Bonus Years Institutions

Inter-generational signs of civility give hope for a future without demonizing

By Phil Burgess | August 16, 2020

Some years ago, I remember a Today Show interview with an age 60+ grandmother who loved to ride her Harley.  She and her husband had planned a motorcycle trip around America, but he passed unexpectedly, so she did it herself.  Thousands of miles. Mostly on state and county roads.  When asked, “What about your trip…

From WWII island hopping and the A-bomb to surgeon, civic leader, centenarian

By Phil Burgess | August 9, 2020

This article was originally published with the title “Phil Burgess: World War II vet says Truman’s decision to use A-bomb saved U.S. lives”. Thursday marked the 75th anniversary of the first wartime use of an atomic weapon when, on August 6, 1945, the US bombed the Japanese port city of Hiroshima. Today is also a…

The Navy and Rotary are bookends of a life serving others

By Phil Burgess | August 2, 2020

Like many others in their bonus years, my K-12 years were marked by the Cold War between the US and the former Soviet Union, which included a nuclear arms race and later the space race.  This stirred my interest in national security policy, which led to a 30-year career as a professor teaching national security…

With increasing longevity, boomers are the first ‘older generation’

By Phil Burgess | June 21, 2020

Oliver Brown, age 62, lives in Newcomb, Maryland, located on the Miles River between Easton and St. Michaels.   Because of increasing longevity among Americans – adding more than 30 years during the last century – Brown, an aging boomer by most standards, considers himself a “proud member of the first, new, older generation”. There’s a…

Engineer who helped US subs run silent also plays accordion

By Phil Burgess | June 14, 2020

After reading last week’s Bonus Years column on assisted living and other types of senior housing that have developed over the years, Annapolitan Dick Schoeller gave me a call. “Hey, Phil,” he said, “I read your column today.  I took a different path.  We should talk.” Anytime I get a call from Dick Schoeller I…

Artists rendering of the new Bay Village development in Annapolis

New assisted living and memory care choices come to Annapolis

By Phil Burgess | June 7, 2020

Over the years, we’ve been treated to many expert forecasts that have turned out to be wrong. Among the most flagrant were forecasts after the 1970 Census about the coming “grey tsunami” and how the rapid growth of aging Americans would overwhelm everything – from housing to hospitals.  Well, the “grey tsunami” part happened.  The…

Re-opening advances as knowledge of the pandemic grows

By Phil Burgess | May 24, 2020

“If you like laws and sausages, you should never watch either one being made.” Those in their bonus years, who went to school before “modern” history books, will be familiar with this laconic but also profound observation.  It’s often credited to German Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck – the celebrated 19th century general and political leader who created…

Image of business people playing tug-o-war on a rope

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

By Phil Burgess | May 10, 2020

One of many privileges of reaching your bonus years is your ability, occasionally, to use aging as an excuse for curmudgeonly behavior. That’s good because the coronavirus pandemic and the way it’s discussed by experts in the media – including many “pretend experts” – has brought out the curmudgeon in me. One of the things…

Woman shops with mask on to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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

By Phil Burgess | April 26, 2020

Last week, the US President and the White House Coronavirus Task Force issued federal guidelines for states to follow to re-open the nation’s economy.  This decision caught the attention of many – especially grassroots Americans and those in their bonus years, i.e., those most likely to die from the coronavirus if they are infected. This…

When in doubt, consult wisdom based on decades of experience

By Phil Burgess | April 19, 2020

The coronavirus is hitting older Americans harder than any other age cohort.  Older Americans are vulnerable because many have pre-existing conditions that make them susceptible to the disease.  Some infection data show, for example, that a 76-year-old is 20 times more likely than a 36-year-old to die from COVID-19. Many others cannot isolate themselves because,…