Bonus Years Issues

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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…

Post-pandemic cultural change likely, but how much?

By Phil Burgess | May 17, 2020

For nearly two months, we’ve been called to “shelter in place” as part of a public health strategy to beat the coronavirus.  Like most others our family has complied.   At first, I was proud of our compliance, but as time passed, I’ve realized it was a forced change in lifestyle because we didn’t have a…

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…

Man pushes a boulder up a hill like the myth of Sisyphus

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

By Phil Burgess | May 3, 2020

“Fifty years ago, I made a decision to go to George Washington University medical school.  I’ve never regretted it.  Now, having turned 75, I decided it’s time to retire.”  Those were the words of Dr. Robert Greenfield, our family physician since we moved to Annapolis in 1993. Greenfield continued, “I’m so grateful for the opportunity…

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,…

Despite social distancing, you can increase social engagement

By Phil Burgess | April 12, 2020

These past three weeks of so-called “social distancing” have, ironically, been some of the most “socially connected” we’ve experienced in our life. Indeed, for those of us in our bonus years, there are lots of folks to connect with, so we’ve been “socially connecting” all over the place – both in time and space. In…