Bonus Years Lifestyles

At age 99, the autobiography is used to share inspiring stories of a life well-lived

By Phil Burgess | July 2, 2019

Celebrities, they say, are known for being known. Heroes, by contrast, are known for their deeds – for results and accomplishments and their contributions to the commonweal. While many heroes are well known – such as aviator Charles Lindbergh or astronaut John Glenn – others are less well-known.  Those are the unsung heroes. Last week…

‘Golden Girls’ sitcom gets real-life reboot

By Phil Burgess | June 23, 2019

In a recent article on aging, Kori Miller asks “How do you feel about growing old? For some, it’s a scary time filled with change and loneliness. But it doesn’t need to be that way. In fact, it shouldn’t. We’re social creatures and growing old isn’t a solo sport.” With increasing longevity, however, we have…

The value of a story is in the telling, so tell it by the artifacts of life

By Phil Burgess | June 17, 2019

Unabridged from my weekly Bonus Years column the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, June 16, 2019 With the Fourth of July less than a month away, now is a good time to think about the celebration of our nation’s independence.  For many, there will be family get-togethers to break bread, watch fireworks and…

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…

As we grow older, some things wear out – and that’s just fine

By Phil Burgess | June 2, 2019

Unabridged from the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, June 2, 2019  “It’s better to wear out than rust out” is the underlying theme of most of our bonus years stories. It’s also how I think about my own bonus years.  I’ve learned that continuing engagement in paid work, volunteer work and other kinds…

Some people are evergreens, never dormant, always renewing

By Phil Burgess | May 26, 2019

We’ve all heard of early bloomers, youngsters who perform at adult levels – and late bloomers, who are slow to get off the mark. These realities only show that different folks blossom in different seasons of their life.  But occasionally, we meet an evergreen, a perennial who is never dormant, forever renewing, forever blooming at…

You’re never too old to serve those in need — and there are many

By Phil Burgess | May 8, 2019

During March and April, I visited a close friend who spent nearly two months in the rehab unit at Heritage Harbor. Nearly every visit included meeting other interesting people who were also visiting my popular friend. During one visit, I met retired Verizon manager Rhonda Jackson. After she arrived, I devoted most of my time…

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…

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…