Illuminating Later Life

From Baby Boomer to Luminary* as later-life Americans pursue a life that matters in the uncharted territory of increasing longevity.

* A person who mentors, inspires or influences others.

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We provide — and seek from you — original and curated items that make life
in the Bonus Years easier to understand and easier to navigate.

Retirement is surely a dead-end idea…literally. Retirement is also a recent idea….and a pretty depressing idea, at that. Look it up in the dictionary. My Oxford says to “retire” is to withdraw, go away. retreat, give up, seek seclusion. Sounds like fun! The Oxford definitions include “retiring from the world” or “to retire unto oneself” or to become unsociable, uncommunicative, withdrawn from society. Who wouldn't want to do that?

But we have a different idea. We believe that positive aging is best achieved by purpose-driven activities in active engagement with others.

Put simply, it's better to wear out than rust out.

Bonus Years Biographies

The Length of Our Days

Days in the average American life span

Average life expectancy
in days at age 65

Chances to leave
a legacy

"It’s better to wear out than rust out.”  That is the message of Reboot!  For men and women navigating change and planning for life’s transitions – all the while striving to finish well – Reboot! provides a roadmap for living a life of meaning, challenging the reader to be a Luminary not a retiree.  Burgess boldly asserts that retirement is a deadly disease, and that work after a life of work is the best option for post-career years that are meaningful, productive, healthy, and satisfying.

Bonus Years Columns

Unabridged articles from my weekly Bonus Years column in the
Lifestyle section of The Sunday Capital Gazette, Annapolis, Maryland

Re-opening advances as knowledge of the pandemic grows

“If you like laws and sausages, you should never watch either one being made.” Those in their bonus years, who...

Post-pandemic cultural change likely, but how much?

For nearly two months, we’ve been called to “shelter in place” as part of a public health strategy to beat...

It’s good that the re-opening pace is in the hands of governors, right?

One of many privileges of reaching your bonus years is your ability, occasionally, to use aging as an excuse for...

Retired physician takes a time-out before re-entering the fray

“Fifty years ago, I made a decision to go to George Washington University medical school.  I’ve never regretted it.  Now,...

We’re all in the same boat; it’s called ‘Gen V’ – for Generation Virus

Last week, the US President and the White House Coronavirus Task Force issued federal guidelines for states to follow to...

When in doubt, consult wisdom based on decades of experience

The coronavirus is hitting older Americans harder than any other age cohort.  Older Americans are vulnerable because many have pre-existing...
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Nice to meet you!

I’m a Bonus Years guy. My business is helping Luminaries navigate age-related transitions – and writing interesting stories about those who do it successfully.
My aim: To inspire others to do the same.

The Annapolis Institute is a private, nonpartisan think tank. The Institute, established in 1993, has two purposes: (1) To help leadership at all levels to anticipate the forces shaping the lives of people, communities, and institutions in the 21st century -- including technology, demography, politics, the economy and culture; and (2) to advance principled leadership in the management of business enterprises, government agencies and non-profit organizations.

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