We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
My theory is that the purpose of higher ed is to prepare people for those Great Courses. These can enrich your life forever. Buy them when they are on sale, and trade them with friends and neighbors. That's what people do.
I am a long-time customer of The Great Courses Company (going back to when it was called The Teaching Company), although not nearly as many courses as Coyote and, surprisingly, not much overlap with the list in Tyler Cowen’s post. It is a great resource, as everyone says.
I want to put in a plug for a course not mentioned by Coyote or Professor Cowen: Tocqueville and the American Experiment by Professor William Cook. I bought this course in 2006, a couple of years after it came out, and enjoyed it. Ten years later, I retired from a career in business and ran for local office – what is called the selectboard in New England towns. I got elected at town meeting (another New England thing) last March, and it’s been very interesting. I am listening to that Tocqueville course again, because it is so much more meaningful to me now! Tocqueville had a lot to say about the importance of local government. I’ve started writing about him on my blog (link).
I highly recommend getting involved in local government for anyone who is retired and looking for something to do. It’s both interesting and rewarding.
The Switchel Philosopher
No matter how you do it, learn something new every day.
I've found that learning to do something new with my hands as often as I can is more rewarding than simply learning some new fact or acquiring some new understanding. In my 'mid-80s, I've become something of an expert at diagnosing and resuscitating dead or moribund electronic gadgets. Picked up a nice little collection of mini and micro tools and diagnostic instruments in the process that take some practice to use effectively. There's a ton of how-to stuff on the internet that helps you get the knack for this work.