Bonus Years Issues

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Group of volunteers preparing for distribution

Volunteer group, led by later-life caregivers, assists homeless population at BWI Airport

By Phil Burgess | June 9, 2019

A few weeks ago, we wrote about Severna Park’s Asbury Community Assistance Network, where bonus years volunteers support individuals and families in crisis, providing food and other services to more than 1,000 people each week. Last week, Rhonda Jackson, retired from Verizon and an uber volunteer for ACAN, and her volunteer husband Linwood, a retired…

A life of service to the ‘seats of power’ does not end when your career ends

By Phil Burgess | January 13, 2019

New Year’s Eve was a dreary day in Annapolis.  It was cold and rainy.  Little did I know that my day would soon be filled with the light of Frank Jones whose uplifting manner and inspiring story could raise the spirits of even a Scrooge or Grinch. It goes like this.  Jones was born in…

Aging is about embracing life’s experiences

By Phil Burgess | January 2, 2019

Pessimists abound.  Especially when it comes to aging. During the holiday period, I was reading a magazine piece on aging where the theme was “so much behind us; so little ahead.”  That caused me to recall another’s definition of “old” as when you cross the tipping point, with fewer years going forward than you’ve already…

Annapolis man turns his setbacks into a comeback

By Phil Burgess | December 18, 2018

Last week, Mary Sue and I were ringing bells for the Salvation Army’s red donation kettle located at City Dock by Zachery’s jewelry store in downtown Annapolis. That’s when I first met Steve Rice. Like many others that brisk Monday morning, Rice dropped a contribution into the kettle. As I said, “Thanks a lot, sir…and…

Gifts of ‘engagement’ and ‘experience’ are hard to beat

By Phil Burgess | December 12, 2018

Buying a Christmas gift for friends or relatives in their bonus years can be a challenge. For example, what kind of gift do you buy for the bonus years empty-nester who is already downsizing? What do you get people who have arrived at that point in their life where they have “stuff” everywhere and are…

Life is an adventure every day, even in the bonus years, if you make it one

By Phil Burgess | November 11, 2018

Most of us came face-to-face with a geography course somewhere along the way. For me, it happened in middle school. That’s when I learned there are many island nations. It’s not just the United Kingdom, Australia and Japan. In fact, by some estimates, nearly one-fourth of the UN’s nearly 200 nations are island nations. But…

Don’t wait till it rains till you start building the ark

By Phil Burgess | October 22, 2018

Many in their bonus years will remember Michael Landon – the American TV actor (also screenwriter, director and producer) known for his role as Little Joe Cartwright in Bonanza as well as starring roles in Little House on the Prairie and Highway to Heaven.  Landon, who passed away in his early 50s, once said “Whatever…

The need for transition assistance happens at all ages

By Phil Burgess | October 14, 2018

(The 50-seat Light House Bistro is more than a restaurant. It is also what some people call a “social enterprise” — a business enterprise that has social goals embedded in its business objectives. [Joshua McKerrow / Capital Gazette file]) Several months ago, I discovered the Light House Bistro at 202 West Street, along with several…

Looking after aging mother transforms lives of caregiving sisters

By Phil Burgess | October 9, 2018

I’ve just seen life from the inside out, a view that can only be conveyed by storytelling. That was my first thought as I finished reading Melanie Merriman’s Holding the Net: Caring for My Mother on the Tightrope of Aging, winner of American Book Fest’s Best Book Award in the Autobiography-Memoir category and a Caring.com…

A mission to repair the world does not end with retirement

By Phil Burgess | October 6, 2018

Places like Myrtle Beach and Wilmington, North Carolina are names familiar to most of us – especially after their recent bashing by hurricane Florence. But if you travel about 300 miles to the west of these well-known coastal communities – to the foothills of the Blue Ridge – you will find Lenoir, a North Carolina…