To most, learning ends at the graduation ceremony. However, we believe that striving to be a lifelong learner is a key to living a healthy and successful life. In fact, a recent UK study shows that during the first year of retirement, short-term memory capabilities reduced by about 38%. Maintaining intellectual curiosity and challenging your mind can help stave off cognitive decline and dementia.
A productive use of money is investing in learning. Education providers such as Coursera offer online courses on just about any subject you can think of, from top universities throughout the world. Travel doesn’t have to mean sitting on the beach. Visit historical monuments, museums, art galleries or take educational tours. You’d be surprised at how much is out there. Ask yourself, are there any intriguing experiences that I’ve been putting off?
Investing in learning doesn’t just have to be for yourself. Student loan borrowers owe a total of $1.7 trillion in debt. If you want to help family members with their education loans, gifting cash to pay down loans or taking over monthly payments can alleviate the debt burden for a young professional. If you have young children or grandchildren, establishing a 529 plan or other college savings vehicle can go a long way in helping a family member graduate debt free.