Research on cognitive aging demonstrates age-related cognitive decline. Education is a protective factor against cognitive decline, but few studies have examined the cognitive development of highly educated individuals. This study compared the cognitive performance and intellectual engagement of retired professors (N = 47, Mage = 72.9) and individuals with average education (N = 236, Mage = 72.7) over 5 years. Although the highly educated sample showed better performance in perceptual speed and working memory, cognitive performance was rather stable over time in both samples. Interestingly, high intellectual engagement enabled individuals with average education to keep up with the performance of the highly educated sample on perceptual speed. These findings raise the question whether intellectual engagement is more beneficial than years of education in perceptual speed.