The Adult Gap Year: What Is It and Should You Take One?

Is it time for you to take a year off?
Is it time for you to take a year off?
Is it time for you to take a year off?

Traditionally taken by many young adults, a gap year is considered to be the year taken between high school and college. It gives them time to reflect on their lives and decide on the direction they want to take. Whether traveling across the country, going abroad, or merely relaxing, this time helps them gain perspective on their lives and offers time to decide what to do with the rest of their lives.

What about the adult gap year though? This is the time that comes after you have raised your children, ended your decades-long career, and retired. How will you direct your life for the next several years? We have all been told to plan for the financial challenges of retirement and prepare mentally for how you will spend your golden years. Why not take some time to reflect before embarking on your next adventure?

 

Time to Reflect

Taking the time to slow down and reflect on your accomplishments in life can give you the opportunity to see how your experiences can help others, whether by volunteering or giving insights into a business venture. Are there life goals that you would like to finally reach? How about finally getting your doctoral degree, learning to paint portraits, or volunteering at home or abroad?

An adult gap year can provide the time you need to reflect and decide on the direction you would like to take. Without the noisy background of work and well-intentioned family and friends, you may gain a new perspective on life that redirects your goals, taking you in directions you never imagined.

 

The Adult Gap Year Is Becoming More Common

Once unheard of, the adult gap year is becoming more common. Many people have been forced into gap years, due to corporate downsizing and job losses. Many of them have found that the longer they were away from their former jobs, the clearer their vision of a future of their making. Filling days that are void of schedules, meetings, and employer expectations can be daunting. By taking the time to fill your days with pursuits other than work and raising a family, you can better prepare yourself for many fulfilled years of retirement or a new and exciting career.

 

Should You Take an Adult Gap Year?

Yes — that is if you can afford to. Now is the time to plan for an adult gap year. Then, when you get ready to embark on a new life, you will be free to explore the possibilities beyond your previous life. You still have a lot to give and all of your years of experience have equipped you to be better at your pursuits now than you were before you started your career. Taking an adult gap year may give you the opportunity to visit new cities that would make good retirement spots and will also give you time to find the life you want in your golden years.

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