Bonus Years Biographies

I have been through the process of living in a post-career environment, and I know it can be unsettling. But in the course of my work, I don't rely only on my own experience or only on formal research reports.

I have also talked to literally hundreds of post-career Americans engaged in post-career work, such as:

  • a part-time barista at Starbucks,
  • entrepreneurs who have started new business ventures…some even exporting to overseas markets;
  • a volunteer soccer coach for a girls' soccer team,
  • paid consultants in a variety of jobs – from knowledge workers to blue collar workers,
  • a part-timer who sacks groceries at a Safeway…and another who ferries Hertz rental cars to airports,
  • a SCORE volunteer one day week,
  • the chairman of the lay council of a local parish – a job that consumes about 15 hours a week; and others.

 

Nearly all described themselves as "retired" though not one had withdrawn, taken leave, or retreated from the action and passions of life.

Unfortunately, we do not yet have a language to describe people who continue to be fully engaged in life, including work, after they leave their careers…and words like "retirees," "oldsters," "elders" and the like don't work. This is amazing when you stop to consider that we have good studies based on reliable data to indicate that as many as two-thirds to three-fourths (66% to 75%) of later-life Americans want and expect to continue to work in their post-career years.

The Bonus Years Living blog is designed to show the cultural transformation that is taking place in America. This is a result of the remarkable determination of so many later-life Americans to remain engaged in work that will allow them to continue to use their gifts of time, treasure and talent to help others and repair the world.
We also invite those in the larger community to submit their own stories or to tell us about inspiring stories they have encountered in their family, neighborhood, or other venue where later-life Americans can be found fully engaged in the world of work.  If you have ideas along these lines, please leave us a message: Contact Us.

Stuff matters less in retirement. Give experiences.

By Phil Burgess | December 22, 2019

by Phil Burgess, Unabridged from the Life section of the Sunday Capital, Sunday, December 22, 2019 With only three shipping days till Christmas, last-minute gift-buying can be a source of tension.  Some gift-buying decisions are easy.  For example, for young ones, there’s the rule of four: something they want; something they need; something they wear;…

Life is enriched when we carry life-long interests into retirement

By Phil Burgess | December 8, 2019

by Phil Burgess, Unabridged Bonus Years column from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, December 8, 2019 As Dr. Seuss might have said, last week was special, special-er than most, because I got to meet Captain Brian Hope. Hope, born on Thanksgiving Day in 1943 in Lowell, Massachusetts, is a man of many…

The 111th Naval Construction Battalion landing at Omaha Beach before the Mulberry was installed, 6 June 1944.

From Okinawa to Eastport, WWII vet still engaged

By Phil Burgess | December 1, 2019

by Phil Burgess, Unabridged from the Life section of the Sunday Capital, Sunday, December 29, 2019 (image above) “Seabees landing on D-Day, WWII” The 111th Naval Construction Battalion landing at Omaha Beach before the Mulberry was installed, 6 June 1944.  Image Credit: U.S. Navy Seebee Museum via Flickr Anyone who has read Tom Brokaw’s The…

Somewhere woman enriches her later life

By Phil Burgess | November 24, 2019

Unabridged Bonus Years Column from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, November 24, 2019 Back in 2017, British demographer and commentator, David Goodhart, introduced the idea of “Somewhere” people and “Anywhere” people – what he calls “the new Great Divide” in the cultures of the UK and US. Tailoring Goodhart, Somewheres are people…

From schoolteacher to doorman, he still inspires

By Phil Burgess | November 17, 2019

Unabridged Bonus Years Column from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, November 17, 2019 Readers of this space know I’m a fan of “experience gifts” – i.e., instead of gifting stuff gift an experience such as an airplane ticket or a Netflix subscription. Experience gifts are especially suitable for those in their bonus…

Aging father retires to help enrich the life of disabled son

By Phil Burgess | November 10, 2019

by Phil Burgess, Unabridged from Bonus Years in the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, November 10, 2019 Last week it was my privilege to get to know Bobby Villares, age 62, and his son, Gabe, age 24 – and to learn about Langton Green, a hidden jewel in our community.  First, the people. …

A significant life often is the sum of little things

By Phil Burgess | November 3, 2019

by Phil Burgess, Unabridged from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, November 3, 2019 Have you noticed how some individuals and many organizations have a need to do “big” things with their time, talent and treasure?  For example, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg – who has been making the rounds in Washington with a…

Meet a former Navy SEAL who’s a survivor at life’s wars

By Phil Burgess | October 20, 2019

by Phil Burgess, Unabridged from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, October 20, 2019 Last week, I met a guy named James Hatch.  Hatch retired after 25 years and 11 months in the Navy, years he described as like riding on a Speeding Train. James Hatch is also the name you’ll see on…

A visit from England brings memories into view

By Phil Burgess | September 29, 2019

Remembrances.  Reflections.  Recollections.  Time for musings is clearly a benefit of the bonus years.  With each passing year, our life experiences pile up.  Some we want to forget, especially memories of those times we got in the way of good judgment.  But most memories are rooted in positive anecdotes, rich tales or experiences that tell…

Time to cultivate longtime relationships is a bonus years benefit

By Phil Burgess | September 1, 2019

by Phil Burgess, unabridged from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, September 1, 2019 Tomorrow is Labor Day, first celebrated in 1882 in New York City.  By 1885, Labor Day celebrations had spread to many industrial centers around the US – and in 1894 President Grover Cleveland made it official, formally establishing the…