Illuminating Later Life

From Baby Boomer to Luminary* as later-life Americans navigate the uncharted territory of increasing longevity.

* A person who mentors, inspires or influences others.

Bonus Years Biographies


Brenda Schoener

"We should not wait till the end to talk about life's lessons."


Craig Sewell

"I'm not changing my game. I'm just changing my approach to the game."

Ted Levitt, who ran Chick and Ruth's Delly in Annapolis after his parents died, talks about retiring and selling the business to new owner Keith Jones late last year. (Joshua McKerrow / Capital Gazette)

Ted Levitt

He has a small placard in his living room which says, “I’m not retired. I’m just getting started.” 

Retirement is surely a dead-end idea…literally. Retirement is also a recent idea….and a pretty depressing idea, at that. Look it up in the dictionary. My Oxford says to “retire” is to withdraw, go away. retreat, give up, seek seclusion. Sounds like fun! The Oxford definitions include “retiring from the world” or “to retire unto oneself” or to become unsociable, uncommunicative, withdrawn from society. Who wouldn't want to do that?

But we have a different idea. We believe that successful aging is best achieved by active engagement with others.

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We provide — and seek from you — original and curated items that make life
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"It’s better to wear out than rust out.”  That is the message of Reboot!  For men and women navigating change and planning for life’s transitions – all the while striving to finish well – Reboot! provides a roadmap for living a life of meaning, challenging the reader to be a Luminary not a retiree.  Burgess boldly asserts that retirement is a deadly disease, and that work after a life of work is the best option for post-career years that are meaningful, productive, healthy, and satisfying.

The Length of Our Days

Days in the average American life span
Average life expectancy in days at age 65
Chances to leave a legacy

Bonus Years Columns

Unabridged articles from my weekly Bonus Years column in the
Lifestyle section of The Sunday Capital Gazette, Annapolis, Maryland

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...

Berkman’s “lifequake” sent him on a mission to end prison slavery

Just when everything seems to be going smoothly, life sometimes hits you in the head with a brick: cancer, a...

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. ...

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

Image from West Virginia Gazette Mail Newspaper, July 2, 2020 Some years ago, I remember a Today Show interview with...

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

This article was originally published with the title "Phil Burgess: World War II vet says Truman’s decision to use A-bomb...

The Navy and Rotary are bookends of a life serving others

Like many others in their bonus years, my K-12 years were marked by the Cold War between the US and...

The Annapolis Institute is a private, nonpartisan think tank. The Institute, established in 1993, has two purposes: (1) To help leadership at all levels to anticipate the forces shaping the lives of people, communities, and institutions in the 21st century -- including technology, demography, politics, the economy and culture; and (2) to advance principled leadership in the management of business enterprises, government agencies and non-profit organizations.


Nice to meet you!

I’m a Bonus Years guy. My business is helping Luminaries navigate age-related transitions – and writing interesting stories about those who do it successfully.
My aim: To inspire others to do the same.

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