Why Some Seniors Choose to Teach in Retirement


Teach in retirement to share what you’ve learned over the years, and you feel you have some wisdom to pass on. It may be a skill like knitting, or woodworking, or playing a musical instrument. It could be something you did for a living like interior design or business management.

Whatever it is, you believe you could teach someone something useful. And now that you’re retired, you want to give something back. 

You feel it will help to give your retirement years a sense of meaning and purpose.

What do I know?

But you may ask yourself, “What do I know that someone can’t already learn by looking it up online?”

It’s true. There are countless DIY videos on YouTube. And there’s bound to be a blog somewhere offering guidance on most any topic you’re interested in.

But sometimes those aren’t enough. Sometimes people prefer to learn from a real person in real time.

Why is that?

Well, often they’re looking for one or more of the following:

  • Help applying the information to their unique situation
  • A chance to practice what they’re learning and get feedback along the way
  • The opportunity to ask questions and quickly get answers
  • Encouragement and practical advice to get them through rough patches where they feel stuck and may be tempted to quit
  • Social interaction with a teacher or other students

If you can offer any of these, you’re providing something of extra value. It’s the difference between interacting with your students and supporting them along their learning journey versus simply giving them information and leaving them to figure out how to apply it.

Different ways to teach in retirement

How you choose to teach is up to you. It could depend on what you personally hope to get out of the experience.

You may

  • choose to teach one-on-one, to a group of students, or some mix of the two
  • do it on a volunteer basis or charge for your services
  • offer classes through an existing program (like a local recreation program) or find your own students
  • treat it as a hobby or a business
  • teach online or in person
  • focus on teaching a particular group (e.g. youth, adults, other retirees) or not
  • actively promote your classes or rely on word-of-mouth
  • teach once in a while or do it more regularly

The benefits of teaching after retirement

If you take up teaching after retirement, it may not only be out of a desire to help others, but to pass on something of yourself as well. There’s a certain satisfaction that comes from being recognized for the knowledge you have. By teaching, you’re also showing the world – and yourself, if you need reminding – that you still have something to contribute. And on top of all that, it can help you form fresh, new social connections.


At North Chandler Place, we applaud seniors – including our own residents – who continue making contributions to the world by sharing their knowledge and wisdom. To help you better understand senior living options and financing all types of senior care, we created a comprehensive guide. We invite you to download A Family Guide to Funding Senior Care & Housing with our compliments!