Shared stories make lasting memories among the generations

Are you familiar with the Paw Patrol? Perhaps not, especially if you’re in your bonus years. In that case, I’ll bet you remember Disney’s Popeye the Sailor Man or Steamboat Willy.  And who could forget Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner from Looney Toons?  All these guys, plus Minnie Mouse and Olive Oyl, “performed”…

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Grudging compromises are part and parcel of our bonus years

Nearly 100 years ago, Russian-born American sociologist Pitirim Sorokin coined the term “social mobility” to describe how an individual’s social status might change (improve or decline) over his or her own life – or from one generation to the next.  It was Sorokin’s work that gave rise to the term “upward mobility” – the idea…

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The American Thanksgiving is likely to be different this year

Michael Lindell is a friend of mine.  I’m not talking about Minnesota’s Michael Lindell who is seen daily on TV promoting “My Pillow” – the one with the Giza cotton.  I’m talking about Michael Lindell, the Australian cartoonist, the one who signs his work “Mikko”. During the nearly four years I lived in Australia (2005-08),…

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Nana time is the latest response to coronavirus disruptions

For those in their bonus years, the shift to retirement is one of the most important transitions they will make.  Especially today because ours is the first generation to reach its bonus years with the likelihood of living an additional 20-30 years – many to age 90-plus.  Increasing longevity is why a life plan to…

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Annapolis Rotary adapts crab feast to coronavirus pandemic

Adaptation.  That’s a specialty of human beings.  Most do it really well. The idea of adaptation is at the center of theologian Reinhold Niebuhr’s often-quoted “Serenity Prayer” – which says, “Accept the things you cannot change; change the things you can; and have the wisdom to know the difference”. Using that wisdom certainly applies to…

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New assisted living and memory care choices come to Annapolis

Artists rendering of the new Bay Village development in Annapolis

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…

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When in doubt, consult wisdom based on decades of experience

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,…

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Stuff matters less in retirement. Give experiences.

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; and something they read. However, gift-buying for friends or relatives in their bonus years can be…

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Cyber Monday and aging in place are made for each other

by Phil Burgess, Unabridged from Bonus Years in the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, December 1, 2019 We bought a new TV last week – a so-called “smart” TV.  In the old days, with dumb TVs, you bought the TV, put it in the trunk, unpacked it when you got home and plugged…

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Jailtime, cruise ships provide alternative lifestyles for seniors

Readers of a certain age will remember Art Linkletter, the radio and television talk-show pioneer who, for 25 years, hosted the Emmy-winning “House Party” and “People are Funny” broadcasts.  Of his many achievements, Linkletter is perhaps best known for eliciting hilarious and sometimes indiscreet remarks from the mouths of toddlers, preschoolers and even youngsters in…

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‘Golden Girls’ sitcom gets real-life reboot

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…

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Telecom retirees answer call of history, preserve important artifacts

Unabridged from my weekly Bonus Years column the Life section of the Annapolis Capital, Sunday, May 12, 2019 For nearly four years, beginning in 2005, I had the privilege of working as senior executive in the largest telecommunications company in a nation not my own.  That company was Telstra, Australia’s telecommunications giant, which also owned…

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Work after a life of work appeals to many in their bonus years

For those of us in our bonus years, conversations with children and grandchildren are usually satisfying, often sweet.  However, sometimes we’re faced with offspring who will skeptically roll their eyes whenever we speak with awareness and enthusiasm about issues they think they invented. Example: If you talk about recycling, some Millennials will dismiss your views…

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Only a genealogist thinks a step backward is progress

The Maryland State Archives, located on Rowe Blvd. just west of College Creek, is the central repository for what the law calls “state government records of permanent value….” including birth and death, marriage and divorce records, last wills and testaments and records of the history of Maryland – from the earliest times of Lord Baltimore…

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Retirement can be an experience with many chapters

(Photo Credit: In 2017, Craig Sewell, longtime chef and owner of A Cook’s Cafe in Annapolis, announced his retirement after 15 years. [Joshua McKerrow / Capital Gazette file]) Annapolitan Craig Sewell is, to my way of thinking, a poster boy for the way many of us will spend our bonus years: in serial retirements that…

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Civic innovations target needs of growing senior population

Though it’s a national sport to complain about our culture, much of what we “know” is fed to us by national media that are fixated on what is nasty, brutish, scandalous or weird – all of which is amplified in the 24×7 national “news” cycle. But if we stand back and look at things, especially…

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Helping the elderly with in-home care is a family affair

Unabridged from my Bonus Years column in the Lifestyle section of The Sunday Capital, Annapolis, Maryland Last week I was driving west over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge – returning home after an afternoon’s conversation with three members of the Christensen family, the owners of the Visiting Angels in-home, elder-care franchise in Easton, Maryland.  Along the way, I was…

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