This story first appeared on “News at IUPUI” and was written by Teresa Mackin of IU Studios.
Nancy Kinnaird “retired” in 2008. But she hasn’t slowed down a blink since.
“When you’re retired, you’re always looking for interesting things to do,” she said. “Education has tremendous value. I love learning new things.”
So much so that Nancy has gone back for further education several times throughout her life.
After losing her husband when she was in her 40s, Kinnaird pursued her undergraduate and graduate degrees in computer science through IUPUI. She worked as a software engineer until the 2008 recession forced her to take an early retirement.
She said it was then that she started to volunteer with the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program, helping people with their taxes free of charge.
“I really enjoyed doing taxes, especially at that time when things were hard for people; I felt it was helping a lot,” Nancy said. “So, I decided to become better credentialed as an accountant. I’ve worked there now for 11 years.
“I think everyone should have a good education when it comes to finances, money, economics and law, so that’s why I went back to school.”
Nancy, who lives in Carmel, pursued her Master of Science in Accounting from the Kelley School of Business at IUPUI. She attended part time over seven years, and she finished her courses in December 2021 at age 79.
“I was amazed when I finished,” she said. “I think IUPUI is a wonderful place to go to school, especially for seniors. Everyone is very friendly.”
Her favorite graduate accounting courses were the auditing courses.
“I thought it was fascinating. I thought we should be auditing more things. Accounting is the science of being accountable.”
Now, Nancy is applying for jobs in the accounting field. Ideally, she’d like to find work in something that uses both her computer science and accounting knowledge. Until she finds the perfect match, she’s volunteering with the Tax-Aide program and in a kitchen that prepares food for seniors. She’d also like to pass the CPA exam.
For those considering a return to school, at any age, she said it’s worth it.
“My advice is to be sure you have the fundamental technical skills before you go,” Nancy said. “And also, be sure the subject you study is something you love. I’ve enjoyed all of my education thus far, and I wouldn’t change a thing.”