The New York Times has a Q&A with neuroscientist Ellen Bialystok, discussing her research into the neurological and cognitive effects of being bilingualism. Bilingualism is associated with higher cognitive activity in old age, especially in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s and similar disorders. This requires that you not only be functionally bilingual, but also to practice your second language regularly. In short, bilingualism can make you smarter in the short and long terms, and keep you lucid in your old age.
I consider this an endorsement of my belief in work and travel abroad.