Many people want more from retirement than a life of leisure. They want to continue learning new things, having rich cultural experiences, and interacting with their community in meaningful ways. The good news is that pursuing these goals is much easier if you live in a college town. 

The American Institute for Economic Research defines a college town as a location with a college or university as a central part of the community and fewer than 250,000 residents. The Capital Region is home to SUNYAlbany, the College of Saint Rose, RPI, and Siena College, to name a few, so it qualifies. In fact, ESPN ranked it as the 9th-highest rated college town in New York.

So, if you’re a retiree in the Capital Region, the next step is learning how to best take advantage of everything these institutions offer. We’re here to help.

Events, Museums, and Culture

Focus is on the audience in a theater, who are seated and ready to watch whatever will happen onstageColleges are teeming with cultural events, sporting events, film, dance, and theater-going opportunities. One of the easiest ways to keep up with everything happening is to sign up for an email list. Almost every organization that relies on attendance has a newsletter, which they send out periodically or as blasts to promote big events. Simply sign up, and you’ll never miss another important event. (To avoid getting overwhelmed, though, be sure to click through their websites to see if you can set filters for which emails you want to receive.)

If you have a particular interest that you’d like to pursue — like amateur theater, or the college baseball team, for example — it might be helpful to become a member in some way. Season ticket packages can be a great way to save money for collegiate-level sporting events. Similarly, many theater organizations and museums have memberships that can be purchased, and you might be shocked at how much money you can save. Often, membership will pay for itself in as little as two visits.

A woman leans against a blackboard while chatting with adult students in a traditional-looking classroomAccess to Higher Learning

If you want to expand your mind, we’ve already covered why you should look into attending classes at your local college or university. In addition to learning new things, a benefit of doing so is getting connected to a thriving community of like-minded people. You can gain access to social clubs, find volunteering opportunities, and have access to activities and engagements that might not otherwise have presented themselves. 

In addition, some colleges have seen the benefits of what they call “multi-generational learning,” and are trying to attract people outside of their typical youthful demographic. As a result, many have programs that are designed for seniors to audit classes and attend thought-provoking study groups, along with other opportunities to connect and engage with peers.

Volunteering Opportunities

If you’re looking to volunteer in some capacity, looking on campus is a great place to start. You could volunteer at various events by working in admission booths, facilitating ticket sales, or donating your time to help school organizations and clubs. You can also reach out to the school’s HR department to ascertain whether you can be of service as a student mentor, or a guest speaker for a class.

Woman claps her hands and laughs at a colleague during a meeting or presentation of some sortInteresting Retirement Jobs

Retirement doesn’t mean you can’t find a cool job to occupy your time and earn extra income. Here are some examples you might not have thought of:

  • Adjunct Professor: Adjunct professors teach on an “as-needed” basis, so it’s essentially a part-time job. Qualifications vary based on the institution, but if you don’t have an advanced degree within the discipline, sometimes a bachelor’s degree and lots of enthusiasm will work.

  • Career Center Counselor: Counselors at a college career center play a number of roles, but you’d be matching soon-to-be graduates with employers, coaching students on interview skills and resumes, lining up internships, or even coordinating job fairs. 
  • Consultant or Advisor: University towns often have start-up incubators that are linked with the school. They prefer to hire experts who can help on a consulting basis instead of hiring full-time staffers. So, if you can see yourself assisting with challenges like navigating licensing agreements, securing patents, or making sense of government regulations, this could be a perfect job.

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