Now that you’ve retired and have more time on your hands, what’s next? Retirement might be the perfect time to learn a new skill or two and here are six reasons why.

  1. Staying Socially Active

As you age, it’s common to start becoming more isolated and less likely to interact with others daily. By learning a new skill, you can combat this issue. For example, some skills may open an opportunity to attend a class or join a club. Not only will this help you to stay socially active, but it can help you meet like-minded people. Joining baking, drawing, or musical instrument classes are just a few ideas to get you started.

  1. Improved Cognitive Function

Learning a new skill can be great for keeping your mind sharp. However, many recommend that you choose new skills that will challenge you and keep you engaged. A study done by the Association for Psychological Science revealed “that less demanding activities, such as listening to classical music or completing word puzzles, probably won’t bring noticeable benefits to an aging mind.”

Try choosing a skill that’s entirely new for you that’s more immersive. The skill you choose can be anything from knitting to learning a new language. The choice is yours!

  1. Extra Income

Depending on which new skill you decide to learn, you can make some extra cash on the side. Many retirees make crafts to sell. Skills like knitting, woodworking, and soapmaking are great ways to make some money.

If this interests you, make sure to consider whether you’d want to sell online or in person. Etsy is the most popular e-commerce platform that many people use to sell their creations. If online business isn’t something you’d like to get into, consider participating in a farmer’s market in your local community.

  1. Physical Activity

It’s important to keep up with your physical health in retirement. Many skills can help with this, including dancing, swimming, and gardening. By choosing to develop a skill that involves physical activity, you’ll also be having a positive impact on your cognitive function.

According to Healthline, “any kind of exercise is associated with a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.”  So, as a general rule, it’s best to learn a new skill that will keep you physically active in your daily routine. Healthline also reports that aerobic exercise in particular may help slow shrinkage in the hippocampus, which plays a big part in learning and memory.

The bottom line here is that learning physically inclined skills is beneficial for multiple aspects of health.

  1. Mental Health

Mental health issues continue to be a problem among retirees and older adults. The World Health Organization reports that the most common mental and neurological disorders in this age group are dementia and depression.

For some, learning a new skill can help improve their mental state. According to Living Well, learning new skills can boost self-confidence and self-esteem, help build a sense of purpose, and foster connection with others. They also report learning a new skill can help with stress and overall mental well-being.

  1. It’s fun!

Learning a new skill can be an enjoyable way for you to enjoy your retirement. With more time on your hands, it’s great to pick up new hobbies and learn new things maybe you’ve never had the chance to do until now.

When choosing a skill, don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone. You have the freedom to try as many skills as you’d like until you find some that stick.

Final Thoughts

Learning a new skill is a perfect way for anyone in retirement to stay socially, physically, and mentally active. The possibilities are endless, so make sure to explore your options and have fun!