lessons not only to beginners but advanced also.  Some feel the dance lessons are the most enjoyable part.

2. YouTube Videos – I am convinced you can learn to learn how to do anything watching YouTube Videos.

3. Smartphone lessons – My wife and I just took a two hour class covering all the features on her new Galaxy 5 phone at our Verizon store. Just go to your provider’s web site to find a class.

5. AARP TEKAARP TEK provides all sorts of workshops to learn about technology. We took the workshop on tablets and smartphones.

6. Senior Centers – We attend the lunch & learn once a month.  I liked visiting the 911 call center to learn how that works. Adult learning centers are also good places to learn.

7. Book Clubs – Join a book club that will select a book of the month and then have a discussion about the book. Reading is a great if not the best free learning tool. Libraries have author lectures.

8. – Tonight I am going to a free two hour course on how to use Instagram. They also give free classes on Facebook and Twitter. For almost any subject you are interested in learning about, there usually is a group on that will help you learn.

9. Colleges – Many have free audition classes for seniors.

10. Free on-line courses – Get 1000 free online courses from the world’s leading universities –  Stanford, Yale, MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, Oxford and more.

11. Free Computer Classes for Seniors – available at senior centers, libraries and other places. Kids love teaching seniors about computers. Professionals volunteer their time teaching also.

12. Free Day at the Museum – I went to Atlanta’s High Museum on the first Saturday of this month because they offered FREE admission for that day.  Ask your museum if they have a free admissions day or evening.

13. Volunteer – Volunteers get some free training. My wife volunteers at a hospital and they have a auxiliary meetings with guest speakers too. You can also volunteer to usher and see free shows and lectures.

14. Hospitals – have free health fairs and health screening where you can learn how to improve your health.

15. Arts in the Park – We just went to a free concert by the Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra in Newtown Park.  Funded by the Arts Foundation. Your area park probably has something like this.

16. Book TV – I love watching Book TV on the weekends on TV. They also have free videos of their authors talking about their books on the Book TV website.

17. Free Arts Classes – I signed up for a free arts class “senior to senior” where they match you the senior with an arts senior in high school.  Check with your arts center for free classes.

Well I was able to come up with these 17 free learning opportunities from my own life. I hope there are ideas that inspire you to check them out.

If you think of other free learning opportunities you should comment below.

More Retirement Activities

Home Technology For Seniors

Home Technology For Seniors

Technology is really becoming useful to help seniors stay in their homes. Yesterday I took a technology for seniors workshop, then today I received this great info-graphic from the folks at Home Access Products.

Home Technology for Seniors Infographic

There are several items that I like that I had not heard of before like the EasyFamily IPad App that will make it easier for seniors to stay in touch with their family.

The FitBit Flex sounds like a good idea and I like it; it resembles a trendy looking watch that my nephew’s young wife is wearing. I may get one for myself.

I agree the Apple IPad is a great tool for seniors and  after taking an AARP TEK workshop yesterday using an iPad Mini to demo, I want one. Nice!  More info on AARP TEK see Technology Education Center.

Technologies that help seniors stay connected with friends and family are already good and will only get better as we boomer enter retirement and beyond.

Robert Fowler
Retirement Media


AARP Aims to Close the Technology Gap with TEK Workshops

AARP Aims to Close the Technology Gap with TEK Workshops

Although we in the 50+ crowd have accumulated decades of knowledge and a lifetime of experience, we did not grow up with a tablet in our hands as our grandchildren are now – and using some of the newest tech advances, mobile apps, and online platforms available today can be a daunting idea for some. Nonetheless, as technology becomes an ever more integral part of daily life, it has become nearly impossible to live “tech-free” without cutting ourselves off from important resources – and from our loved ones. A large number of seniors want to keep up with these fast-paced changes: a recent study found that 25% of those over the age of 50 who do not already own a smartphone or tablet plan to purchase one within the next year. To get the most out of these gadgets, though, we need some help to close the technology gap.

AARP understands that the 50+ audience has a definite need for user-friendly information and training on how to use personal technology devices, social media platforms, and online resources safely and effectively. They are at the forefront of providing such learning opportunities, with the rollout of hands-on TEK courses at AARP Life@50+ National Events and Expos across the U.S.

The TEK workshops (short for Technology Education and Knowledge) are available to Life@50+ attendees across the country, free of charge. The TEK program is comprehensive technology education geared specifically toward a more mature audience. Workshops will be offered at the AARP TEK Pavilion at each event, with working examples of the newest personal technology devices offering attendees a high-touch, hands-on experience. Experts and volunteers will run small group training workshops and provide individual support for those 50+ who want to become more proficient at using technology such as smart phones, tablets, and mobile apps.

Young volunteers from local 4-H clubs, colleges and universities will also be there to help even the most tech-phobic baby boomer learn to take advantage of what mobile technology and online platforms have to offer. As a part of the AARP’s new “Mentor Up” program (a “reverse mentoring” initiative that endeavors to encourage the flow of knowledge between younger and older generations), these young “Tech Wizards” will be on hand to guide interested seniors in the use of the newest apps and online social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Today’s technology can play a fundamental part in helping seniors live healthier, more active and fulfilling lives, but many people have trouble finding helpful, clear and comprehensible information and help in learning the basics and staying current with technological advances. The AARP TEK trainings are an important step toward filling that void. Workshops available at the Life@50+ events nationwide include:

AARP TEK workshop
AARP TEK workshop

· Introduction to Tablets and Apps – For those individuals who want to “go mobile,” but need to become familiar with what tablets do and how to get started.

· Tablet Discovery: Connect – Information about connecting with friends and family via email, social media platforms, text messaging, video-conferencing (Skype), and more.

· Tablet Discovery: On the Go – Using tools such as Google Maps, weather apps, and consumer review sites like Yelp to plan your day and get where you want to go.

· Tablet Discovery: News, Books, and Music – Where to go online, and what apps you can download, to get the news and current events, download e-books, stream music, and much more.

The AARP TEK education workshops will be available at AARP events in seven cities this year – Boston, MA; Jacksonville, FL; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; New York, NY; San Antonio, TX; and San Diego CA. Life@50+ attendees who purchase the special Digital Experience ticket will receive a brand-new iPad mini on-site, and can receive immediate, hands-on training on their new gadget. Those who are unable to attend any of the AARP events can access the TEK online education platform, with video tutorials, on


You might be interested in photos from a TEK workshop I attended:
Atlanta AARP TEK workshop
Visit AARP’s Technology Education Center.

Here are some upcoming  AARP TEK workshops around the country.